Ayoken, an NFT marketplace for creatives, has raised $1.4 million pre-seed funding to enable users grow their revenue streams through digital collectibles.
The funding came from Founders Factory Africa, Texas-based Kon Ventures, Europe-based venture capital collective Crypto League, Ghana-based R9C Ventures and Maximus Ventures. The startup plans to sign a number of exclusive deals with artists and partnerships with telcos, besides growing its team and secondary marketplaces with the latest investment.
Founded by Joshua King, Ayoken wants to transition the biggest creatives in the world to the metaverse. It will serve as a marketplace that bridges the gap between fans and artists, and gives supporters a sense of ownership in the success of their favourite creatives.
According to CEO King, the startup’s marketplace, Ayokenlabs, will feature digital collectibles from musicians, sports brands and influencers from all-over the world.
The London-headquartered startup has already partnered with Ghanaian afrobeats artist KiDi (Dennis Nana Dwamena) for his first NFT drop on the first day of June.
King said the cross-chain marketplace (although currently built on Avalanche blockchain) allows crypto and card payments, but plans to add mobile money – as the startup makes it easier for people in emerging markets like Africa to trade with ease. King said they are negotiating partnerships with a number of telcos in the continent to make this a reality.
“We are reducing friction points for the users by letting people use their cards instead of having to use crypto to buy, we are working on partnerships with telcos that will allow people to use mobile money to make the payment in future too. Nothing comes close to what we are doing and that is why we are able to sign some of the biggest names in the creative industry,” he said.
Through the NFT marketplace, he said, fans will have access to tokens such as behind-the-scenes videos and album art. NFT holders will also get other perks like access to unreleased music and exclusive live events by the creatives.
“Through VIP passes, fans will get the ability to actually livestream music by these artists before it arrives on Spotify, YouTube or Apple Music. Fans will get discounts for future events too,” said King