Haun Ventures has led an $11 million seed funding round for Highlight, an NFT platform focused on community building tools.
Other investors in the round include 1kx, A_Capital, SciFi VC, Floodgate, Coinbase Ventures, 35 Ventures, Polygon Studios, Mischief VC, DAOJones, Offline Ventures, Gokul Rajaram, Lenny Rachitsky, WME, Method Management, ThreeSixZero, and many others.
The idea behind Highlight is to offer minting tools to creators who don’t possess a coding or crypto background. On Highlight, creators make money by selling NFTs granting access to a community of rewards and collectibles. The company’s founders are also taking aim at a state of affairs in which content creators on social media sites earn little to none of the money their work generates.
Highlight charges no gas fees and charges a 3% fee on all tokens sold. Fans can buy NFTs using just an email address and a credit card. NFTs minted on Highlight, which is built on Polygon, can be supported by OpenSea, Rarible, and other NFT marketplaces that support Polygon.
“This really sets us up to launch our product and to get out there and to start getting these tools in the hands of artists and creators that we’ve built them for,” said Nat Emodi, founder of Highlight, in an interview with The Block. “We’re a very technical team, so our background is from Square, Instagram, Amazon, and elsewhere. Our primary use of the funding is to build out the product design and engineering teams.”
The funding round comes as social media companies like Meta openly rethink this relationship with content creators. Earlier this week, Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced a new pilot for digital collectibles and NFTs on Instagram, as The Block covered.
For companies like Highlight, this might be good news.
“We think this gets to what is so exciting about this technology for both creators and fans. If you think about business models that existed before now, fans maybe had a subscription to something a creator was doing, but there was no way you could take that subscription and show it off on a platform like Instagram,” said Nat. “Now all the NFTs that are minted on Highlight will be supported, from what we understand, on Instagram.”