Koop, a web3 protocol focused on the creator economy, announced Wednesday its public launch and $5 million in seed funding.
Variant Fund and Nick Tomaino's venture capital firm 1confirmation co-led the round, with Palm Tree Crew, Day One Ventures, Ethereal Ventures, DeFi Alliance, Volt Capital and others participating. Angel investors including crypto influencer Cooper Turley, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan and ex-Sequoia partner Liu Jiang also backed the round.
Koop was founded earlier this year by 21-year-old Natalia Murillo. It lets users create "niche, private, cooperative spaces," Murillo told The Block in an interview. She said the next brands and products will be created by cooperative spaces or squads and Koop enables anyone to contribute to decisions in communities.
"Koop is built for collaborators, for builders, for self-starters, specifically those that are creating counter cultures," she said. "And crypto has always been about niche counter-culture."
Koop says it currently has 50 active communities, with 8,500 on waitlists and $850 million in membership volume after two months in beta. To raise revenue, Koop charges membership fees of 2%, said Murillo.
Koop is currently built on the Ethereum blockchain and it plans expansion of Solana and Polygon in the near future, said Murillo. It leverages non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or collector passes to organize and manage a community and monetize in a web3 world.
"We launched Aera Force with the premise of a community-driven participatory investment process. Anyone in the community that wants to contribute has the opportunity to and can earn rewards too," said Tyler Stambaugh of Aera Force DAO, a venture DAO focused on web3 climate projects. "Koop is a core part of our stack, allowing us to scout, distribute rewards, and build a truly community owned network."
There are currently five people working for Koop and Murillo is looking to hire three more in engineering roles.
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