Redeem Raises $2.5M to Let Users Receive NFTs via Phone Numbers

Kenetic Capital led the round ahead of Redeem's second-quarter product launch.

AccessTimeIconMar 1, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:09 a.m. UTC

Redeem, which provides Web3 technology that allows users to send and redeem non-fungible tokens (NFT) using their phone numbers, has raised $2.5 million in a pre-seed round led by digital asset-focused investment firm Kenetic Capital. The startup will use the funds toward its second-quarter product launch and to continue building out the core technology.

Investments cascaded into crypto companies during the bull market of 2021, but have slowed to a drip due to the crypto winter. Infrastructure projects, however, have maintained the highest level of investor interest, particularly projects that make it easier for non-crypto natives to enter the space.

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  • Kansas-based Redeem allows users to link any crypto wallet on any network to a phone number in order to redeem so-called utility NFTs such as tickets, loyalty points or in-game items by scanning a QR code. Users can also send and receive NFTs through Apple's iMessage, WhatsApp or text messages without adding a crypto interface or gas fees.

    “Adoption is the Holy Grail of Web3. Redeem’s core features allow users to access the universe of Web3 in seconds with no prior crypto blockchain knowledge,” said Kenetic Founder Jehan Chu in a press release. “This is a game-changer for traditional enterprise companies who want to reduce cost and drive new user engagement via Web3 without complicated or risky crypto processes.”

    Redeem was founded by Toby Rush, who previously founded EyeVerify, a biometric tech company that was acquired by an affiliate of Chinese tech conglomerate Alibaba for $100 million in 2016.

    Other investors in the round included Monochrome Capital, VC3 DAO, The Fund, Flyover Capital, CMT Digital, KCRise Fund and KESTREL 0x1.

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    Brandy Betz

    Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.