Seoul, South Korea - Modhaus, a K-pop platform that uses blockchain for fan engagement, has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round.
Why It Matters:
It signals a significant shift in the K-pop industry toward integrating blockchain technology to improve fan engagement and artist management.
The Key Points
- The lead investor was Sfermion, a U.S.-based venture capital firm focused on metaverse and Web3 technologies. Other notable investors included SM Culture Partners, Laguna Investment, Globalbrain (KDDI) and Foresight Ventures. With this latest round, Modhaus has now raised $12 million.
- The startup aims to differentiate itself from traditional entertainment companies by allowing fans to participate directly in promoting artists rather than just passively consuming content. Its Cosmo platform will enable fans to purchase digital photo cards that double as voting tokens. The voting process is recorded on the blockchain to ensure transparency.
- Modhaus points to the success of idol group tripleS, which used the platform to release five albums, sell 170,000 copies, and be nominated for "Best New Female Artist" at the 2023 MAMA Awards. Cosmo allows fans to participate actively in decisions regarding the activities of idol groups.
- Recently, the members of Loona - Haseul, Heejin, Kim Lip, Jinsol, and Chuu - have joined Modhaus under the name ARTMS. After debuting as the trio unit "Odd Eye Circle," they plan to release the entire group in early 2024, following solo projects from Haseul and Heejin. Fan votes have determined aspects of the group's activities.
What They Say:
"K-pop fans often have valuable insights. By increasing their involvement, we aim to increase the value of artists,"
said Jaden Jung, CEO and co-founder.
Joseph Baek, EVP and co-founder, said
Direct connections between fans and artists can improve engagement.
Sfermion General Partner Dan Patterson said
Modhaus has "innovatively bridged K-pop fandom with the tangible and digital worlds through NFTs.
Hashed CEO Simon Kim said
Blockchain could be the next disruptor, just as media and streaming transformed music.
What Comes Next:
With the latest funding, Modhaus plans to develop its Cosmo platform further, which could lead to new paradigms for fan-artist interactions in the K-pop industry.
This development is part of a broader trend in the music industry where major Korean labels explore NFTs and metaverse initiatives, exemplified by HYBE's launch of its NFT platform, Momentica.
Modhaus' journey illustrates the growing intersection of technology and entertainment and points to a future where digital innovation will play a central role in shaping the music industry.