Sep 27, 2022 - Economy

Exclusive: NFT video platform Glass raises $5M, led by TCG, 1kx

Illustration of a row of laptops with binary code, money and circles.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Glass, a video platform that allows creators to monetize their videos as NFTs, has raised a $5 million seed round, Axios reports. The round was co-led by TCG Crypto, a large crypto investment fund within The Chernin Group, as well as 1kx, an early-stage crypto fund.

Why it matters: It's the first video-led NFT startup that's getting investment from TCG Crypto, which has raised $120 million to jumpstart the web3 creator ecosystem.

How it works: Glass is trying to bring the creator video market into web3 by providing incentives for NFT investors, creators and fans to buy videos with NFTs.

  • Currently, big video platforms like YouTube and TikTok only pay creators a portion of the ad revenue that their videos generate based on views.
  • Glass' model allows audiences to dictate the monetary value of a video based on its quality.
  • The startup allows users to unlock access to videos by buying them as NFTs or fans can collect free-to-watch videos to add to their NFT collections.

Catch up quick: Glass was co-founded in 2021 by three University of Chicago alums, Varun Iyer, Sam Sendelbach and Dayo Adeosun.

  • The company hopes to make its platform openly accessible to all creators and audiences, like YouTube or TikTok, to leverage TCG Crypto's connections to expand those creator partnerships.
  • In the past year, the seven-person company has generated around $1 million in revenue for its creators, and the company itself has brought in about $100,000 in revenue from NFT revenue splits. It has worked with artists like Timbaland and Kygo.
  • "We believe creators will now have a platform to build a direct connection with their closest fans in ways that differentiate from Instagram, YouTube and other incumbent┬ávideo mediums," said Jarrod Dicker, a partner at TCG Crypto.

Details: The company has transitioned its interface from Ethereum to the popular blockchain platform Solana, which Iyer tells Axios will be faster, cheaper and better. Glass works with around 120 creators, mostly in music videos.

  • It hopes to expand its creator portfolio to include more blogger videos in the coming months, as bloggers tend to post consistently and have loyal video communities, Iyer says.
  • On Monday, it's adding creator profiles to its platform so audiences can see which videos they've paid for and how much that investment has grown.
  • They have also built a secondary marketplace into the Glass platform so that users can buy and sell NFTs within the same interface that they use to watch videos on Glass.

What's next: By the end of 2023, it hopes to be working with at least 10,000 creators.

Editor's note: The story was updated to add 1kx to the headline and to correct the size of TCG Crypto's fund size to $120 million.

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