Web3 ‘Proof of attendance’ startup raises $10M to mint shared memories as NFTs

If blockchains are immutable records of our digital history, what kinds of history do we want to inscribe on them? Predictably, most records thus far have been transaction data, but as entrepreneurs expand their ambitions for NFTs, startups are aiming to tie those asset transactions to real world events and interactions.

POAP, which stands for Proof Of Attendance Protocol, wants to dial deeper into the idea of using NFT’s to create internet communities, with a protocol that helps build more active communities and award individual participation like taking part in an event. POAP is organized around badges as the visual signifier of their protocol. In the real world, a user could scan a QR code to received an NFT memento that could unlock admission to an online community and earn them future drops.

Plenty of this functionality exists elsewhere across Ethereum projects made possible by some of the underlying features of the blockchain which allows developers to create “snapshots” of active wallets which have been linked to the project at a given time. The POAP ecosystem also includes a number of other tools including Etheruem-backed polling, raffle contest mechanics and private chat verification tech.

The startup announced this week that they’ve raised a $10 million Seed round led by Archetype and Sapphire Sport with additional participation in the funding from Sound Ventures, The Chernin Group and Advancit Capital. A host of crypto native funds also invested including Collab Currency, 1KX, Libertus Capital, Red Beard Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Delphi Digital and A Capital.

POAP met some challenges in 2021 as NFT community growth accelerated and the number of people looking to tap into their platform created an overwhelming influx of spam that brought the platform to a crawl. In a blog post, the company says it plans to use its new funding to invest in its application and platform layers.