MerchDAO is a blockchain-enabled marketplace where token holders can propose their own merchandise designs and buy physical limited-edition collectibles designed by other users. The project has just successfully completed a $105,000 seed round led by Exnetwork Capital.
MerchDAO: the first DAO-run blockchain marketplace for physical collectibles
MerchDAO is an online marketplace where every MRCH token holder can decide which merchandise should be produced and sold. Users can propose their own ideas (such as t-shirt designs or logos for smartphone cases) and vote on the designs submitted by others.
Each item will be produced in a very limited number of copies, but at very sustained costs, thanks to a network of exclusive agreements with manufacturers. As forecasted by CEO Valerie Rutskaya, the profit margin on most types of merchandise will vary between 25% and 50% - and even exceed 50% for items like t-shirts.
Therefore, MerchDAO merges the concept of a marketplace for collectibles with the model of a DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization. Indeed, apart from voting on merchandise designs, MRCH holders will be able to decide on other matters, including profit distribution, token listing, and marketing.
Leveraging the potential of NFTs
Apart from decentralized governance, MerchDAO will use one more popular blockchain technology: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. An NFT is a unique digital object whose ownership and transfers are recorded on the blockchain. This makes NFTs a perfect way to represent collectibles and artworks, be it virtual or digital. In 2020, daily sales of non-fungible tokens exploded from $60k a day to $700k, and their popularity is projected to rise further in 2021.
On MerchDAO, a special NFT will be issued for each of the items available in the marketplace. This will help authenticate the rarity of the item and its owner's rights.
$105k seed round closed by Exnetwork Capital
In January 2021, MerchDAO successfully closed a $105k seed round led by the well-known blockchain investment fund Exnetwork Capital and several angel investors. The seed round will be followed by two private investment rounds later in the year.
Exnetwork Capital is known for funding and collaborating with a number of high-profile projects, including Orion, xDAI, Celsius, Elrond, Zeroswap, and Ramp DeFi. The fund, which also operates as a startup incubator, is headed by the well-known crypto entrepreneur and startup mentor Eric Su.
According to CEO Valerie Rutskaya, the investment round marks the start of a long-term strategic partnership between MerchDAO and Exnetwork Capital. The seed funds will be used to launch the first collections of limited-edition merchandise and to promote MerchDAO internationally.
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