Startup Seedfunding through NFTs

Ralph Kuepper
3 min readSep 22, 2021

“What’s your net-worth right now?” — this question is becoming increasingly difficult to answer for many people. If you — yes YOU — asked me this question right now I would have to check about 5 different apps and various websites before I could give you a rough estimate.

Before you say it, this is not about some app or technical product that is suppoesd to help you find you net-worth. It’s part of it, but there is so much more in the current day and age that is not properly addressed yet.

Where did it all start?

I’ve been investing in stock and crypto for numerous years but in the last 2–3 years the market is quite literally blown up. The initial prompt for my newest startup was when a stock I bought suddenly dipped. I started typing “Why did Lemonade stock just drop?” in Google only to find out that it is all but intuitive to find meaningful answers. Sure, sometimes there is a huge headline, mostly with a negative note to it, that causes people to sell. But often it is a bit more complex. I own 20+ assets, which would make it very hard for me to manually track all of them. So the idea was born for an app/website/software that can help me track my assets and their development.

Ever-since I was 17 years old I have been working in my own company and I have been involved in various startups. So the idea of starting a new company is naturally very exciting for me but also something I have done before, more than once. So a few things I knew I did not want to do:

  1. Collect seed/pre-seed money that doesn’t last long enough
  2. Sell my soul to collect money
  3. Waste time, money and resources in the process (I have seen this happen way too often)

Two of my closest business partners over the years realized the need for such a solution very quickly and so we teamed up. We have been working together for a decade at this point and our interpersonal as well as professional skills match nearly perfectly.

When we discussed funding options it became clear that we did not justs want to have a check paycheck by some VC that will both, first ties us down to need more money quickly, and second make us sell an proportional amount of the company for it. So we decided to have an MVP up and running first before we approach anyone outside for investments.

So as we developed (and are developing) the software (sure, it’s an app — but also much more), it became increasingly clear that we need outside input. Lars, my business partner, has been quite involved in the crypto world. I have more focused on the stock market recently. But what about other investors and people, what features and ideas do they have that we are overlooking? It’s one thing to think about what others might wants, it is very different for them to actually tell you. So I proposed to “involve beta testers” early on.

The current rise (explosion) of NFTs gave us an interesting and groundbreaking thought: Why would we not run a seed funding round through NFTs?

I have seen NFTs evolve into companies surprised by their success, I have not seen companies use NFTs to fund their seed money. (no, NBA super stars selling some of their “art” is not the same)

How would that even work? NFTs have a quite … loose? .. legal framework. They are not legal contracts from what I understand and they certainly have little to do with the usual regulatory burdens when dealing with money (like ID verification etc.).

So how will this work and will it work at all? I’m honestly not sure about either part but I am sure willing to try it and you are invited to tag along.

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