Web3 Startup IYK Secures $16.8M Seed Round Led by A16z Crypto

The company helps mainstream brands launch digital experiences tied to real-life products as they look to extend relationships with their customers and fans to Web3.
Image source: iyk.app

Quick take:

  • IYK has announced a $16.8 million seed round led by A16z Crypto.
  • 1kx, Collab Currency, Lattice Capital and Gmoney also participated in the round.
  • The Web3 startup helps brands launch digital collectibles tied to real-life products.

Web3 startup IYK has raised $16.8 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm (A16z Crypto). The fundraising also attracted participation from 1kx, Collab Currency, Lattice Capital and gmoney.

IYK helps mainstream brands to build tangible digital experiences by linking digital collectibles to real-life products. The company already counts global sporting goods and footwear giant Adidas, blended Whiskey brand Johnnie Walker, and generative artist Tyler Hobbs, among its customers.

According to the IYK website, brands insert chips into real-life products, which are then linked to a digital collectible, creating digital twins. No coding experience is required to complete the process.

The linking process uses near-field communication (NFC) technology, the same technology used in point-of-sale (PoS) machines. 

Mainstream brands have embraced blockchain technology to create deeper relationships with their customers and fans using NFTs. The likes of Nike, Gucci and even global restaurant chain Starbucks have all launched products that improve utility in NFTs.

According to The Block, which first reported the news, IYK did not disclose when it started raising for the seed round, when the seed round closed, or even the structure of the fundraising.

IYK claims to have onboarded more than 100 creators across multiple industries including fashion, music and art. It is now looking to scale its user base by creating a self-service platform where users can easily create phygital (physical and digital twins) experiences.

According to IYK co-founder Ryan Ouyang, his company gives creators the freedom to choose between building ready-to-use experiences with no-code tools or inviting developers to customise and extend the experiences to their liking using the IYK APIs. 

“We don’t lock you into a chip type, authentication system, or even our domain,” Ouyang told The Block.


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