A South Korean blockchain-based K-pop startup has raised $8 million in its series A funding round.
Modhaus announced in a statement today that the series A funding round has pushed their total fundraising to $12 million overall. The funding round was led by U.S. investment firm Sfermion, and included participation from other investors such as SM Culture Partners, Laguna Investment, KDDI Open Innovation Fund III and Foresight Ventures.
Modhaus is set on integrating additional blockchain-based applications into the Korean entertainment industry. Established in December 2021, Modhaus was the creator of tripleS, a K-pop girl group boasting over 1.74 million YouTube subscribers, leveraging its non-fungible token (NFT) voting system. Through Modhaus’ COSMO app, fans have the opportunity to buy NFT photocards, with these purchases serving as voting tokens in support of the group.
TripleS has released five albums which have sold 170,000 combined copies, and recently earned a nomination for “Best New Female Artist” at the 2023 MAMA Awards.
“With their [fans] sharp eyes for talent and trendspotting, we aim to enhance artist value through amplified fan involvement,” said Jaden Jeong, CEO and co-founder of Modhaus.
By collecting NFT photocards of K-pop group members on Modhaus’ COSMO platform, fans can receive tokens that allow them to vote for decisions related to group operations, such as member activities, song titles, and choosing the locations for album cover photo shoots.
GD Kim, COO of UNOPND, a venture division affiliated with Hashed, shared with The Block that approximately 130,000 K-pop enthusiasts have acquired 1.2 million digital photo cards on COSMO since its inception.
“Modhaus has demonstrated a prime example of driving mass adoption of blockchain technology in the entertainment industry,” Kim said.
Modhaus said in its statement that it plans to expand Cosmo into a K-pop equivalent of LinkedIn or Kickstarter, where “fans can connect with artists and actively contribute to their favorite idol groups’ success.”
“[The new] investment signifies more than just financial backing; it’s a venture into melding the energetic world of K-pop with the expansive narrative of the metaverse, said Dan Patterson, general partner at Sfermion. “We […] explore the convergence of Kpop’s charm with the boundless opportunities of the immersive internet.”
Several K-pop labels have recently announced plans to enter the NFT and metaverse space.
In October 2022, HYBE, the largest K-pop agency that manages BTS, SEVENTEEN, and NewJeans, introduced its NFT platform Momentica in collaboration with the Korean blockchain firm Dunamu.
Last month, Momentica unveiled an NFT collection showcasing videos and photos of SEVENTEEN coinciding with the release of their new album, Seventeenth Heaven. Over 90,200 fans have purchased SEVENTEEN NFTs, as reported on the collection page.
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