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German chart-topping artists CRO & Bausa invest in homegrown FUEL, the “Shopify for NFTs”

Image credits: FUEL

FUEL, the Berlin-based startup enabling creators to launch, manage, and grow their NFT collections using its broad set of tools is today announcing it has secured an investment from German music icons CRO & Bausa as well as the latter’s record label Two Sides. This investment.

This fundraise follows FUEL’s €1.5M pre-Seed financing in March 2022 which TFN covered and was meant to assist with the development of its platform, which enables musicians and creators to build their own custom-branded NFT shop for their collection without bearing any technical knowledge.

Notable tech execs who participated in this financing include Gumtree co-Founder Michael Pennington, Indeed’s Founder Paul Forster and Bitstamp CTO David Osojnik. Other US and English VCs participating include the funds: Fintech Collective (an OpenSea shareholder), Seedcamp (which invests in Sorare and Revolut) and Notion Capital with its pre-Seed vehicle Pioneers.

Leveraging the power of Web3

Forward-thinking artists are experimenting with Web3 features to engage with their communities and build loyalty amongst their followers. Whereas existing PFP NFT collections are merely static images that can be utilised as proof of affiliation with a particular online community, artists’ NFT collections are dynamic membership tickets offering certain access rights and benefits for token holders.

Some of these perks include exclusive access to sales of merchandise and concert tickets, invitations to private communications channels to interact with other fans and/or the artist, meet and greets, airdrops & giveaways and even admission to exclusive sections of metaverse virtual worlds (such as Decentraland or Sandbox).

FUEL co-founders Csongor Barabasi and Thanh Binh Tran agreed on this, sighting, “NFTs are revolutionizing the music, arts and entertainment industries, delivering real added value and strengthening the connection between artists and their fans. In the music industry, for example, this could be presale rights for concert tickets or backstage access.

FUELing the NFT market 

NFTs became a trending asset class in 2021, however, the craze is presently showing signs of slowing down. Some are even talking about the bubble already in the process of popping. This hasn’t stopped Berlin-based startup FUEL from attracting interest from investors as well as backing.

The global NFT market expects to register a CAGR of 33.9% while revenue is projected to reach $211.72B by 2030. According to Grand View Research, the growing use of cryptocurrency globally is the key driver of the growth of the market. The growing demand for digital art worldwide is among the major factors driving the NFT market growth.

While Shopify’s eCommerce platform enabled independent stores to host e-storefronts to do business, the FUEL platform empowers creators to build their own customer-branded NFT shop. The concept is that artists won’t require any technical skills to launch, manage and grow their NFT collections.

Founded by Csongor Barabasi (previous Lead Engineer at Weezy) Thanh Binh Tran (past leader of business development at Caroobi), Stefan Tietze ( a serial entrepreneur, company builder, and business angel), and Patrice Deckert (serial entrepreneur and investor), FUEL hopes to bring NFTs further into the entertainment mainstream.

With the new investors, FUEL has not only secured funding but also direct access to the music and entertainment scene. CRO alone holds four No. 1 singles and brags nearly 5M users on Spotify a month. Two Sides, founded in 2017, is run by Lucas Teuchner alongside rapper Bausa. Some of Germany’s most successful musicians such as Apache207, Loredana, Zuna, Azet and Miksu/Macloud are currently signed to Two Sides. With over 26M Spotify streams a month, Two Sides ranks among the most successful German independent labels.

Rapper CRO happy about his investment remarked, “I’ve been looking at the NFT sector for a while and I’m convinced of its potential, not only for the music industry but also for all other areas of the creator economy. With FUEL, I have now found not only a team but also a model that has excited me so much that I also want to be on board as an investor.”

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