What happened to decentralized music NFT platform Stems? It raised $4 million in a pre-seed round last year—yet remains in invite-only beta more than 12 months later.
Looks like Hipgnosis isn’t the only high-flying music company now battling its own mortality. In the once-bubbly NFT space, DMN has unearthed another troubled play — with $4 million apparently torched in about a year.
The October 2022 investment round was led by firm Ideo CoLab Ventures, with additional investment from Collab+Currency, Village Global, Polygon Studios, Merit Circle, Yield Guild Games, FireEyes, NoiseDAO, Jump, GSR, Akatsuki and others. The company aims (or aimed) to create a social hub for music makers and listeners to collaborate and connect with emerging and major artists around the globe.
Ideo CoLab Ventures didn’t return an inquiry by Digital Music News by press time.
“Artists can release music stems or components that make up a track such a drums, bass, and guitar to the Stem community,” the company’s press release said at the time. “Members of the community can then use the stems to create remixes and turn them into music NFTs. The original artists of the stems will receive royalties from sales of the remixes featuring their stems.”
The platform was supposed to launch on October 6th, 2022 on the Polygon blockchain. It utilizes MATIC tokens, and at launch was supposedly minting seven NFTs for 100 MATIC each. At the time, MATIC was worth about $1 per token, but at the time of writing the token is down to just $.67.
The platform itself doesn’t appear to be available. An address associated with the Stem Labs LLC company also appears to be associated an apartment near The Grove in Los Angeles. Polygon was supposed to be a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, first launched in 2017.
Polygon features zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine—the ability to process smart contract transactions without revealing the underlying user information. The abbreviated ‘zkEVM’ is faster and more privacy-oriented than standard smart contract transactions. In 2021, the blockchain’s market cap was estimated to be over $9 billion, but in 2023 it has fallen significantly to just $6 billion as the crypto market has deflated massively after several scams were exposed.