Nigeria-based NFT marketplace, Ayoken, has announced that it raised $1.4 million in its pre-seed funding round.
Ayoken, a startup that runs a digital marketplace that connect Non-Fungible Token (NFT) creatives to a global platform, said it would use the funds to build a platform that help its users expand their earnings, and accelerate their revenue.
“A majority of the funding will go into buying exclusive licenses, and into building our tech team; that is the developers and engineers by fourfold,” founder, Joshua King said.
The recently completed pre-seed funding round had participations from several investment firms, some of whom include: Founders Factory Africa, Texas-based Kon Ventures, Europe-based venture capital collective Crypto League, Ghana-based R9C Ventures, and Maximus Ventures.
Ayoken was founded in 2021 by Joshua King, and the company prides itself as the first marketplace for buying exclusive digital collectibles, and social token, especially from celebrated brands across the African continent.
“Our vision is to be the world’s leading NFT Marketplace that serves and partners with both A-list and emerging musicians and celebrities throughout Africa and the global diaspora. […] We want to enable creators and artists to monetise their work while ensuring that consumers can purchase collectibles and exclusive content in a meaningful way, backed by blockchain technology,” King said.
King has working experience in strategy, growth and innovation consultancy, and entrepreneurship. He was introduced to Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency when he worked with a Kenya-based cross-border Bitcoin remittance company, AZA (Bitpesa).
While speaking on the AyokenLab’s (Ayoken’s marketplace) special offerings, the founder, King, said that the marketplace will give its users access to exclusive tokens like album arts, behind-the-scene videos, unreleased artistic productions, and live events.
“Through VIP passes, fans will get the ability to actually livestream music by these artists before it arrives on Spotify, YouTube or Apple Music. Fans will get discounts for future events too.“
King noted that Ayoken was built on Avalanche Blockchain, and allows payment in crypto and card. King added that the marketplace is working on adding other payment options like mobile money, to help people in developing market across Africa have access to its services, and trade without stress.
“We are reducing friction points for the users by letting people use their cards instead of having to use crypto to buy; we are working on partnerships with telcos that will allow people to use mobile money to make the payment in future too. Nothing comes close to what we are doing and that is why we are able to sign some of the biggest names in the creative industry,” King said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Ayoken currently holds a partnership with award-winning Ghanaian highlife and afrobeat singer, Dennis Nana Dwamena, better known as KiDi. The cross-chain marketplace said KiDi will make his first NFT drop on the platform on the 1st of June, and holders of the NFT will have access to exclusive content, virtual parties, and discounted tickets.