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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Crypto wallet Coins.ph to amp up Web3 investment 

Manila, Philippines – Local fiat and crypto wallet services provider Coins.ph has raised US$30m in their latest series C funding to accelerate investment in its Web3 ecosystem, as well as expand its presence in Southeast Asia.

In addition, the additional funding will support the company by reinforcing the platform’s crypto-native credentials and adding new products and services. Current growth plans include adding more cryptocurrency tokens, upgrading and relaunching the Coins.Pro exchange, offering additional crypto-focused merchant and payment services, supporting GameFi and guild management products, and entering new geographies.

For Wei Zhou, CEO of Coins.ph, the new funding is a significant milestone for the platform, and will allow them to accelerate and scale faster, bringing them one step closer to achieving their vision of being the go-to platform for all crypto, Web3, and P2E gaming in Southeast Asia.

He also added that as the Philippines continues to witness the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, there is a real need for a secure, regulated, and user-friendly product in the market. Zhou also noted that they are solving that problem by delivering crypto and payment services that allow their customers to access, invest, trade, and spend their crypto assets seamlessly as a part of their daily lifestyles.

“We enable our users, even those without bank accounts, to easily access a wide range of financial services directly from their mobile phones. Our mission is to increase financial inclusion across Southeast Asia’s largely unbanked population of 650 million through our highly trusted brand and long track record of operating in full compliance with regulations. We see a massive opportunity to capture new users as engagement with Web3 surges in the Philippines and beyond. We will continue to build upon our leading market share and acquire new customers with a product that connects digital-first users with real-world goods and services,” he stated.

Coins.ph had been previously bought out by Zhou, who previously served as the chief financial officer at Binance, alongside Joffre Capital. Through the buyout, Zhou has been appointed as Coins.ph’s new CEO, as well as serving as CEO of the platform’s holding company that also operates Thailand’s blockchain-enabled platform, Coins.co.th.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Web3 creative agency Metacurio launches JV with HK-based VS Media

Singapore Web 3 creative agency Metacurio announced the launch of a new joint venture with, a digital media and social commerce network based in Hong Kong, built by and for creators across Greater China. The company will be headquartered out of Singapore and called Metacurio VS Singapore.

Metacurio VS Singapore will be the exclusive home for VS Media and its IP across segments like NFT creation, marketing, and distribution. Metacurio will provide to the new company its deep expertise in Web3 creative strategy, artist curation, crypto-native market services, NFT buyer curation, gamification, and collectibility strategies. 

The relationship cements Metacurio’s global reach, especially with creative millennials across Asia. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Hong Kong, VS Media has over 1,000 client relationships and more than 200 million worldwide fans, including over 150 million in Greater China. Investors in the company include Discovery Communications.

Founder of VS Media, Ivy Wong, said, “We want to give our extensive network of creators, influencers, and audiences the best tools possible to connect with each other and leverage value from creative work.” 

According to Wong, by leveraging VS Media’s deep relationship reach, in partnership with Metacurio’s deep expertise in web3, Metacurio VS Singapore is better positioned than any other company in Greater China to build up the creator economy in web3. “Together we are excited for the groundbreaking creation of this first-of-its-kind joint venture,” added Wong.

Metacurio Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Hood, commented, “We are incredibly excited to partner with our friends at VS Media, a world leader in their space. Metacurio VS Singapore cements Metacurio’s truly global reach, especially with creative millennials across Asia, a region which still remains largely untapped by the crypto community.”

Metacurio Co-Founder and Executive Chair Sophie Watts, commented on the expansion, “Having spent a decade of my career working with some of China’s most prominent investors and media entities, I have experienced firsthand how Asia is a cultural hub of art, music, film, and entertainment for the entire world, and we are excited to expand that reach even further in web3.”

