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Ayre Group–nChain CHF500 million deal set to boost European Tech blockchain and Web3 sectors

CHF500million deal believed to be the single largest enterprise blockchain IP investment to date

UPDATE – 31 August 2023: Ahead of the investment in nChain, Calvin Ayre commissioned an independent legal review by Buffone Law Group PLLC regarding the classification of digital assets with a specific focus on Bitcoin and its equivalents as securities. The review emphasised that only categorizing an asset as a “currency” does not exempt it from potentially being deemed a security.

Read the review in full here.

LONDON, UK – 2 August 2023:  Ayre Group has finalised agreements to take a controlling interest in nChain, the global leader in blockchain and Web3 technology, in a 500 million Euro deal that will provide a huge boost to the blockchain and Web3 sectors.  

As Forbes recently observed, nChain’s patents “affect everything from the US$1 trillion cryptocurrency market to corporate implementations built by some of the largest companies in the world.”  

The deal, believed to be the single largest enterprise blockchain IP investment to date, will see Ayre Group invest up to a total of CHF500 million (€516 million/£443 million). The sum consists of an equity acquisition of nChain by the Ayre Group, an IP licensing deal for Ayre Ventures portfolio companies, and a line of credit.  

To date, nChain has been awarded nearly 800 technology patents with over 3,000 more presently awaiting approval, a wide-ranging intellectual property library representing the fundamental building blocks on which these next-generation internet products and services will be built. nChain’s IP is the DNA of the new internet, encompassing Web3 precursors, non-fungible tokens, smart contracts, and everything in between.

nChain has a heavyweight R&D team dedicated to turning its vast IP library into workable applications. nChain was included in the LexisNexis Innovation Momentum 2023: The Global Top 100 report of companies advancing innovative solutions to today’s challenges and laying the IP foundations for further breakthroughs.  

Ayre Group Founder Calvin Ayre commented on the deal: “For the better part of a decade, nChain and its London-based Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright have been quietly amassing a patent portfolio of unparalleled scope, literally the foundational elements of enterprise blockchain, AI and Web3. My goal is to accelerate the pace of nChain’s development and increase the commercial adoption of its extensive IP library.” 

Ayre is a vocal supporter of the BSV Blockchain but says nChain’s patents are “blockchain-agnostic. There isn’t a single blockchain or Web3 project out there that isn’t standing on the shoulders of nChain’s patent library—the earliest, largest, and highest quality collection in this space.”   

BSV’s combination of unbounded scaling capacity, ultra-low transaction fees and integration with IPv6 make it the only enterprise blockchain on which the internet of the future can be fully realized. 

Stefan Matthews, nChain’s Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, added: “Calvin has been a strong advocate for nChain over the years. His decision to take a greater equity position in the nChain Group signifies his confidence in our business model and the value that we hold in our patent portfolio, software development and consulting services.”

About Ayre Group 

Ayre Group are a global investment group that fund ground-breaking businesses and technologies. They invest in building ventures in real estate, blockchain technology, media, publishing, health & wellness and travel & leisure. 

Ayre Group build and support technology and businesses that break down barriers to entry, democratize opportunity, and positively enhance people’s lives. 

About nChain 

nChain is a leading global blockchain technology company, offering software solutions, consulting services and IP licensing for clients in various industries looking to benefit from the security, transparency and scalability of the blockchain. Founded in 2015, with offices in Lichtenstein, Switzerland, the UK and Slovenia, nChain employs more than 240 staff, holds nearly 800 patents and is the developer of the Bitcoin SV Node software, Teranode, LiteClient and more.  

About Calvin Ayre 

Calvin Ayre is a celebrated entrepreneur with an established track record of building successful internet-based businesses. In the mid-1990s, he was among the first to see online gambling’s breakout potential, leading to the launch of his market-leading Bodog brand and his appearance on the cover of the 2006 Forbes ‘Billionaires’ issue. Since leaving the gaming industry, he has focused on the Ayre Group, which invests in real estate, travel & leisure, blockchain/Web3 and media/publishing projects. Ayre Group also produces the London Blockchain Conference, the world’s largest annual Government and Enterprise Blockchain conference.   

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SNGLR Capital announces strategic investment from Ayre Ventures

LONDONJune 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — SNGLR XTF Fund, an exponential tech focused venture capital fund, is pleased to announce a key investment from Ayre Ventures, one of the leading blockchain investors with a particular focus on utility and unbounded scaling in blockchain.

