In 2019, UNICEF faced a pressing problem. As many in the world were beginning to deal with the transition from Web2 to Web3, a large portion of the world’s schools had no Internet connection. To address this problem, UNICEF created “Giga”, a joint venture with the International Communication Union. And to raise funds, Giga turned to a hot tech: NFTs.
The NFT series created by Giga – Patchwork Kingdoms – has raised $700,000 for better internet connectivity in schools globally. When it released tin March 2022, it sold out within three hours and generated $550,000 in profits for the organization. It has since collected $150,000 in secondary royalties, boosted by an unprecedented 20% developer’s fee.
Dutch artist Nadieh Bremer used machine learning data to create the 1,000 NFTs. They show a split scene: at the top are squares representing several schools which have internet connectivity, as on the bottom are squares representing schools without internet connectivity. When all the squares are combined, they form a school building of various colors and shapes.
Gerben Kijne, director of blockchain at Giga, stated that NFTs could represent philanthropy for the next generation. Rather than just getting emails for donations, people can look at NFTs to better connect with a cause or organization they believe in. Some of the old collectors of Patchwork Kingdoms fit that mold, changing their profile pictures on social media to the NFTs.
Currently, the project’s floor price is at 0.08 ETH or about $104. Holders get special privileges in the Patchwork Kingdoms Discord, a way to check if a school has gained internet access, and advance notice of any further Patchwork Kingdoms NFT drops. It is not clear if UNICEF is planning future drops, or if it will wait until the end of the crypto winter.
Web3 companies are raising money as bear market continues
Though the cryptocurrency and NFT markets have been stagnant in the last months, which hasn’t stopped top Web3 companies from raising money. Below are three fundraising stories in Web3 over the past two months.
• Last week, NFT company Doodles revealed a $54 M raise at a $704 M valuation. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian conducted the fundraising round, that involved participants from Acrew Capital, FTX Ventures, and 10T Holdings.
• Three weeks ago, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal stated that he had raised $50 M to create a new Web3 fund. The fund will use the money to help Web3 startups in developing countries, particularly those who create dApps.
• Two months ago, Unstoppable Domains revealed that it had raised $65 M in Series A funding to more develop NFT domains. Unstoppable Domains is a leading platform for Web3 digital identities, and has raised $1 billion in value.
UNICEF’s Patchwork Kingdoms NFT project is surly appealing and shows how teams can use new technology to raise money. Considering the mentioned stories, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more money pouring into Web3, even during a bear market.