Technology

Digital collectibles firm Forum3 raises $10M to bring NFTs to loyalty programs


Forum3, a digital collectibles firm that recently helped Starbucks Corp. create its nonfungible token-based loyalty rewards program, said today that it has raised $10 million in seed funding to expand its Web3 tools for brands to launch their own NFT-based rewards programs.

The funding round was led by Web3-focused venture capital firm Decasonic and included participation by Bloccelerate, Liberty City Ventures and Arca, along with strategic investments from Polygon Ventures and Valor Siren Ventures.

Nonfungible tokens are a type of Web3 technology, also known as the decentralized web, built on top of blockchains that represent the ownership of digital items such as artwork, music and video game items. Forum3 uses NFTs to create Web3-based loyalty and customer engagement solutions for businesses using branded digital collectibles such as stamps, images and figures.

The companies and people that Forum3 has partnered with include Starbucks, Boston Globe and the New York Times bestselling author Ben Mezrich.

This new funding comes shortly after the announcement of the launch of Starbucks Odyssey, a Web3-based extension of the Starbucks Rewards program that was unveiled in September. Using the technology, customers would participate in activities that allow them to earn “Journey Stamps,” which are NFTs, and Odyssey Points, which open up the availability for customers to purchase limited edition merchandise, get discounts and provide access to exclusive content such as online classes.

“At Starbucks, we are committed to a never-ending pursuit of innovation that will surprise and delight our customers and enable us to form more deeply connected relationships,” said Brady Brewer, chief marketing officer at Starbucks. “Our partnership with Forum3 has been instrumental in shaping the design and implementation of Starbucks Odyssey, our next innovation with Starbucks Rewards, powered by Web3 technologies.”

Forum3 was co-founded by its Chief Executive Officers Adam Brotman and Andy Sack. Brotman formerly served as the chief digital officer at Starbucks and did extensive work on the company’s mobile app as its senior architect. “I’m passionate about the use of storytelling and digital collectibles as an entirely new form of loyalty, that we call experiential loyalty,” said Brotman, commenting on the news.

In particular, Forum3 works to make it easier for brands to take advantage of the benefits of Web3 technologies without requiring customers to have advanced knowledge of blockchain technology, crypto or NFTs. For example, Forum3’s technology doesn’t require special NFT wallets, and Starbucks Rewards members can simply use their own accounts to receive the stamps and NFTs to access virtual experiences.

Forum3 said that the seed funding would be used to build out its own platform to help companies create their own digital collectible and customer engagement strategies using Web3 technology. The company also intends to scale out its advisory services to expand the number of customers and other brands around the world.

Image: Production Perig

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