Home Blockchain Web3 Startup IYK Secures $16.8M Seed Round Led by A16z Crypto

Web3 Startup IYK Secures $16.8M Seed Round Led by A16z Crypto

by Sophie Smith

IYK, a Web3 startup, has successfully raised $16.8 million in a seed round led by A16z Crypto, the crypto arm of Andreessen Horowitz. Other participants in the round included 1kx, Collab Currency, Lattice Capital, and Gmoney.

The purpose of IYK is to help mainstream brands launch digital collectibles connected to real-life products. With its technology, IYK enables brands to create tangible digital experiences by linking digital collectibles to physical items. Companies such as Adidas, Johnnie Walker, and generative artist Tyler Hobbs are already using IYK’s platform to enhance their offerings.

The process of connecting digital collectibles and physical goods is straightforward. Brands insert chips into their products, which are then linked to a digital collectible, essentially creating digital twins. The linking process utilizes near-field communication (NFC) technology, similar to what is used in point-of-sale machines.

In recent years, prominent brands have been leveraging blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to establish deeper connections with customers and fans. Nike, Gucci, and Starbucks are just a few examples of companies that have introduced NFTs to enhance utility and engagement.

The specifics of IYK’s seed round, such as the fundraising timeline and structure, have not been disclosed. However, the company claims to have onboarded more than 100 creators from various industries, including fashion, music, and art. Now, IYK aims to expand its user base by creating a self-service platform that allows users to easily create phygital (physical and digital) experiences.

According to Ryan Ouyang, co-founder of IYK, the company provides creators with the flexibility to choose between no-code tools for ready-to-use experiences or inviting developers to customize and extend the experiences using IYK’s APIs. The goal is to offer a user-friendly platform that accommodates various preferences and needs.

As mainstream brands continue to explore the potential of blockchain and NFTs, startups like IYK play a vital role in bridging the gap between physical and digital experiences. With the support of the recent seed round, IYK is poised to grow its presence in the market and empower more brands to tap into the benefits of linking digital collectibles with real-world products.

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