SNGLR XTF invests mainly in European early-stage technology start-ups with exponential growth potential in sectors such as longevity and smart mobility & smart cities, enabled by technologies such as AI, Blockchain, Data (IoT; API), 5G, robotics and others.

Dr. Daniel Diemers, Co-Founder of SNGLR Group, said “We’re delighted to have Ayre Ventures as a key partner and investor in SNGLR XTF. Their experience investing in blockchain, with a key focus on utility and scalability on the BSV Blockchain, will be of high value to us”.

Dr. Diemers added “Our team has tremendous experience as founders, early-stage tech investors, board members, advisors, mentors and coaches. Along with our own deep technological insights, we also have a unique venture building model involving selected corporate venture units and consulting firms with strong market access and technological capabilities. As such, we’re positioned very well to help entrepreneurs through all ups and downs of their journey”.

Ayre Ventures founder Calvin Ayre said “BSV is the only blockchain with the scaling capacity to realize the potential of technologies requiring high volumes of low-cost data transactions, including Internet of Things and longevity, sectors that are undergoing exponential growth. SGNLR XTF focuses on companies with the same capacity for exponential growth, and I’m thrilled to partner with them and explore all that BSV has to offer”.

About SNGLR Capital

SNGLR Capital is the venture capital entity within SNGLR Group and is focused on investments in the sectors longevity and smart mobility/ smart cities, and leading exponential technologies such as blockchain and AI. The team advises the SNGLR XTF fund, based in GuernseyChannel Islands, which invests in early-stage tech startups across Europe.

About Ayre Ventures

Ayre Ventures, founded by celebrated entrepreneur and philanthropist Calvin Ayre, provides capital to scalable, high-growth businesses within the BSV blockchain ecosystem, the only infinitely scaling enterprise public blockchain. The Group targets investment in innovative ideas and ambitious projects that are ‘positively disruptive’, supporting their expansion with the Group’s extensive network and industry partners.

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The enterprises are coming! The enterprises are coming!

These days, it often seems there’s little we can agree on in society. Can we at least agree these are polarizing times? (See what I did there??)

One thing we’ll surely agree on is this: One of the greatest debates of our time is ‘Star Trek vs. Star Wars.’ It seems you gotta pick a side; how many people do you know that are equally Trekkies and Star Warriors/Warsies/[whatever they call themselves] people?

I fall squarely into the Trekkie camp, particularly the ‘The Next Generation’ Series from the late 1980s/1990s. So when I started trying to count how many enterprise-focused businesses are building on BSV Blockchain, my mind jumped to one of my favourite episodes (Season 7, “Parallels,” first aired on November 29, 1993, if you’re curious).

In this one, Klingon crew member Lieutenant Worf is stuck in some kind of breach of the space-time continuum, and at one point, an infinite number of Starship Enterprises appear until the rift is closed. By the way, who HASN’T been stuck in a space-time continuum breach at one point in their lives, eh?

The Great ‘Enterprise vs. Consumer’ Debate, Continued

This is an occasional hotly debated topic in blockchain circles. Which is the bigger driver of growth, adoption, value, valuations, etc. – consumer facing businesses (‘B2C’) or enterprise-focused businesses (‘B2B’, or ‘B2B2C’, if your offering helps businesses ultimately serve consumers). And does it matter?

I still believe enterprise-focused businesses are ‘a cut above,’ and deservedly so. For a business to win over other businesses, especially large, enduring companies, you need to bring a very high level of professionalism, an excellent product offering, demonstrate they can scale quickly, possibly help them with global adoption, and if you’re successful, these can be very fruitful, ‘sticky’ clients – especially if you have a SaaS (or BaaS)-like long-term offering.

Having Said That…

However, there’s nothing wrong with consumer-facing businesses, including fintech companies that help users get onboarded and offer on/offramps, and importantly, gaming companies and loyalty programs, which can also scale very quickly.

Enterprise Use Cases – Q1 2023 Update

Let’s catch up on enterprise adoption. Here are just a few of the announcements we saw in Q1 2023:

nChain was busy with enterprise-related announcements – Leading iGaming CRM platform Symplify and nChain announced a partnership to revolutionize that industry with “…cutting-edge solutions that will bring an enhanced layer of efficiency, security, and transparency to the industry.” Other key announcements: A TradeWindow supply chain solutions MoU, working with E-Livestock to ‘tokenize cows’ and improve African farming, partnerships with W2 and Crucial Compliance, investment and partnerships with Gate2Chain, Transmira, UNISOT, Asset Layer, etc.

Property management software company and newest Ayre Ventures investee company Over-C will build insurance industry-focused blockchain-based risk solutions on BSV Blockchain.

