Please welcome Novel Commerce, the no-code platform for Web3 commerce

Meet Novel, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: New York

Founders: Roger Beaman, Anna Merzi

The problem: Web3 is here, and NFTs are already adding tremendous value for brands. Adidas, Coca Cola, Dolce & Gabbana, and Taco Bell have already made a splash with their high-priced NFT collections. But NFTs can deliver more than just buzz-worthy collectibles — they help brands strengthen their communities and enable new and creative ways to engage consumers. But the ever-changing crypto landscape can be difficult for brands and users alike to navigate. Emerging brands don’t have the infrastructure to make use of this incredible digital marketing opportunity and are missing the chance to create and monetize their communities through NFTs. Enter Novel Commerce.

Novel Commerce’s solution: Novel is the Shopify-friendly platform for Web3 commerce. It lets brands participate in value-driven digital goods without writing a single line of code. Brands can create NFTs and sell them alongside physical products on their Shopify storefronts, and customers can purchase NFTs with debit or credit cards through the Shopify checkout they’re used to without the need for cryptocurrency. It’s an elegant solution to help more brands integrate digital-first offerings alongside the physical goods they’re already selling. And, though the present use case of NFTs has been around collectibles, Novel is unlocking a wide range of opportunities for brands to create loyalty, community, and engagement through NFT technology — through special offers, or access to exclusive message channels, and more.

Origin story: We were introduced to Novel through our friends at Sugar Capital, a venture firm focused on the future of commerce that incubated the company. Once we connected with Novel’s founders, Roger and Anna, we knew we had to work with this visionary team.

Why we’re betting on it: Digital goods have already shown their value as community engagement tools for brands. But we’ve only scratched the surface on how they could be used to build loyalty — NFTs are set to become a primary gating mechanism for communities, for social clubs, for access of all kinds. Novel is enabling a world in which NFTs serve as virtual tickets to real life perks, benefits, conferences, and channels. And as those exclusive opportunities grow in value, NFT holders can resell their NFTs to others wanting access, too. Implications for the creator economy abound as well — as copyrights for digital assets become tied to NFTs, creators will have more ownership over the rights and licensing of their works. The applications of NFTs are limitless, and platforms like Novel help brands take advantage of all they have to offer.

Our take: We’re bullish on web3 as well as the technologies that enable NFTs to enter the mainstream — our recent investment in Danvas, a business bringing NFTs and digital art into the real world, is attacking this challenge from another angle. Everyone’s thinking about how the next billion people will get onboarded into the crypto ecosystem as it continues to enter the mainstream. Crypto is already happening in the background, and brands are making use of it in creative ways. Plus, given the competitiveness of the current acquisition environment, in which brands are struggling to acquire new users profitably, they need to focus even more on increasing retention and repeat purchase. NFTs can help them drive engagement and community, and Novel is the logical next step to bringing crypto to more, and fast.

Further reading:Novel, Which Creates NFTs for Companies, Raises $6 Million,” via The Wall Street Journal

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Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.

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Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.

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