Miami-based BetaBlocks raises $1.5M seed round to scale its Shopify for NFTs

Brands in music, entertainment, art and sports – among many other industries –  can have their own marketplaces for NFTs and other digital assets, thanks to a Miami-based startup.

“Our product is a Shopify of digital assets,” said Roberto Machado, CEO of BetaBlocks. “We provide the storefront and the whole infrastructure for brands to be able to create, sell and distribute their digital assets.”

BetaBlocks, a digital asset infrastructure company co-founded by Machado and Antonio Manueco, announced this week its seed capital raise of $1.5 million. The funding round was led by E3 Negócios of Brazil, Ocean Azul Partners of Miami and SaaS Ventures, whose partners Colin Gutman and Seth Shuldiner recently moved to Miami.

Funded in 2018, BetaBlocks started out helping companies such as Magic Leap, Ohm Health and Blackdove navigate the world of digital assets and privacy by implementings blockchain for their different use cases. Last year, BetaBlocks participated in Endeavor Miami’s Endeavor Scaleup program, also around the time NFTs were starting to take off.

With the advice of some of their Endeavor mentors, including Salo Sredni of Ocean Azul (now also an investor), they created a white-label asset tokenization platform. “It was a natural progression as many of the challenges boiled down to tooling and infrastructure for companies to offer digital assets without losing brand appeal,” said Manueco, CTO, who is also a managing partner of blubeta and the founder of Wynwood Tech.

Amid the exploding interest in NFTs, it’s the natural first use case for the company, but “we believe that most existing assets such as stocks, debt, real estate, art, and other physical goods will be tokenized, leveraging distributed ledger technology for liquidity, 24/7 trading, fractional ownership, and governance,” added Machado, who also co-founded MarketFit, an acceleration platform for startups.

The funding will mainly be used for scaling product development and the team. BetaBlocks is a  team is seven now, but the startup plans to expand in both Brazil, where it recently opened an office, as well as Miami.

Brazil is a natural market for BetaBlocks, said Machado, who was born in Brazil and is actually Brazilian-American-French. Brazil is quite advanced in the use of digital assets and it is of course the largest economy south of Miami, he said.

 As an example, Machado said, “a lot of the soccer clubs have already tokenized their fan engagement, We provide their own stores so they can do it under their own URL. They don’t have to just sell on an exchange, they can sell inside their own digital stores.”

In Miami, BetaBlocks is looking to hire a product manager and abusiness development team. In Brazil, the company recently added a GM and blockchain developer to the team.

BetaBlocks’ platform allows companies to use pre-defined templates for their storefronts, and select à la carte features. The modular architecture also allows more technical teams to leverage an API service layer to launch their own storefronts. The platform lets brands mint their digital assets, and includes crypto and fiat checkout options and a robust drag and drop dashboard that removes the need for software development, the company says.

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Nancy Dahlberg