Berlin-based technology start-up FUEL, the “Shopify for NFTs”, has today announced that it has secured investment from some of the most successful names in the German music business, rappers CRO and Bausa, as well as the latter’s record label Two Sides.
The news follows FUEL’s €1.5million pre-seed financing round in March 2022 to develop its platform, which enables musicians and creators to build their own custom-branded NFT shop for their collection without any technical knowledge required.
With the new investors, FUEL has not only secured further funds, but direct access to the music and entertainment scene. CRO alone holds four number 1 single placements and is currently listened to by nearly 5 million users on Spotify per month. Two Sides, founded in 2017, is run by Lucas Teuchner alongside rapper Bausa (“Was du Liebe nennst”, 2017, #1 single charts). Some of Germany’s most successful musicians, including Apache207, Loredana, Zuna, Azet and Miksu/Macloud, are currently signed to Bausa’s and Teuchner’s label. With over 26 million Spotify streams per month, Two Sides is one of the most successful German independent labels.
Well-known investors already involved include Gumtree co-founder Michael Pennington, Indeed founder Paul Forster, and Bitstamp CTO David Osojnik, as well as the US and English venture capital funds Fintech Collective (a shareholder of OpenSea), Seedcamp (which invests in Sorare and Revolut) and Notion Capital with its pre-seed vehicle Pioneers.
FUEL co-founders Csongor Barabasi and Thanh Binh Tran said: “NFTs are revolutionizing the music, arts and entertainment industries, delivering real added value and strengthening the connection between artists and their fans. In the music industry, for example, this could be presale rights for concert tickets or backstage access.
FUEL co-founders Stefan Tietze and Patrice Deckert add: “We are truly excited to have these German rap superstars on board. No one embodies the modern music industry like CRO, Lucas and Bausa, who not only take FUEL to a new level as musicians themselves, but also with their network of artists.”
Rapper CRO said: “I’ve been looking at the NFT sector for a while and I’m convinced of its potential, not only for the music industry, but also for all other areas of the creator economy. With FUEL, I have now found not only a team but also a model that has excited me so much that I also want to be on board as an investor.”
Label boss Bausa adds: “It is important that the music industry evolves. With NFTs and FUEL’s model, we have the chance to make that happen.”
As an end-to-end solution, FUEL is uniquely positioned in the German market: The platform enables creators to build, manage and operate their own NFT store without any prior technical knowledge. In this way, creators retain full control over their external presentation and can operate independently of platforms such as OpenSea.