Kiki World Raises $7M in Seed Funding from a16z

Kiki World Raises $7M in Seed Funding from a16z

Cake WorldBeauty startup leveraging Web 3 technology for customer creation and ownership raises $7 million in seed funding round Andreessen Horowitz New Incubation Ventures from Crypto Fund and The Estee Lauder Companies. Other prominent backers include Orange Dow and 2Pinx Capital.

Founded just last year, Kiki World aims to revolutionize the beauty industry by allowing consumers to actively participate in the creation and ownership of products through the power of Web3 technology.

According to Jana Bobosekova, co-founder of Kiki World, the traditional model of brand loyalty in the Web 2.0 era often fails to adequately reward consumers. Kiki is addressing this by enabling its community members to vote on product features before they are developed. In return, voters earn points toward free products and receive digital tokens in the company, contributing to Kiki's success.

Bobosekova emphasized that Kiki's method not only promotes community engagement, but also reduces the need for large inventories, a common challenge faced by cosmetics companies. By adopting an on-demand approach, Keykey minimizes capital and resource usage.

While Kiki's platform records members' product votes on Ethereum, participants do not need to be blockchain-aware. Users can simply sign in with an email, and Kiki will automatically create an on-chain account to securely store their votes.

a16z's decision to invest in Kiki follows the startup's completion of a 10-week crypto startup accelerator program. Ariana Simpson, a general partner at A16z, praised Bobosekova's leadership and expertise in both the beauty industry and web3 technology, citing her as a key factor in the firm's decision to back Kiki.

Prior to founding Kiki, Bobosikova served as CEO of Epic Future Labs, a product development and brand innovation agency.

Simpson highlighted that Kiki is part of a16z's broader investment strategy in companies leveraging blockchain technology to reward consumers. Last year, the firm led a $24 million Series A round for Blackbird Labs, a hospitality tech company with a blockchain-based loyalty program.

Currently, Kiki has launched five product collections, including a nail polish pen, allowing consumers to vote on the next color to be produced. Looking ahead, Kiki plans to expand its offerings beyond the beauty industry, although challenges in physical product manufacturing may hinder that expansion.

Bobosikova emphasized the simplicity but difficulty in giving consumers what they want through active engagement. Despite the challenges, Kiki remains committed to its mission of empowering consumers and changing the traditional model of the beauty industry.

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