IYK Enables Digi-physical Creation for Brands from Adidas to Atlantic Records, with $16.8M fundraise led by a16z Crypto

The Current Landscape

Identifying and rewarding fans is vital for a brand’s ability to build community and deliver ongoing value. Unfortunately, bridging the gap between digital and IRL (in real life) audiences is severely limited today.

One of the earliest inspirations for IYK came after VÉRITÉ, an independent musician, told us that attendance data for her shows was held hostage by ticketing providers. Lack of access to consumer information is an issue that expands beyond the world of music and entertainment. Fashion brands also have trouble identifying and staying in touch with consumers who purchase through third-party retailers or on the resale market.

As a brand, not being able to stay connected with your community means you aren’t able to make them feel rewarded for their support. Loyal, merch-owning fans shouldn’t be fighting against bots in a ticket queue or buying merchandise from scalpers who got lucky on the latest drop.

The Recap

Over the last 2 years, we’ve been working with industry leaders like adidas, 9dcc, and VÉRITÉ to fix the broken connection between brands and their IRL fans.

By supercharging physical products with an IYK-powered NFC chip, they’re able to deliver novel consumer experiences while giving customers the ability to self-identify as a genuine product owner. And its happening now:

  • adidas’ NFT NYC 2023 limited shirt release adds a digital layer of authenticity, ensuring owners that only 512 items were ever created. Each shirt is also randomly assigned to one of eight “Alter Egos”, adding to the unique collectibility of this limited collection.

  • 9dcc’s Networked Products empowers thousands of ambassadors to drive brand growth by gamifying ownership through the product’s chip. To climb the leaderboard, product owners can participate in: weekly competitions, check-in their items at events, and refer friends to purchase.

  • VÉRITÉ’s latest Crewneck allows fans to tap and get early-access to new songs and sign up for exclusive updates from her. Because links are non-shareable, fans are incentivized to purchase their own crewneck.

  • BB3 Labs’ Technical Goods encourages fans to meet each other IRL for a chance at rare digital rewards.

In our journey to bring the real world online, we’ve onboarded over 100 creators one-by-one across numerous industries from fashion, to music, to art. But the truth is, individually onboarding brands, musicians, and artists can be quite limiting.

Today, we’re excited to introduce IYK Platform, a self-service portal for brands, musicians, artists and creators—for everyone—to deploy digi-physical experiences without the need for technical knowledge.

Introducing IYK Platform & its Principles

We understand that each brand has their own unique vision and relationship with their audience, so the IYK platform is built with customizability and extensibility at its core. In the platform, you can find:

Ready-to-Use Chips: Sign up with your email and order ready-to-use NFC chips delivered right to your doorstep. IYK supports a variety of chips in different form factors, for either standalone use or embedded in products.

IYK Modules: Customize the tap experience with no coding required. Whether it’s delivering exclusive video content through IYK Beams or marking special events with branded NFT drops, you set the narrative. Our pages are also open for custom integrations: 9dcc has teamed up with Internet Game to run a weekly blackjack competition for item owners to compete in.

IYK API: The API gives you everything you expect from IYK in a programmatic way. With features like digital twin identification, validated chip scans, and module permissions, you can build your own branded world. From ENS’ personalized cards to Tokenproof’s event check-ins, the IYK API enables unparalleled flexibility.

With a wealth of insight and successful creator experiences and partnerships, it’s time for us to extend the IYK bridge to more creators and their customers and fans.

We’re well-equipped for the journey with the $16.8m round of funding we’ve just raised, led by a16z crypto with participation from Collab Currency, Lattice Capital, 1kx, Palm Tree Crew, Synergis Capital, Coop Records, and leaders such as gmoney, snowfro, and Justin Aversano.

This follows our participation in the a16z Crypto Startup School, and we’re thankful for their continued support and belief in our vision.

What’s Next…

We’re excited to continue bringing more creators into the world of digi-physical, and cultivate more novel experiences for their fans.

To all brands, musicians, and artists out there, we invite you to co-create this next chapter. Collaborate with us, redefine the boundaries, and let’s craft experiences that resonate both online and offline.

  • Collaborate with us: If you’re a creator ready to add a new dimension to your physical products, drop us an email at contact@iyk.app.

  • Sign up: Get notified when you can try the IYK platform by joining our waitlist.

  • Join our team: We’re on the lookout for stellar engineers to propel the IYK platform to greater heights. Explore our open roles here.

The future is not just digital or physical; it’s both, together﹡

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