Can a new non-fungible token (NFT) platform finally solve the problem of ecosystem-wide royalties?
NFT platform Recur announced on Thursday a $5 million seed round led by the DeFi Alliance, Delphi Digital, Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin, and Gemini, among others.
The raise claims a number of notable superlatives, including the first seed investment in the NFT ecosystem from industry veteran Gary Vaynerch, as well as the largest seed round ever for a NFT project (Dapper Labs has raised many multiples more money over its three year fundraising history, but largely in Series A rounds).
Currently there are a number of platforms that allow NFTs to impart royalties to artists after every secondary market sale, including Foundation, Zora, and Euler Beats developer Treum. Recur’s key innovation will be a ERC token standard that will allow royalties to function regardless of platform.
“RECUR’s technical team is involved in the official process for Ethereum improvements (EIP), and our technology will be implemented at the blockchain layer,” said Recur CEO Zach Bruch. “By doing this it will allow the NFTs minted on our platform to move freely around the ecosystem while still generating recurring royalties for the owners and IP holders. Ultimately, our goal is to make NFTs chain-agnostic and keep NFTs and royalties decentralized.”
Bruch did not reference a specific EIP his team is working on. Similar proposals, such as EIP-2981, which adds standard royalty functionality to the ERC-721 NFT standard, are also in the works.
While the NFT space is growing increasingly crowded (and Recur’s royalties will presumably be applicable ecosystem wide) one other way to stand out is through headline-grabbing licensing and intellectual property acquisition. To that end, Recur is bringing some former media industry heft to the fore via former Disney executives Stephen Teglas and Chris Heatherly. Teglas in particular held a position with Disney’s Licensing department.
“RECUR is working with some of the largest brands in the world which will be announced in the coming months,” said Bruch. “We are exclusively working with Blue Chip brands to help them bring their IP to the largest audiences possible.”
The press release says the first Recur “brand experience” will be released in the summer of 2021.