Vaionex tweeted that a Fortune 500 company had selected their Relysia unit’s infrastructure and was actively in test mode, not to mention that many BSV Blockchain companies, including stablecoins (plural!), are Vaionex clients.

Payments platform company Centi launched its stablecoin, the first on BSV. This will blow the doors wide open for their merchant partners. As Centi stated, the Swiss Franc-pegged stablecoin, part of its Global Payment Network, “allows merchants to get direct payment settlement into their banks…without the need to change accounting procedures [and provides] them with the same service they are used to from the Credit Card industry while cutting fee costs by up to 99%.”

Furthermore, Centi’s solution “offers seamless integration with online, POS, and cashier payment systems,” providing a complete solution to online and brick-and-mortar merchants, such as online payments partner Payrexx, who announced that its 50,000 merchants can now offer Centi as a payment method and accept its Swiss franc stablecoin.

Enterprise BaaS provider mintBlue was busy! The company announced the enhancement of its e-invoicing solution, in collaboration with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and its customer VISMA | yuki; it allows for automatic ID verification of senders and recipients of invoices, improving efficiency, transparency, and the reduction of risk of e-invoicing fraud.

Oh, and they also set a world record for daily transactions on a public blockchain. mintBlue said, “As a startup serving large corporate clients, we value proof points of our scaling capabilities. Instead of asking them nicely to trust us, we took it as an opportunity to stress test our infrastructure and prove our abilities while doing it. Each [of the 50.53 million transactions] contained documents, such as contracts, credentials, invoices, micropayments and receipts,” and very importantly – when dealing with enterprise clients that rightfully demand low and stable costs, the “experiment only incurred €400 in fees.”

Rekord ‘hit the ball outta the park’ (that’s a baseball analogy, James Marchant) testing its Industrial Internet of Things (‘IIoT’) solutions with a 3D printer client on only six machines that essentially ‘live streamed’ their manufacturing data. Like mintBlue, Rekord proved yet again what is only possible on BSV Blockchain: Rekord’s tests peaked at 23.66MM transactions on-chain in one day, with a total data size of 8.9GB and for total fees of $473.14, a per-transaction fee of $0.00002 (note that mintBlue’s per-transaction fee was $0.000008 – that’s ‘five zeroes then an 8’, but who’s counting!).

James said, “All new 3D printers [of our client] will have Rekord IoT devices installed, allowing a huge variety of applications to be developed on top of the BSV Blockchain, bridging the gap between blockchain, IoT and robotics/manufacturing.”

In its tests, Rekord not only demonstrated IIoT solutions for clients, but also helped ‘pave the path forward’ regarding Bitcoin transaction processing fees; after all, the ‘mining reward,’ as Satoshi Nakamoto made clear in the White Paper (and countless times since) is a declining subsidy that will halve again next year. As James stated, “I’m now totally certain Rekord can singlehandedly not only make up for the reduced block subsidy at the next halving but start to push back the other way…in terms of transactions fee generation offsetting against the reduction in subsidy.”

Wait…How Many Enterprises? 

As I recapped these highlights, I wondered just how many with a B2B or B2B2C focus are using BSV Blockchain? Many more than I’d have guessed!

JUST SOME of the Enterprise-Focused Businesses on BSV Blockchain We’re Aware of:

To recap, these companies are using BSV Blockchain for their customers (who are themselves enterprises or government agencies) in specific industries, such as supply chain, industrial manufacturing, healthcare, Bitcoin infrastructure itself, real estate, property management, media/entertainment, and on and on…or they’re using BSV Blockchain for their own internal purposes.

So, how many enterprise-focused companies are using BSV Blockchain?

The ‘Flight of the Conchords’ Team Sympathizing with Me

Enterprise vs. Consumer Adoption – Who Rules the Roost?

I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out which focus generates more value, and one way to look at this is through the lens of the capital markets and how investors faired.

It used to be the case that enterprise-focused businesses brought more investor value than consumer businesses, but this has reversed course in recent years when it comes to IPOs (companies going public on the various stock markets of the world).

However, on the mergers & acquisitions front, the vast majority of value is still derived from enterprise-focused businesses (more than 2x that of consumer-focused companies, in M&As of $1B+. Source: Sapphire Ventures). Also of note, there are more $1B+ enterprise IPOs than consumer IPOs.

So, What IS the Point!?

This: Big consumer use case wins in BSV Blockchain may be as important as enterprise wins, and we at Ayre Ventures would be delighted to see HandCash, Centbee, or FYX Gaming ‘win the race,’ to pick a few examples.

