The round was led by Web3 fund Collab + Currency, with participation from investors including gmoney, the founder of digital fashion company 9dcc; Shan Aggrawal, vice president and head of corporate development at Coinbase Ventures; and Ryan Carson, former chief operating officer of Moonbirds, among others.
The nature-inspired avatars act as a vehicle for collectors to offset carbon emissions. Each Ecosapien owner can also purchase additional carbon credits to evolve their NFT and gain rarity traits.
Nihar Neelakanti, a co-founder of Ecosapiens, told CoinDesk that he was driven by a mission to help the environment. He said that utilizing NFTs as a channel for selling carbon credits is the most efficient way to participate in “impact-to-earn,” which allows consumers to help take climate action and earn rewards through activism.
“What if we could take carbon credits that actually made a big impact in the world, bring them on-chain to make it one-click accessible, but, really, just disguise these credits as the perfect signaling art piece?” said Neelakanti. “In that way, it's easy, economical and engaging to make a difference.”
Neelakanti told CoinDesk he plans to use the funding to build out the Ecopsapiens marketplace, test out minting strategies such as open editions and forge brand partnerships to expand its presence within Web3.
According to data from OpenSea, Ecosapiens’ Alpha Collection, which launched in February, has a floor price of 0.055 ether (ETH), or about $100. The collection’s trading volume is hovering around 18 ETH, or about $32,300. So far, the collection says it has helped offset over 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting 40,000 trees.
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