FanTiger, a music non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, on May 25 announced that it has raised $5.5 million in seed funding led by Multicoin Capital, an investment firm focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain companies.
The round also saw participation from investors such as South Korean gaming giant Krafton, Polygon Studios, Pravega Ventures, Woodstock Fund, GAMA and IOSG Ventures as well as individuals such as Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, DoorDash executive Gokul Rajaram, CRED executive Miten Sampat and Tykhe Block Ventures founder Prashant Malik.
Started by former Gaana chief executive Prashan Agarwal and Krishna Singh in February this year, FanTiger aims to enable independent artists to build fan communities on the platform by allowing them to create, buy, and sell digital collectibles.
Fans can buy music NFTs to gain access to exclusive artist communities, earn rewards and special physical and virtual perks such as behind the scenes content, meet-n-greet opportunities, and backstage access among others, the company said.
Artists can use the proceeds from the sale of these music NFTs for song creation, studio production, and music video among others. They can also commit up to a certain percentage of the royalty earned from the song to the fan community for marketing the song, it added.
The company also aims to facilitate secondary NFT trades through a marketplace in the future.
"The business of music should be to serve the best interests of artists. With the advent of blockchain, music NFTs have the ability to disrupt the music industry, much like music streaming transformed music listening," said Agarwal.
Agarwal mentioned that they will use the funds raised to grow team across product and tech functions, extend industry partnerships and onboard artists onto the platform. "Our vision is to onboard 10 million users to our platform to own digital collectibles and supercharge the career of 100,000 artists," he said.
The platform is currently available in early access mode, offering additional benefits such as priority access to the launch of music NFTs, limited-edition merchandise, and access to music concerts among others to early adopters.
“Music is one of the most exciting use cases for NFTs with a very high utility. Agarwal's experience as a repeat founder and music industry executive makes him the ideal person to transform the music industry in a way that empowers artists and their fans,” said Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal.
Kyle Samani, partner at Multicoin, said, "The FanTiger platform is uniquely positioned to grow the digital collectibles ownership in the music industry. We are excited to partner with Agarwal who brings vast experience of building the largest music streaming platform in India to disrupt the music industry once again."
NFT sales flatline even as tech giants embrace it
Interestingly, this launch comes at a time when NFT sales have plummeted sharply across the world. NFT sales fell to a daily average of about 19,000 earlier this month, a 92 percent decline from a peak of about 225,000 in September 2021, according to The Wall Street Journal.
However, it is also attracting a growing number of tech companies such as Meta, Spotify, Twitter and eBay who are testing their own NFT offerings. YouTube also recently said it is exploring NFTs to help creators make money on the platform.
Universal Music Group, among the world's largest music labels, also struck a deal on May 17 to let its artists release NFTs on the LimeWire marketplace and sell them directly to fans and collectors.