Ultimately, it could be ‘six of one, half dozen of the other’ (or for our British friends, ‘it’s as broad as it is long’)…but I’ll still argue there’s a higher level of ‘wow’ attributable to corporations big and small using enterprise solutions via BSV Blockchain to create or solidify ‘unfair advantage’ by mintBlue, nChain, UNISOT, Vaionex, or Over-C, for examples.

What about the Bigguns?

If you’re saying ‘ok, but when are the big corporates coming?’ Not sure when we might see Starbucks or FedEx or Lloyd’s of London announce a deployment on BSV Blockchain, but meanwhile:

  • mintBlue long ago announced massive cloud software company VISMA as a client (with public commentary from VISMA). VISMA had over €2B in 2022 revenue and 14,000 employees.
  • CertiHash works with IBM.
  • Vaionex is working with an as-yet-unnamed Fortune 500 company.
  • Over-C’s partners include Hitachi, Eli Lilly, and Savills.
  • ROW8/Rad works with many (all?) Hollywood studios.

So, they’re already here, and many more are coming, guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Everywhere Else in ‘Blockchain’…Crickets

I’d say we’re well on our way and are outshining LITERALLY ALL OTHER BLOCKCHAINS in terms of enterprise adoption, not to mention all other measures of actual utility and scalability.

Importantly, ain’t it fun that we have the luxury of having the ‘enterprise vs. consumer’ debate, not to mention the debates about the validity of 50 million+ daily transactions going on-chain that are ‘just test transactions’ (note the BSV Blockchain network held up just fine)…while some other blockchains can’t figure out how to keep the lights on every day?

Actual Footage of Solana Team Upgrading Their Network…

About Ayre Ventures

Ayre Ventures, founded by celebrated entrepreneur and philanthropist Calvin Ayre, provides capital to scalable, high-growth businesses within the BSV blockchain ecosystem, the only infinitely scaling enterprise public blockchain. The Group targets investment in innovative ideas and ambitious projects that are ‘positively disruptive’, supporting their expansion with the Group’s extensive network and industry partners.

About the author

Paul is the Managing Director of Ayre Ventures, working on investments into companies building on the BSV blockchain. Prior to that, he was a technology investment banker for tech companies on private financing, IPOs, and M&A transactions.

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SPOTLIGHT ON CENTI: Centi completes its payment system with launch of BSV’s first native stablecoin

Centi, based in beautiful Zurich, Switzerland, set out to create an entire payment system [back in 2020], and its new BSV-native stablecoin may be the final piece of that puzzle.

Centi founder/general manager Bernhard Müller has had an interesting journey. He got his start in plant pathology, then spent a decade testing medical instruments before being hired by a financial services firm in his native Switzerland to handle business development and compliance.

Long before then, he’d caught the Bitcoin bug. Bitcoin’s direct peer-to-peer transfer model appealed to Müller, who’d seen how much of traditional payment systems seemed broken…particularly, the role of fat-cat middlemen who got in between merchants and consumers wanting to pay with credit cards.

After running into Ralf Zellweger at a Bitcoin meet-up, the pair saw an opportunity to collaborate on what Muller called “a real paradigm shift in payments.” And with that, the pair co-founded Centi in 2020.

Müller has described Centi as targeting “people who don’t care about Bitcoin.” True to form, customers who use Centi at a growing number of both retail and online merchants may not even be aware of the app’s Bitcoin SV (BSV) association. They only know it works, seamlessly, for payments large or small.

While customers can fund their Centi accounts with BSV, they can also use credit cards, other payment apps such as Twint as well as IBAN transfers. In February, Centi’s Swiss customers were also given the option of popping into a local post office to top up their Centi accounts with cash!

Merchant appeal

As for where users can spend the funds in their Centi accounts, the company has set a goal of onboarding over 1,000 merchants by the end of this year. Müller said this ambitious goal is looking “very realistic” given Centi’s new “very big partnership” with PayRexx, the Swiss e-payments aggregator that has relationships with over 40,000 Swiss businesses.

While Centi continues to fully onboard merchants on its own – including its first customer in Denmark, where Centi has been approved to operate – Müller says the PayRexx deal (which will be integrated in April) offers Centi “a lot of access to the market.” It helps to have a good product to convince these merchants to hop onboard and Centi’s pitch is compelling to say the least.

First, merchants respond favorably to the fact that a Centi user can purchase items that cost less than a single franc – say, a pack of gum – via the app. The lack of a financial middleman in this transaction means the merchant retains his/her profit on the product, whereas a credit card company’s charges would eat up the merchant’s entire margin.