Metacurio recently launched the historic NFT collaboration between Wladimir Klitschko and artist WhIsBe to benefit Ukraine, raising over $400,000. Metacurio has also launched the highest-selling athlete NFT campaign of all time, in terms of secondary trading volume, with Mike Tyson’s first official series of NFTs on OpenSea.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Yahoo to run Web3 explainer series with art curator Future Art

Sydney, Australia – Tech company Yahoo has announced the launch of an integrated campaign with their art curator project Future Art to release an explainer series about the concept and implications of Web3 technology.

As part of the integrated campaign, Yahoo has collaborated with crypto artists – Em!, Serwah Attafuah, and Coldie – to create and promote original NFT artworks for a series called ‘Future Shock’. In addition, Yahoo Creative Studios has built custom WebAR extensions of these NFTs through their immersive platform. By simply scanning a QR code, users can interact and explore the works in augmented reality wherever they are. 

Yahoo’s Head of Innovation & Yahoo Creative Studios, Zoe Cocker, explains how this campaign peeks into the future of digital advertising.

“Future Shock celebrates the changing face of the internet which is fundamentally what our industry is based upon. Yahoo has long been at the forefront of innovation and we’re committed to helping our partners navigate this new space,” Cocker said.

She added, “This project explores the intersection of art, culture and commerce that we’re seeing emerge in Web3. The creator economy is on the rise and raising huge opportunities for artists, many industries are facing disruption, and new communities are emerging as the internet evolves. There’s never been a more exciting time for advertisers to connect with consumers in an immersive way to offer real value.”

The NFT artworks will be on show at the ‘Future Art is Vivid’ event at Home The Venue on 27 May. Organised by Future Art as part of Vivid’s opening night, the event will showcase original artworks from 24 of the world’s leading crypto-artists. Guests will be able to interact with the works and the stories behind them, plus experience immersive shows, live music, theatrical performances, AR/VR lounges, and cocktail bars. 

Future Art is the brainchild of Sydney-based crypto art curators Sats Moon and Potbelleez Producer and DJ Dave Goode, two pioneers of the Australian digital art scene.

Moon commented, “Future Art is Vivid has been curated as a multi-sensory journey to remodel your experience of contemporary art. We’re so excited to be bringing the very best international crypto-artists onto the Australian stage. Digital art has boomed into a multi-billion-dollar global market. There’s no doubt this is the way of the future.”

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Marketing Featured Global

Starbucks announces ventures into NFTs

New York, USA – Global coffeehouse company Starbucks has announced that it is venturing into NFTs, as well as exploring other ventures in the Web3 space.

In a joint statement by Brady Brewer, chief marketing officer at Starbucks, and Adam Brotman, advisor at Starbucks, the company plans to create a series of branded NFT collections, the ownership of which initiates community membership, and allows for access to exclusive experiences and perks. 

The themes of these collections will be born of Starbucks artistic expressions, both heritage and newly created, as well as through world-class collaborations with other innovators and like-minded brands.

“We plan to take a phased approach here, willing to move fast, experiment, learn and collaborate. We plan to start with our first NFT collection, membership and community later this year, based on coffee art and storytelling. It will come with a host of unique experiences and benefits, worthy of a genesis NFT collection from Starbucks. And this first collection will form the core digital community and backbone against which we hope to build future collections and collaborations – all building on the same new ecosystem,” Brewer and Brotman said.

The company also believes that its Starbucks Digital Community Web3 platform has the potential to pioneer the combination of an approachable, widely accessible front-end, backed by the right blockchain technologies that are fast and inexpensive.

“We believe NFTs have broad potential to create an expanded, shared-ownership model for loyalty, the offering of unique experiences, community building, storytelling, and customer engagement. And, while doing so also being a source of accretive business that can benefit a number of stakeholders in the process, while creating a new type of digital ecosystem to complement Starbucks current digital platform offering,” the company added.

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Platforms Featured South Asia

Xfinite, MAD Influence partner to aid influencers, fans enter Web3 economy

Mumbai, India – Blockchain technology firm Xfinite Ventures and influencer marketing agency MAD Influence have entered into a strategic partnership to help influencers and fans enter the Web 3.0 economy, including NFTs and the metaverse.

The Web3 economy refers to the iteration of the world wide web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralisation and token-based economics.

