Floor, an app which aims to make non-fungible tokens (NFT) more accessible and understandable, has raised $8 million in a Series A round.
The round was led by 6th Man Ventures, the venture capital firm led by The Block founder Mike Dudas. Other participants in the round include B Capital, Worklife Ventures, Collab+Currency, Hannah Grey, Crypto.com, Exponent Capital and Eberg Capital, among others.
Launched in October 2021, Floor was co-founded by CEO Chris Maddern, who previously led the mobile business at Venmo and currently sits on the board of crypto publication The Block. He was later joined by Chief Technology Officer Siddhartha Dabral and Chief Operating Officer Christine Brown, who had left her previous post as Robinhood's (HOOD) Crypto COO to join the firm.
Floor offers NFT portfolio tracking, real-time price alerts, live activity for collections and multi-wallet support. Upcoming features include the ability to create an NFT watch list and estimated values to help guide buying and selling decisions.
“I'm a pretty savvy guy on crypto. I was trying to get into NF Ts, and it was still frankly incredibly hard,” Maddern told CoinDesk in an interview. “As you get further and further in, it becomes more punishing and confusing because you have to understand not just the value of your assets but then the other utility of your assets, what’s going on inside of each of those communities.”
Public app launch
Floor has operated as a token-gated experience where community members have to purchase an NFT to gain access to the app. The onboarding is a manual process that happens through Discord.
While that setup started to build the community and raised $2 million in funding, Floor needed to do more planning to make a public app that could be scalable for a larger audience while still maintaining benefits for token holders. Maddern expects the public app launch to happen in late summer or early fall.
Robinhood veteran Brown brings to the table her experience of scaling products with a growing community in mind. Last year, Robinhood was building out its wealth transfer products and the large size of the community left Brown with questions about how to engage such an audience early and in a safe way. She saw Maddern talking about similar issues on Twitter, reached out and came away from the initial conversation saying, “I need to work with this person.” The chats continued until Brown decided to leave Robinhood to help establish Floor.
“Traditional financial and spot crypto trading really serve one purpose, which is financial speculation. You put money in and hope that money is worth more when you pull it out,” Brown told CoinDesk. “Right now, one of the main use cases [of NFTs] is speculation and financial investment, but with everything from utility to access to memberships, I think this is going to be the space that eventually eclipses whatever else is going on.”
The funding will help Floor launch the public app, which removes the NFT purchase clause that could be a barrier to entry for some users. A larger user base can give Floor more leverage in forming partnerships with other firms in the NFT ecosystem and provide a deeper pool of feedback as to what NFT projects are generating the most excitement.
“We want to transition from a model where we have a very exclusive community to one where we can continue to build and foster that community,” Maddern said. “[Having] everyone be able to use the app means moving away from token sales as the primary model.”
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