Luxury fashion platform Syky has raised $9.5 million in a Series A funding round, the company announced this week. Seven Seven Six, the investment firm created by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, led the financing round, and Brevan Howard Digital, Leadout Capital, First Light Capital Group and Polygon Ventures also participated in the round.
The company said the funding will enable it to execute Syky founder and CEO Alice Delahunt’s plans and allow creators to curate, generate, share and trade their fashion collections, according to a company press release.
The company also said it plans to release its first non-fungible token, the Keystone, on Friday, which will act as a membership pass to access the company’s membership space and other fashion events. Keystone holders will also receive fashion and technology reports and will have access to its network of creatives. Fifty Keystones will be awarded to aspiring designers, per the announcement.
Alongside other brands and retailers experimenting with NFTs, Syky is tying exclusive benefits to its token. The company said it will offer token holders access to exclusive designer collection drops and advance notice of its alpha and beta releases and partner projects, according to the press release.
“Fashion is on the verge of a renaissance, powered by technology and the next generation of creators,” Delahunt said in a statement. “With Syky, we aim to build a platform that equalizes creative opportunity for aspiring designers, showcases the best of fashion from emerging and established brands, and cultivates a community passionate about the evolution of fashion.”
Meanwhile, other brands and retailers have been experimenting with their own virtual marketplaces. In November, Nike launched its online hub for Nike members to collect and co-create virtual goods, including shoes and jerseys. That same month, Adidas introduced a product category on its website for virtual goods. Other brands, including Puma, Lacoste and Tiffany, have unveiled NFT projects with special perks.
But as brands and retailers dive headfirst into the metaverse and launch non-fungible token projects, it remains to be seen whether consumers will fully embrace the concept and how it will develop over time. In May, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence released a survey indicating that 74% of consumers surveyed had heard of the metaverse, but just 15% felt they could explain the idea to others. And a July Forrester report cautioned that virtual shoppers won’t have interoperable experiences even a decade from now.
(Copyright: RetailDive Web3 fashion startup Syky raises $9.5M | Retail Dive)