In the coming months, Xfinite and MAD Influence aim to provide a platform for influencers to transition to creator first digital communities in the metaverse, spread awareness about the potential for blockchain applications like NFTs in everyday life, and help fans gain exclusive access to their favourite personalities.

Speaking on the partnership, Swaneet Singh, CEO of Xfinite and Mzaalo, said, “The future of the digital economy will be built on the content, commerce, and community model. Creators and their fans are at the centre of this. In that regard, we’re very excited to partner with MAD Influence to make this future a reality. With their expertise and ecosystem of creators, we want to show what blockchain-powered tools can do.”

Meanwhile, Gautam Madhavan, founder at MAD Influence, commented, “We are really excited to partner with Xfinite on this new journey. With their expertise of the blockchain universe and our expertise in the Influencer universe – I’m sure we will be opening up a new economy for this market. NFTs and Metaverse not only will benefit our influencers but also to the brand ecosystem that are associated with us.”

Xfinite’s soon to be launched NFT marketplace, MzaaloNFT will connect consumers and NFT collectors to native and globally acclaimed artists, celebrities, athletes, millions of digital collectables, and more. The ecosystem is powered by the Xfinite Entertainment Token (XET) built on the Algorand blockchain.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Web3 community platform Metasky secures US$1.8m funding from Sequoia Capital-led token sale

Singapore — Web3 community platform Metasky has raised US$1.8m in a pre-seed token sale round led by Sequoia Capital India and Woodstock Fund. Metasky, founded in 2021 by Ankit Arora and Prakhar Sharma, positions itself as a bridge to Web3 and aims to elevate NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Metasky’s platform aims to convert people from being social media followers into engaged members of a brand’s digital world. The platform’s strategy is to work with influencers, creators, and brands closely to form a Web3 strategy for their followers with the help of its user-friendly tools for buying, storing, and using NFTs.

Metasky is launching a user-friendly Web3 Wallet that democratises access to the decentralised world by making it easy for anybody to buy and securely hold Crypto Assets such as NFTs and crypto tokens. Metasky’s wallet can seamlessly integrate inside an existing website or application, converting an existing app to a Web3 app. These assets can then be used to provide exclusive benefits to token holders. These benefits range from unlockable digital content of popular creators, exclusive chat rooms and live streams, to backstage access into their offline events.

Ankit Arora, co-founder at Metasky, said that Metasky itself is organised as a decentralised community, explaining that it is the most efficient way of aligning a group of people towards a shared goal.

“We want to walk the talk that decentralisation is important, but it is a means to an end. Concepts like NFTs only make sense if they are accompanied by a strong set of utilities, a passionate community, and real governance rights. We are building Web3 tools to serve this purpose,” Arora said.

Meanwhile, Shailesh Lakhani, managing director of Sequoia India, comments on Metasky’s potential, saying, “Ankit and Prakhar are accomplished company builders, and we are excited to work alongside them as they create a holistic platform for NFT communities.”

Metasky recently launched its first community-led project called “Tanukibles” – a play-to-earn game that has started its journey as an NFT collection. Tanukis are animals native to Japan, deeply embedded in Japanese mythology. Anyone can be a part of the production team of Tanukibles by getting one of 9999 limited edition Tanukis. Some Tanukis are rewarded to community participants on merit, others are scheduled to be up for public sale in April.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Finder launches crypto-centric podcast series ‘Block Climbing’

Sydney, Australia – Global fintech Finder has announced the launch of its cryptocurrency-themed podcast titled ‘Block Climbing’ in a bid to help Australians on their crypto journeys, including demystifying concepts around Web3 and blockchain technology.

The first episode has already been released on 5 March, and focuses on the rise of cryptocurrency amid the Ukrainian crisis, including crypto donation scams and how Russians can bypass financial sanctions through use of cryptocurrency.

According to Finder, the podcast series is a “Crypto Bro”-free zone where beginners, sceptics and everyone in between are welcome to learn, question and have a few laughs along the way.

