Axios Pro Exclusive Content

NFT utility tracking startup Lasso Labs raises $4.2M

Illustration of a grid of coins in a Pop Art style.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Lasso Labs, a startup that helps users track the utility of their digital assets and NFTs, raised $4.2 million in seed funding in a round led by Electric Capital.

Why it matters: Lasso's mission is aimed at giving NFT owners better tools for keeping track of their digital assets and the perks that come with owning them.

How it works: Lasso’s platform takes in real-time data from on-chain and off-chain sources, determines instances of utility, and shares that info with users.

  • Users who have connected their ETH wallets to the service can track airdrops, mint windows, content exclusives, and event RSVPs they have access to based on the NFTs they own.

Details: Lasso is primarily focused on the ethereum blockchain today and tracks NFT projects with 10 ETH or more of trading volume.

  • But Lasso Labs founder and CEO Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey says the company plans to be multi-chain and support protocols like Flow, Polygon, and Solana in the future.
  • “We think a lot about ethereum L2s because the belief is that utility NFTs will be $10-20, and so you can't be paying ethereum gas fees. It just doesn't make sense,” he says.

The intrigue: The NFT market has largely collapsed over the last six months, with September trading volume falling 97% from all-time highs set in January, according to data from Dune Analytics.

  • Still, according to Naddaff-Hafrey, most of the projects that continue to attract interest from users and investors do so by providing token-based benefits.
  • Of the top 500 NFT projects on the ethereum blockchain, he says more than 70% deliver some sort of utility to holders.

Between the lines: Today, much of that so-called utility comes in the form of airdrops or giveaways of additional digital assets, and sometimes access to Discord servers or other community tools.

  • Naddaff-Hafrey sees more opportunities for token-gated content, as well as real-world access to events or ownership of physical objects tied to holding a particular NFT.

Of note: Other investors include Ethereal Ventures, Village Global, OpenSea, and Page One Ventures.

Go deeper