Today we’re launching Highlight, a powerful set of tools for you to bring web3 community membership and rewards to your fanbase, with no crypto experience required. Highlight is designed from the ground up to be the most effective on-ramp for any fanbase or subculture to meaningful web3 ownership.
We started Highlight because we believe that digital ownership, powered by blockchains, is the clearest way to improve how creative industries work for both creators and fans.
Why is web3 user ownership an essential new model? Think of the pride and energy that comes from owning a home versus renting. This mindset is at work across the web3 ecosystem as project stakeholders collaborate for collective success. Until now, online ownership was never really possible. We believe any subculture, from synthpop DJs to sourdough bakers, can thrive with the same type of psychic investment that ownership unlocks.
With Highlight, anyone can mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that help recognize, reward, and delight your top fans. Beyond minting, we’re opening up access to the tools to create a beautiful custom-designed home for your token-holders, with rich integrations that offer ongoing utility and enticing access.
We’ve designed Highlight to be easy, to be powerful, and to be fun. What excites us about web3 is the new set of primitives powered by crypto, which creative people use to build incredible new worlds and experiences.
Yet these tools still require technical know-how, limiting the number of folks creating and participating in web3.
Highlight is the product of hundreds of conversations with mainstream creators, music artists, and brands, many of whom are excited by Web3 but remain at a distance for fear of technical complexity or fan frustration.
Launching a project on Highlight, from deploying your custom smart contract to posting token-gated content or utility, takes less than 5 minutes and requires no technical knowledge. And while accessibility has been our priority, our tools are designed for web3, from creator-owned smart contracts to non-custodial wallets. (If you’re curious, see here for more details on our technical architecture and smart contract implementation.)
Highlight is the work of a passionate team of builders, many with backgrounds shipping consumer products at Square, Instagram, DoorDash, Dapper Labs, Amazon, and elsewhere.
While we’re degens who spend our days debating the nuances of cross-chain bridges, new Ethereum standards, and the game dynamics of the latest PFP project, we’re also pragmatists.
What excites us most about web3 is a vision for a world where user ownership is truly mainstream and ubiquitous. Where music, art, media, fashion, hospitality experiences, and so much more can be owned and engaged with on a deeper and more human level than in past eras of the Internet.
We’ve designed Highlight to make onboarding 100% inclusive for users, with no crypto experience required. This has required some initial tradeoffs, including credit card payment for initial token sales. At the same time, we’ve built a system that enables fully non-custodial, EVM-compatible wallets; creator provenance and extensibility on smart contracts; and native interoperability for all the major NFT marketplaces. Again, find more details here.
We believe that getting millions more people onboarded to web3 will require intrinsic motivation around the art, culture, and media they care about most. Over time, we can support fully crypto-native experiences on a faster learning curve. For more on our web3 thesis, see here.
As part of today’s release, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised $11M in seed funding led by Haun Ventures, along with 1kx, A.Capital, SciFi VC, Floodgate, Thirty Five Ventures (“35V”), Offline Ventures, DAOJones, Mischief, Polygon Studios, Coinbase Ventures, WME, Method Music, Mark Gillespie (Three Six Zero), Chris Zarou (Visionary Music), Scott Belsky, Tarun Chitra, Robert Leshner, Lenny Rachitsky, Gokul Rajaram, and Linda Xie among many other legendary builders, musicians, creators, and visionaries that have been close partners with us on our journey so far.
To stay current on product updates, community launches, and news from Highlight, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, join our Discord, and check out Highlight Club to claim a Launch Edition NFT and interact with our own community.
With today’s release, our real work begins. If you have any feedback on using Highlight, we’d love to hear from you.
And, of course, we’re hiring. If you’re looking to advance your career as part of the next era of the Internet, and love making an impact with a passionate team of doers, come build with us.