Monetized Memes: Dank Bank Raises $4.2M

The NFT platform plans to use the funds to acquire “legendary memes.”

AccessTimeIconApr 1, 2022 at 5:58 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:56 p.m. UTC
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The latest non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace has raised $4,206,900 to tokenize and fractionalize the internet’s most famous memes.

Dank Bank, as it’s known, raised the pre-seed sum from lead backers Mechanism Capital, Samsung Next and former Coinbase Chief Technology Officer Balaji Srinivasan, the company said.

The marketplace sells fractionalized NFTs of iconic moments to compensate creators while building community through shared ownership, according to a press release.

Dank Bank co-founder and CEO Harry Jones, the former head of markets at blockchain-based information markets platform Polymarket, told CoinDesk that Dank Bank wants to dismantle the “collective of elites” who own rare assets by distributing the ownership among fans through fractionalization.

“You know, most people are going to recognize, like, Pepe the Frog and form a more personal relationship with it then will, like, a Rembrandt. A lot of the art that we think is the most valuable in today's society is a lot less culturally significant than the biggest memes,” co-founder Prez Thomas told CoinDesk.

One big meme can spawn 10,000 Pepes.

“The meme economy is the greatest use for fractional NFTs,” Jones said. “We can finally unlock the ability to invest in content as a collectible.”

Fractional NFTs allow for shared ownership of one digital asset. After creators mint an NFT, they section it into smaller tokens for purchase by multiple owners, instead of just one.

The market for fractionalized memes is not unique to Dank Bank. September’s record DOGE NFT sale for 11,000 ether showed demand for shared ownership of culturally iconic content. This “meme economy” was kick-started by the 300 ETH sale of the Nyan Cat in February 2021.

Dank Bank will spend its funds snapping up the intellectual property of various “culturally iconic” and exceptionally viral memes with which to stock its marketplace, said Jones. It will encourage creators to list the NFTs themselves, for which they will receive 100% of the profits.

Dank Bank will cross-check creators against their real-world identities, as well as their “copyright documentation” to make sure they actually own the rights to the memes, according to Jones.

Dank Bank operates on Ethereum, and will soon add Polygon, too.

“Dank Bank plans to subsidize the gas costs for traders” on Polygon, said Jones.

CoinDesk reached out to investors to confirm participation in seed funding, but there were no responses by press time.

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Cam Thompson

Cam Thompson was a news reporter at CoinDesk.


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