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Kevin Rose’s Proof Raises $50M, Plots Token and Moonbirds NFT Expansion

Proof aims to debut a token and new Moonbirds collection next year, plus it revealed a sizable Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

4 min read
Concept art for Proof's Moonbirds Mythics. Image: Proof

In brief

  • Web3 startup Proof has raised $50 million in Series A funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz.
  • The firm also revealed plans for a token and a new Moonbirds NFT project, along with other new initiatives.

Proof, the Web3 startup behind the Proof Collective NFT membership club and valuable Moonbirds NFT collection, made a bevy of announcements today during its Future Proof streaming presentation—including sizable funding, new NFT initiatives, and plans for a token.

The firm, which was co-founded by Digg creator Kevin Rose, announced that it has raised $50 million in Series A funding in a round led by VC giant Andreessen Horowitz. It follows a $10 million seed round from Seven Seven Six—the VC firm of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian—which was announced in April following the hot Moonbirds launch.

Seven Seven Six also participated in the Series A fundraise, as well as with True Ventures—where Rose is a partner—alongside Flamingo DAO, Collab + Currency, SV Angel, and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund. A valuation was not disclosed.

Additionally, following recent teases, Rose confirmed on today’s stream that Proof is developing a utility token for its community. Details are scarce for now, and Rose said on the stream that “designing and launching a token is both a technological lift and also a legal one as well.” A full reveal of Proof’s token initiative is planned for Q1 2023.

“We are well aware that the world doesn’t need another token for speculation,” Rose explained. “So when we do something, it should be uniquely our own with real utility, and something that we believe pushes what’s possible in new and exciting directions. Otherwise, why would we be doing it? There’s just no reason at all.”

It’s unclear whether Proof may follow the model of ApeCoin, an Ethereum-based token built for the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT ecosystem. ApeCoin was launched in March by the ApeCoin DAO, rather than officially being created by Yuga Labs, the startup behind the Bored Apes. That approach was apparently taken out of regulatory concerns.

Proof also revealed plans to launch a Moonbirds spinoff collection called Moonbirds Mythics, which will span 20,000 NFTs and launch in early 2023. Mythics is the startup’s third NFT profile picture project, following the original Moonbirds and recent spinoff, Oddities.

Unlike the pixel aesthetic of Moonbirds, the new Moonbirds Mythics collection will have a hand-drawn look, based on early samples shown during the stream. Proof will launch them with a model that allows Moonbirds owners to “nest” (or stake, effectively) their NFT to receive a Mythics NFT as a reward. Oddities owners can also burn (or destroy) their NFT in exchange for a Moonbirds Mythic.

An NFT is a blockchain token that works like a proof of ownership for an item, including digital goods like profile pictures, artwork, and collectibles. Moonbirds is one of the most valuable profile picture projects on the market, and has generated more than $588 million worth of secondary sales since its April launch, per data from CryptoSlam.

Proof will also put the original Moonbirds NFT artwork entirely on-chain, so that the Ethereum project’s smart contract—that is, code that performs set instructions—doesn’t have to call any external servers. If a Moonbirds NFT owner also holds a Proof Collection NFT pass in the same wallet, then they’ll automatically enable a unique backdrop behind the owl avatar.

Additionally, the firm revealed a number of other upcoming NFT initiatives, including “Proof X” collaborations with artists that tap into unique smart contract functionality, plus a “Curated” brand for notable creators to release work from some of their favorite artists. Meanwhile, a “Genesis” brand will launch the first NFT projects from established traditional artists.

Decrypt recently spoke to Rose about the formation of Proof and the launch of the Proof Collective NFT-gated community, the buzzy Moonbirds launch, and the controversial recent move to open up commercial rights to Moonbirds and Oddities to everyone.

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