Despite the continuing lack of public adoption of blockchain and Web3, startups are still devising unique and approachable ways to make it interesting for brands and major agencies.
Web3 startup ValuesCo has closed a $2.7 million seed-funding round to build community-driven rewards ecosystems for brands, creators and nonprofits powered by Web3 tokens, encouraging campaigners to align with ESG issues they care about. Upon launch, the startup has begun working with ad giants Publicis and Dentsu.
To utilize ValuesCo’s offerings, customers sign onto its “Values” app and receive social tokens for joining ESG “missions” and “rewards-led” programs, earning their way to prizes.
The company says that Values allows communities to design and launch a social token with no code or blockchain knowledge. They can create wallets instantly with just a phone or email login and earn tokens by completing actions and submitting proof via photos, social media posts, and scanned QR codes.
Tokens are then redeemed for rewards like products, experiences and digital collectibles.
For example, customers of watersports brand Starboard have used ValuesCo to incentivize cleanup of 770,000 pounds of ocean plastic, earning branded tokens that can be redeemed for trees planted, discounts and branded merchandise.
As part of the funding announcement, ValuesCo is also launching a new product called “Missions,” which calls on brands to champion impact goals that can be reached through community action.
“Corporations have largely not built in-roads to incentivize their communities to contribute to ESG performance,” says Justin Markell, ValuesCo’s chief strategy officer. “It’s time for a shift where consumers help fulfill a shared purpose with their actions.”
The company says it has begun working alongside global advertising holding companies Publicis Groupe and Dentsu on client concepts and projects, eager to bring brand purpose into the Web3 and community action space.
“I started ValuesCo to empower young people to feel more agency and understand that grassroots solutions to the world’s biggest challenges are possible,” says ValuesCo co-founder and CEO Andrew Berkowitz.
The ValuesCo app is built on Ethereum, Polygon and Celo blockchains -- the latter backed by Web3 leaders Andreessen Horowitz and Jack Dorsey.
Investors in the seed round include venture capital firms Flori Ventures and Metaweb Ventures, a collective of crypto founders known as OWN Fund, Celo president Rene Reinsberg and entrepreneur Richard Spanton Jr.