IYK, a Web3 startup whose clientele includes Adidas, Billionaire Boys Club, and Atlantic Records, has successfully raised over $16.8 million in a seed round. Founder Ryan Ouyang announced this milestone on his official X (formerly Twitter) account, emphasizing that a16z Crypto, also known as Andreessen Horowitz, led the investment round.
Along with a16z, other VC firms contributing to the funding include Lattice Capital, Collab Currency, money, and 1kx. IYK, a Web3 startup abbreviated as “If You Know,” introduces a novel approach to verify the authenticity of fashion and other merchandise, musicians, artists, and creators thereby enhancing consumer interactions.
The core concept of IYK revolves around the integration of NFC (near-field communication) chips into merchandise and apparel. This technology enables consumers to easily authenticate items, such as T-shirts, by simply tapping their smartphones on them. In return, customers receive NFTs and gain access to exclusive offerings from brands.
IYK is currently providing support to 100 creators and brands, all of whom aim to establish deeper connections with their intended audiences.
Ryan Ouyang, the founder of IYK, emphasized the platform’s distinction from its competitors. He further highlighted IYK’s commitment to avoiding user confinement within an authentication system.
Looking further, Ouyang unveiled the Web3 startup’s plans to bolster its team by bringing on board its inaugural business development executive. This strategic step will also reinforce its presence in the dynamic and ever-evolving marketplace.
A16z Expanding Its Crypto Footprint
IYK’s recent fundraising achievement is particularly notable in the current challenging funding landscape for blockchain startups. The company successfully secured this round of funding after its participation in the A16z Crypto Startup School, a twelve-week accelerator program hosted by the venture capital firm a16z Crypto, dedicated to nurturing emerging startups in the blockchain sector.
IYK has been steadily attracting early-stage investors and previously obtained an undisclosed investment from Wave Digital Assets earlier this year. However, the recent investment from Andreessen Horowitz has thrust IYK into the spotlight, capturing the attention of numerous venture capital firms eager to incorporate this digitally enhanced experience platform into their portfolios.
Conversely, a16z Crypto has been strategically investing in a range of promising Web3 startups with strong growth potential. Through its accelerator program, which grants participating platforms access to $500,000 in exchange for a 7% equity stake in the company, this renowned blockchain-focused venture capital firm has positioned itself at the forefront of identifying top projects before they become widely recognized.
Among its impressive portfolio holdings are well-known Web3 brands such as the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs, VeeFriends, Chia, Celo, and hundreds of others. The addition of IYK to its portfolio further enriches the firm’s already diverse and robust collection of investments, solidifying its strong position for the future.