“From understanding what Web3 actually means to delving into the depths of blockchain true crime, ‘Block Climbing’ is your new go-to source of information on all things crypto and Web3,” the company said in a press statement.

For Tegan Jones, global reviews editor at Finder and co-host of ‘Block Climbing’, the podcast will explore the good, the bad, and the just plain confusing impacts that crypto and Web3 could have on our lives.

“While we’re fascinated by crypto, we know there is a lot of unexplained jargon that can make the space seem intimidating. I think people are tired of being told to just “do their own research” because it can be hard to know where to start so we want ‘Block Climbing’ to be the place to get your questions answered in everyday language,” Jones said.

Meanwhile, Tim Bennett, publisher at Finder and co-host of ‘Block Climbing’, said that this podcast will be a fun and accessible way into crypto and Web3 content.

“There’s no doubt that blockchain is an interesting technology but there are still some questions to be answered about it. We’re excited to build a community where we can have these conversations in an informative and critical way that is super beginner friendly,” Bennett said.

In upcoming episodes the duo will be looking at North Korean crypto hackers, what Web3 actually means, whether crypto can ever be green and the unsolved mystery of Bitcoin’s origin story, as well as hearing from a few expert guests.

Chris Ellis, CEO of Finder Australia, said launching a podcast aimed at demystifying the world of Web3 made perfect sense for Finder.

“We believe that an understanding of these emerging technologies is critical for Australians looking to benefit from new finance spaces like cryptocurrency. Being able to break down complex topics is at the core of what we do at Finder so I’m very proud to be supporting a podcast like ‘Block Climbing’ to make areas like crypto and Web3 more accessible for everyone,” Ellis concluded.

The first episode of ‘Block Climbing’ is available now on all major podcast platforms, with the next episode set to drop on 16 March, as new episodes will be released fortnightly on Wednesdays.

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Marketing Featured Global

Digital agency Dept launches new ‘Metaverse Practice’

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Global digital agency Dept has launched its ‘Metaverse Practice’, aimed at helping brands redefine the way they interact with consumers.

The new ‘Metaverse Practice’ includes around 100 crypto and blockchain developers, games builders, 3D artists and creators, virtual and augmented reality experts, and software engineers, who have pioneered innovative Web3 and metaverse experiences for clients. 

Dept said that for the past year, it has been at the forefront of Web3 innovation, creating a 3D virtual world called the ‘the Eurovision Village 2021’, which is a virtual experience brought together tens of thousands of visitors from across the globe in a unique experience to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest Rotterdam 2021. It has also teamed up with Journee to launch the Meta Festival, where over 4,000 people visited the Metapolis world to hear talks from digital pioneers. Moreover, Dept has launched an open-source, white-label solution called Algomart, for launching an NFT marketplace, built on top of the Algorand blockchain.

Taking the learnings from these projects, Dept has combined expertise from across its more than 2,500 team to launch its global ‘Metaverse Practice’, which includes expertise in blockchain technology, decentralised applications, AR, immersive experiences, and cryptocurrency and data, as well as a massive creative marketing power.

Max Pinas, Dept’s executive creative director, noted that over the last year they have gained a lot of experience with Web3 technologies to really get under the skin for how they can help their clients develop customer experiences as they have never seen before.

He further shared that brands will now have the opportunity to build fully immersive, 3D worlds from the ground up, and extend the customer experience into a whole new reality. 

“With our dedicated Metaverse Practice, we are able to build the bridge between the CMO and CTO. We see it as a creative opportunity akin to the first-ever websites; we’re at the dawn of a new digital age,” said Pinas. 

Dept is currently working with several global brands from fashion, entertainment, and commerce, as well as launching a number of new projects ranging from immersive experiences to NFT marketplaces in the coming weeks.

In addition, Dept has also announced that it will launch the world’s first 24 hours in the metaverse event in June 2022, connecting all corners of the globe in the Meta Festival. This event will bring together future-focused innovators, tech, brands, and people to a virtual event location called Metapolis, with hundreds of talks, music, and workshops, amongst others.