Modhaus, a South Korean blockchain-based K-pop startup, has raised $8 million in its series A funding round led by Sfermion, a U.S. venture capital, to fuel its growth to introduce more blockchain-based use cases in the Korean entertainment world.
The company said in a statement shared with The Block that the funding round was also participated by investors including SM Culture Partners, Laguna Investment, KDDI Open Innovation Fund III and Foresight Ventures.
Founded in December 2021, Modhaus has formed tripleS — a K-pop girl group that has over 1.74 million subscribers on YouTube — through its non-fungible token voting system. On Modhaus’ COSMO app, fans can purchase NFT photocards, which then count as voting tokens.
“By collecting NFT-format photocards of their favorite idol members, fans receive utility tokens that enable them to participate in decisions related to group operations, such as the activities of members, title songs, album jacket photo shoots, and selecting the city for these activities,” Modhaus said in the statement.
Jaden Jeong, CEO and co-founder of Modhaus, said that K-pop fans often possess keen insights. “With their sharp eyes for talent and trendspotting, we aim to enhance artist value through amplified fan involvement,” he added.
“Just as media and streaming have transformed the music industry, it is anticipated that web3 will be the next game changer for the music industry,” Simon Kim, CEO and Managing Partner of Hashed, which invested in and incubated Modhaus, said.
GD Kim, COO of UNOPND, a venture division of Hashed, told The Block that nearly 130,000 dedicated K-pop fans have bought 1.2 million digital photo cards on COSMO since its launch. “Modhaus has demonstrated a prime example of driving mass adoption of blockchain technology in the entertainment industry,” Kim said.
K-pop embracing Web3, NFTs
K-pop, the Korean music genre, has swept the world by storm over the past few years, with major Korean music labels announcing plans to make forays into the NFT and metaverse space.
HYBE — the largest K-pop agency that manages popular K-pop acts such as BTS, SEVENTEEN and NewJeans — launched its NFT platform Momentica in October 2022 in partnership with Korean blockchain firm Dunamu.
Just last month, Momentica rolled out an NFT collection featuring videos and photos of SEVENTEEN when the 13-member group released their new album Seventeenth Heaven. Momentica has so far attracted over 90,200 fans to buy SEVENTEEN NFTs on its app, according to the collection page on the platform.
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