Last month, LimeWire announced plans to relaunch not as a piracy platform, but as a digital collectibles marketplace. Now, the revamped company says it’s raised $10.4 million from a private sale of its LMWR token.
LimeWire, which intends to “open up the NFT market to the mainstream,” announced LMWR’s multimillion-dollar sales benchmark today. One-year-old Kraken Ventures, five-year-old Arrington Capital, and nine-year-old GSR led the $10.4 million investment in the token, into which Crypto.com Capital, Deadmau5’s 720Mau5, and DAO Jones (including Steve Aoki) also injected funding.
This latest raise’s backers possess “strong networks in the crypto space,” per the reborn LimeWire, and “will help the marketplace and token ecosystem scale at a higher pace.” The soon-to-debut NFT service will use the capital “to grow its team, extend partnerships and continue to onboard major music artists onto the platform.”
Of course, higher-ups previously made clear that LimeWire’s business model would focus chiefly on music out of the gate, and the company is hardly without competition on this front.
To highlight some of the many music industry deals in the NFT sphere, Warner Music one week ago inked an agreement with POAP “to mint shared memories as NFTs,” while Sony Music joined Universal Music last month in partnering with Snowcrash, an NFT company founded by Bob Dylan’s son. (UMG in February closed a different pact with a non-fungible token platform called Curio.)
Beyond the major labels, music-focused NFT marketplace Pianity pulled down $6.5 million in funding in March, whereas startup Fuel generated $1.66 million and predicted that 2022 will “be the year of music NFTs.”
And today, Steve Stoute’s UnitedMasters announced that it had become the “exclusive Coinbase NFT launch partner,” with plans to release “the first of many limited-edition collections of NFTs.”
Bearing in mind these points, the possible cooldown in the broader non-fungible token segment, and the abundance of other NFT announcements that are emailed to DMN daily, LimeWire will look to stand out from the crowd by “improving user experience, offering credit card payments and handling gas fees as well as technical hurdles on behalf of its users, while also leveraging all the benefits of Web3.”
Regarding the timetable behind LimeWire’s rollout, an “official launch campaign” is set for “later this year,” and the entity’s digital collectibles marketplace will open “shortly thereafter,” according to execs.
Addressing their company’s backers in a statement, LimeWire co-CEOs Julian and Paul Zehetmayr, who jointly operate other businesses like Eversign and ZeroSSL, said in part: “Their support reinforces our mission at LimeWire to open up the world of NFTs to a mainstream audience, starting with music collectibles.
“We also expect strong interest in the public token sale later this year. The LMWR token sits at the heart of the LimeWire ecosystem and allows users to actively participate not only in our community but also in what happens on the marketplace,” they finished.
In a statement of her own, Kraken partner Akshi Federici touched upon the perceived potential of attaching NFTs to exclusive rewards and perks at live shows.
“As artists perform for live audiences again, positioning NFTs as exclusive backstage passes or access to unreleased content will become an invaluable avenue to strengthen direct engagement and loyalty with fans,” Federici said in part. “LimeWire’s digital collectibles marketplace provides artists with a powerful set of tools to seize this immense opportunity.”