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Redeem secures $2.5M for users to receive NFTs via phone numbers

Photo Credit: Redeem

With the rising popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) comes a few challenges. One of the most important challenges for mass adoption of Web3 is the onboarding of new users which can get hugely complicated. Instead of taking the easy route, people have to change their normal way of doing things and learn technical know-how, just to set up their own crypto wallets and interact with blockchains, which sometimes become a big headache.

Redeem claims to solve this challenge as it offers Web3 technology that lets users send and redeem non-fungible tokens (NFT) using their phone numbers. The Kansas-based startup has secured $2.5M in a pre-seed funding round led by digital asset-focused investment firm Kenetic Capital. 

The round also saw participation from Monochrome Capital, VC3 DAO, The Fund, Flyover Capital, CMT Digital, KCRise Fund, and Palantir-alumni fund KESTREL0x1.

The startup plans to use the funds in its second-quarter product launch and to continue to work towards the betterment of its core technology.

Redeem enables users to link any crypto wallet on any network to a phone number in order to redeem utility NFTs such as tickets, loyalty points, or in-game items by scanning a QR code. Users can now send and receive NFTs using Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, or text messaging, which eliminates the need for a crypto interface or gas fees.

“I love creating new user experiences that surprise and delight while hiding the complexity of the technology,” said Rush. “The ability to create, engage, and own assets outside the traditional walled gardens — like Apple or Google or Ticketmaster — while retaining trust is the biggest promise of Web3. To realise the power of this new technology, we have to make it approachable and familiar to the masses. That is why we are building the Redeem platform.”

“Web3 is desperately in need of a frictionless connectivity layer between the user and the blockchain. We aim to provide that infrastructure, allowing anyone to tap into web3 just by using their phone numbers,” Rush added. 

“Adoption is the Holy Grail of Web3. Redeem’s core features allow users to access the universe of Web3 in seconds with no prior crypto blockchain knowledge. This is a game-changer for traditional enterprise companies who want to reduce cost and drive new user engagement via Web3 without complicated or risky crypto processes,” said Kenetic Founder Jehan Chu. 

Former Ant Group/Alibaba executive Toby Rush launched Redeem after previously founding EyeVerify, a biometric technology startup that was acquired for $100M in 2016 by a subsidiary of Chinese tech titan Alibaba. Redeem is now working with customers in retail, eCommerce, live events, and gaming.

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