Matthew Lim embodies the “If you want something, go get it” philosophy. The 32-year-old technopreneur left his cushy Credit Suisse investment banking job in 2015 to found Vidy, a blockchain-powered digital advertising tool. Today, Vidy’s advertising partners include the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Deliveroo, Vespa, and more.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Lim has always been looking for ways to forge ahead with his business. Last year, he began looking into the NFT space and realised a potential for something huge, so he co-founded NFKings. The venture is an NFT creatives and production company that aims to rethink the digital-creativity space, and provide IP holders with alternate revenue streams and monetisation opportunities. This goal has recently been given a boost, thanks to a new investment by Binance, the world’s largest bitcoin and altcoin crypto exchange. To find out a little more about this investment and what it means for NFKings, we caught up with Lim for a quick chat.
You are a successful entrepreneur in the digital space, what led you to co-found NFKings?
From investment banking at Credit Suisse, to starting my own tech company in San Francisco called Vidy, and finally entering the blockchain space in 2018 with Vidy, I have experienced both the traditional and crypto world in quite some depth.
They are completely opposite worlds and I never thought the two could one day find a channel to merge. NFTs was that channel. And because I understood what traditional businesses and brands wanted, and also what the crypto world wanted, I decided to set up NFKings to be that bridge in the NFT space. We focus on signing up IPs and Brands, create, produce and gamify their NFTs and fan tokens, distribute them on NFT platforms such as our official partner Binance.
When did you begin surveying the fast-evolving NFT sphere?
I started to look into the NFT space towards late 2020 as we were starting to get more inquiries from our clients who use our Vidy technology, especially the fashion magazines, about the potential of NFTs. They were starting to see potential in this space and were curious but yet did not know how to enter. That was when I thought I could play a role in bridging that knowledge gap.
NFTs: A speculative bubble or a substantial innovation on the blockchain?
It is definitely a substantial innovation on the blockchain. It is an opportunity for IPs and Brands to digitise and monetise their assets, a channel to now interact with the increasingly tech-savvy userbase, and for the crypto world, a way to finally attract the traditional world folks to enter the space. New non-crypto users have always been the biggest challenge but now with NFTs, it is an excellent opportunity. However, in terms of the valuation of NFTs, I think there is a slight bubble, however, this is normal for any new fast-growing industry.
Tell us about the tokidoki NFT experience and amazing results which you achieved on Binance NFT platform?
We brought Binance their very first Mystery Box IP on their NFT platform that debuted on the 24th June 2021. We sold a gross value of US$2.5 million of tokidoki NFT products in a matter of seconds. tokidoki is already a very successful fashion brand that is part of the hype culture. We showed them how digitising their products could create monetisation opportunities but also greater fan base engagement with their fans. Obviously, a lot of credit goes to Binance for sustaining such an active userbase as well.
What do you think it takes to keep the NFT secondary market active and engaging for all NFT investors?
The reason why I believe what NFKings is doing is very important, not just as a business, but as a contributor of real IPs to the NFT space is that at the moment, anybody can create an NFT. There is little or no barriers to entry. Therefore, you start to see all kinds of NFTs on decentralised marketplaces that infringe IP rights of brands or have no IP at all.
When you issue an NFT for a real brand or IP, you ensure that there is depth in the ecosystem for that NFT. This means that there is utility for that particular NFT that has been issued, there is the intrinsic value behind that NFT which can be portrayed through offline activities, etc. I think that is the most important for sustainability and also maintaining an active secondary market.
What downsides do you see to NFTs? How can you reassure newcomers & primo-investors in the NFT world?
The downside to NFTs is that many investors treat it as a purely speculative asset class. For newcomers and investors, just like the advice in the art world, buy something you like. Buy something that you want to keep for a longer period of time. Do not buy it hoping it will flip 10 times in 1 hour.
What led you and your team to master the highly sensitive issues of IP rights when dealing with NFTs?
To be really honest, I have zero experience in dealing with IP rights or Brand rights. I learned all of that as I put together this company. But it is also a lot of common sense you pick up along my entrepreneurial journey.
The investment by Binance in NFKings is certainly a huge turning point. How major is this development?
The investment from Binance means more to NFKings from a strategic angle than from a financial angle. With their investment, it validates the value-add that we bring to their NFT platform, it also makes us a lot more credible when we speak with famous brands and IPs. This is certainly a major turning point for us.
What are the next steps for NFKings and what are some of the substantial NFT activations planned?
We are in the midst of closing our next strategic round of investment from some very notable investors and IPs. So we have a really strong pipeline of IPs coming through soon. Go to Binance NFT to find out more!
Even with the current Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 has been an exciting year for you. What reflections do you have on the current climate?
Covid-19 has changed many people’s lives for better or worse. I see it as a way to remind ourselves not to take for granted anything in life, to always be positive and be adaptable. Obviously, there are many who have suffered from this pandemic and I pray that this saga passes us by sooner than later.
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