The NFT market may be down from its 2021 peak, but founders, builders and collectors alike are still flooding into the space. And many are looking for fresh capital.
Despite NFTs being a part of the web3 world, traditional business mechanics are unavoidable for founders in the post-boom market.
An eclectic group of non-venture capitalists gathered at NFT NYC last week for a panel on how to get your NFT project funded. The speakers agreed that just like with any project, at the very least, it’s important to have the details fine tuned and aligned before looking for investors.
“We see a lot of businesses looking to get investments, and they want to get it right away,” said Emily Cheshire, segment leader of Aprio Cloud’s blockchain and cryptocurrency team. “I would say you need to be planning it from day one and need to do everything you can to gear up for that investment.”
Most NFT projects have vague predictions, roadmaps and ideas for their business models, Ralph Kuepper, founder of Sherwood Analytics said. “Very rarely do you actually see a business plan with predictions and ideas” for NFT projects.
Cheshire noted that by the time many NFT projects are looking to get investments, it’s “almost too late.” Planning includes knowing who advisers are, who the core team will include, as well as simple things like understanding finances and forecasts.
“Building in this space and building an NFT business is sexy and fun, I don’t blame you. I would want to build that out all day long, but you need the fundamentals in place, too,” Cheshire said.
It’s also important to look at what and how investors are investing, Kuepper said. There’s a noticeable difference between companies that buy NFTs — potentially for a public relations stunt like Visa did after buying a CryptoPunk for about $150,000 in ether in 2021 – and investing in building out a project.