Two longtime Seattle-area tech leaders are teaming up on a brand new startup that sells NFT-based buyer engagement tech to consumer-facing corporations.
Former Starbucks exec Adam Brotman and startup investor Andy Sack simply raised $10 million for Forum3.
The recent funding comes after co-CEOs Brotman and Sack lately suggested Starbucks on the launch of Starbucks Odyssey, a brand new NFT initiative from the espresso big that lets Starbucks Rewards members earn and buy collectable digital stamps, then purchase and promote them in a market with different members of the loyalty program.
By its tech platform, Forum3 plans to work with manufacturers to take away the traditional frictions that include blockchain tech, resembling having a crypto pockets or proudly owning cryptocurrency. Customers will have the ability to interact with an organization’s buyer loyalty platform with their bank cards and telephones. The aim is to promote a white-labeled model of Odyssey to different consumer-facing manufacturers, Sack informed Startup.
The startup plans to focus on different midsize-to-large corporations in industries starting from shopper packaged items, hospitality and journey. It’ll earn a living by licensing, royalties and different servicing charges. Sack stated Forum3 might be “chain-agnostic,” which means it should ultimately work with all forms of blockchain platforms.
The startup’s first mission was a three-stage NFT “drop” with creator and screenwriter Ben Mezrich, and it additionally helped on a collaboration with the Boston Globe. After that, in April, Starbucks leaders reached out and Forum3 grew to become strategic advisers for Odyssey.
There are a selection of gamers within the Web3 loyalty house advising manufacturers and people on NFT-based loyalty tech. Cling lately raised $16 million and works with manufacturers like Budweiser and Bleacher Report. Sack stated that Forum3 will have the ability to compete due to his and Brotman’s expertise and connections.
“The use case that we’re utilizing on blockchain, I imagine goes to develop into the predominant shopper use case of blockchain,” he informed Startup.
Sack co-founded Seattle-based seed-stage funding fund Founders’ Co-op, then led Techstars Seattle for 5 years, with one cohort producing three unicorns. After that, he labored alongside Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as an innovation and digital transformation marketing consultant. Most lately, he was an investor at blockchain native enterprise fund Eager.capital.
Brotman is the previous chief digital officer at Starbucks, the place he helped construct the Starbucks cell app, which now handles greater than 1 / 4 of the corporate’s orders. He’s additionally the previous CEO and present chairman of Brightloom, a startup that helps corporations flip their buyer information into personalised advertising and marketing campaigns.
“Now we have an understanding of find out how to work with large manufacturers,” Sack stated. “There might be points of our platform that might be very totally different than the usual gamers within the house.”
Blockchain startups have struggled to safe funding this yr, a part of broader market downturn and flurry of unfavourable headlines looming over the crypto house. Enterprise capitalists deployed simply $4.44 billion in crypto-related corporations within the third quarter of the yr, Bloomberg reported, down 37% from the identical interval final yr.
The swift collapse of the enormous digital-asset trade FTX final month additionally despatched a contagion by the crypto trade.
Sack stated that some folks have been “constructing Ponzi schemes and scams throughout crypto and these tokens, and so they don’t have any utility on the planet.”
“All that’s someplace over in left subject,” he stated. “We’re far-off in a completely totally different house. Now we have an actual enterprise case.”
The funding spherical was led by Decasonic, with participation from Bloccelerate, Liberty Metropolis Ventures and Arca. Different buyers embrace Polygon Ventures and Valor Siren Ventures.