Verena Pausder and Lea-Sophie Cramer rely on “Shopify for NFTs”

With their startup Fuel, four founders from Berlin want to make it easier for artists and their fans to access the NFT market. Well-known investors think that’s great.

The founding quartet of Fuel: Patrice Deckert, Thanh Binh Tran, Csongor Barabasi and Stefan Tietze (from left to right).

They want to make buying and creating NFTs easier. The Berlin startup Fuel is particularly aimed at artists. Csongor Barabasi, Thanh Binh Tran, Stefan Tietze and Patrice Deckert are building something like a “Shopify for NFTs”.

Given that NFTs are so prevalent right now, it’s no surprise that the company has found a top group of investors for its pre-seed round: Founders and business angels Lea-Sophie Cramer and Verena Pausder are both involved, as are Bitstamp- CTO David Osojnik and Indeed founder Paul Forster. In addition, several VCs have joined us, such as New York-based FintechCollective (among others, shareholder of Opensea, the largest virtual marketplace and trading venue for NFTs to date), equity fund- London-based venture Seedcamp (investor in Sorare, Hopin and Revolut) and Notion Capital with its Pioneers pre-seed vehicle. A total of 1.5 million euros was thus raised.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. It is a kind of digital certificate of authenticity that makes digital artwork unique originals. Yes, there can be thousands of copies of a digital image, for example anyone can copy and paste the image into their Twitter profile – but only one of the images has the digital code of the original. The principle also works for music files, so there can only be one original of a recording.

NFT market: Huge growth potential

A good year ago, the subject really ignited the art market, until then analog and rather gloomy. As a result, it is possible to label original works of art by more or less well-known artists as such and sell them at corresponding prices.

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More Than Digital Art: Two NFT Possibilities Hardly Anyone Thinks About

According to industry media Dappradar, 23 billion dollars worth of NFTs were traded globally in 2021. In 2020, it was still 95 million US dollars. Great artists like Damien Hirst in the arts or Steve Aoki in the music industry are getting involved in the NFT world. Auction house Sotheby’s has already found a way to market digital art in the form of NFTs.

To make it easier for artists to offer their works for sale as NFTs, the four Berliners from Fuel have launched a platform that allows creators to create, manage and extend their NFTs using a wide range of tools.

Fuel is already working with Tomorrowland DJ Mat.Joe, according to an official funding statement. What exactly this cooperation looks like, what projects the startup is pursuing and how the founders assess the German NFT market, they have not yet wanted to comment on a request from the Gründerszene.

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