Event badge app POAP announced today that it has raised $10 million in new seed funding.
“We intend for this raise to be the first along the road to our building a better POAP,” wrote POAP Chief Operating Officer Isabel Gonzalez in a Medium post.
POAP says the raise was led by Archetype and Sapphire Sport LLC, with participation from Collab Currency, 1KX, Libertus Capital, Red Beard Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Delphi Digital, A Capital, Sound Ventures, Advancit Capital, and The Chernin Group.
Launched in August 2021, POAP (which stands for “Proof of Attendance Protocol”) is an -based app that event organizers can use to give out attendance badges in the form of NFTs. These badges are minted using the ERC-721 token standard and more than 2 million POAPs have been minted to date, according to the company. (Decrypt, for example, created and issued POAPs for attendees of the Ethereal Virtual Summit in May 2021.)
Not all POAPs are created equally so today we present:
POAP Taxonomy 🧵:
💍 Collectible – the holders enjoy them on their intimacy (private usage)
🎖Reward – the holders get benefits for owning them (private/public usage)
🏆 Recognition – the holders flex them (public usage)
— POAP – Bookmarks of your life (@poapxyz) August 13, 2021
“At the core, POAPs are NFTs minted in recognition of a moment that created equity in the relationship between its holders,” Gonzalez wrote in today’s announcement.
POAP’s popularity proved to be a double-edged sword when, in October 2021, the app was overwhelmed by POAP farmers (accounts collecting POAP NFT badges without actually attending events) and DDoS-style attacks on POAP websites.
“While we understand that everyone is excited to get POAPs and be involved in the POAP ecosystem,” POAP founder Patricio Worthalter posted to the POAP Discord server, “spamming requests for codes, secret words, or direct links to claim POAPs for events you did not attend will no longer be tolerated.”
POAP had to pare back its operation in order to create what it called a more secure, user-friendly, and reliable product. Gonzalez acknowledged the hurdles that POAP has faced to get to this point, and wrote that it has made POAP a stronger company, team, and group on a mission.
“Throughout the process, we’ve gained a lot of clarity on what the world we want to build looks like, and what it might take to get there,” Gonzalez wrote. “Nobody said it would be easy, but the unique blend of scrappy entrepreneurial disposition, nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic, and humanist philosophy that constitutes POAP inc. DNA has about three quarters of what’s needed to get the job done.”