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Social Infrastructure for Web3: Sapphire Sport’s Investment in POAP
January 18, 2022
Table of contents

The interest around web3 and Metaverse has been amazing and we are seeing a flourishing of innovation and development activity. Web3 provides us with an exciting future built on the principles of decentralization. We believe one core need in this new computing paradigm of Web3 is the primitive layer to empower the preservation of memories, an ecosystem for the reliable recording of shared experiences that would facilitate coordination, identity, and community. In a decentralized paradigm where virtual world nomads are primarily identified by a digital address made up of a string of randomized letters and numbers (i.e. Crypto Wallet Address), adding additional context to one’s agency in their digital lives becomes not only an imperative but a necessity. Today we’re excited to announce that we’re co-leading POAP’s series seed. POAP has been hard at work building this core piece of decentralized infrastructure.

When we met Patricio Worthalter, we were instantly captivated by his vision of building an open standard and ecosystem to preserve individuals’ memories and identity through the utilization of decentralized technology. An attractive alternative to the walled gardens we have been accustomed to in Web2, where our identities and memories are controlled by tech giants and can be unilaterally tampered with. It’s a future that we are very excited to support at Sapphire Sport.

So what is a POAP? A POAP is an NFT in the form of a digital badge that allows a way for an individual to keep a reliable record of a life experience (whether that occurs IRL or URL) with full sovereignty. Since these digital badges are built on top of decentralized technology, they have the ability to be fully programmable, unlocking an endless amount of innovation that can be built on top of the proof of attendance protocol. POAPs can be used for community polling, airdrop targeting, social graphs, undercollateralized lending, and DAO governance to name a few.

When we look at a primitive layer such as POAP we look for the breadth of their adoption by developers and consumers. With POAP we did not have to look far. A few examples of POAPs diverse adoption are:

  • adidas used POAPs from gmoney to grant whitelist access for a limited released NFT, which provides holders with exclusive merch drops, invitations to in-person meetups, and entry to the metaverse experience they are building
  • US Open utilized POAPs for attendees to recognize and artifact their presence at this past years US Open
  • GitPOAP is a company utilizing POAP’s protocol to develop a minting platform that allows software projects to incentivize developer contributions and recognize meaningful contributions
  • Renowned NFT artist Xcopy set up a POAP vending machine in his metaverse art gallery for its launch party
  • Guild of Guardians used POAPs to attract and retain members to their Discord server
  • Over 400,000 collectors, creators, and organizations have used POAPs for personal, social, commercial, and every imaginable form of commemoration

adidas POAP

The POAP team has not just built and been the core contributor to the de facto primitive layer for this critical NFT use case, but also the dapps and tools to unleash the creative and powerful potential of this protocol. Essentially developing what is akin to the Web2 G-suite for the POAP issuer and collector. For example, is an interactive digital canvas for POAP holders to collaboratively create NFT art, empowers POAP holders to put forward a question for the community to vote on, and is a way to host a raffle for specific events and attendees via POAPs. The team has also been hard at work making POAP omnipresent across metaverses and social platforms such as Decentraland, Rainbow Wallet, Ledger Live and Discord.

POAP is a free to use protocol and consumer-friendly experience (download the mobile app!) that democratizes NFT creativity, easily onramps web2 users to web3, and is a critical piece of infrastructure to infuse new types of governance and social activity.

As POAP’s COO Isabel Gonzalez aptly put, “Come for the POAP, stay for the fun.” With that being said, we invite you to collect the POAP below to signify this exciting moment in time for POAP, the advent of this new social primitive, and your participation in learning more about Sapphire Sport’s partnership with POAP. Please fill out this form by Wednesday at 5pm PST (submissions will be closed) and you will be whitelisted to receive the POAP below. Any duplicate submission will not be accepted.

Legal disclaimer

Disclaimer: Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures, LLC (“Sapphire”). Information provided reflects Sapphires’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. While Sapphire has used reasonable efforts to obtain information from reliable sources, we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of third-party information presented herein, which is subject to change. Companies mentioned in this article are a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Sapphire has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth and sports investing strategies is available here. No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results.