Second, direct payment means there are no chargebacks or dispute options. Obviously, the merchant can still offer refunds for defective products, but the customer cannot hold the merchant’s money hostage for 180 days by escalating the matter through the payment system.

Yet another perk for merchants is Centi’s open API (application programming interface). Visa and Mastercard restrict access to their APIs to certified providers, with whom merchants must first onboard, installing yet another middleman in the transaction chain.

Centi merchants – currently a 50/50 split between online and retail – can also customize what they accept as payment. This can include a mix of cash and bespoke rewards/loyalty points, even tokens issued by other merchants if they have a relationship – or decide to band together to form a new one.

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE: A stablecoin for non-Bitcoin nerds!

Müller said Centi spent over two years building technology, first on the merchant side, ensuring that its payment method was fully compatible with existing BSV wallets. After that, the focus turned to fine-tuning Centi’s own app, which landed in Android and iOS app stores last September, adding features that many other apps didn’t have, such as top-ups. 

The missing piece of this puzzle was a BSV-native stablecoin, which Müller views as crucial for onboarding people other than “Bitcoin nerds like myself.” The traditional volatility of digital assets is a major turnoff for neophytes, who might have $200 on their app, spend $30, then might not touch the app for weeks or months. When they next open the app, they expect to see $170 there. And it better all be there.

Müller says Centi’s CCHF stablecoin – which debuted on March 21 – has three key differentiators from others of its ilk. First, befitting a BSV-based product, its focus is on utility and consumer payments, including minor payments. Other stablecoins primarily focus on arbitrage traders who want to move a lot of money from one exchange to another to take advantage of a perceived price advantage in this or that token.

Secondly, unlike the constant questions surrounding the reserve assets of Tether or USDC, Centi’s stablecoin is fully backed by a Swiss bank guarantee. Even if Centi were to default, the bank will guarantee the 1:1 recoverability of its stablecoin.

Third, Centi will sell and accept stablecoins directly from customers. No need to go through an exchange, no million-dollar minimum purchases. It’s a stablecoin made for payments by everyday users, with similar top-up capabilities available via the app.

Despite his excitement for Centi’s near-term expansion, Müller says the ecosystem as a whole has a long way to go before the masses are ready to embrace direct payments with digital assets. “It’s like trying to convince everyone in the U.S. to speak Chinese tomorrow.” But with all the pieces of Centi’s payment system falling into place, Müller believes Centi has “a very good chance of becoming a billion-dollar company.”

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Global blockchain payments wallet, Centbee, raises $1 million pre-Series A funding from Ayre Ventures

This article was originally published on CoinGeek on December 23, 2022.

London – December 23, 2022: Blockchain payments company, Centbee, announced today that it has closed its pre-Series A round with entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, founder of Ayre Ventures. Ayre Ventures first invested in Centbee in 2019. Speaking on the new raise, Ayre said, “My faith in Centbee has been rewarded through Angus and Lorien’s ongoing commitment to making Bitcoin – the original protocol in the form of BSV – easily usable and accessible to everyone. Unlike other blockchains, BSV is focused on utility, not speculation, and Centbee is working hard to further Bitcoin’s adoption as a true peer-to-peer electronic cash system.”

Centbee Co-CEO, Lorien Gamaroff, added, “We have the right vision, products and team to drive exponential growth for our investors. Consumers around the world are looking for better, easier ways to pay, and our blockchain-based payment wallet does just that. Our latest feature, ChatPay, makes it easy to send money via an in-wallet chat application.”

Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with offices in South Africa, Centbee was founded by co-CEOs, Lorien Gamaroff and Angus Brown. Gamaroff is a leading expert in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. He has consulted and advised regulators and corporates internationally and is highly regarded globally as an educator and presenter. Brown has 20 years of experience in payments and banking including the role of CEO of eBucks.com, a world-first bank-backed digital currency created in 2000. Brown was appointed Chairman of the BSV blockchain’s Technical Standards Committee earlier this year.

“Centbee has a suite of digital cash products and services that make payments easy, even cross-border,” says Angus Brown, Co-CEO. “Our cross-border remittance service, Minit Money, enables people to move money simply and cheaply across borders to support family and friends and has already processed over 35 000 remittances into Africa. The investment by Ayre Group will be used for scaling and growth as well as strengthening technical and operating capacity.”

The Centbee and Minit Money apps are available in the Apple Store, Google Play store and Huawei app gallery.

About Ayre Ventures

Founded by entrepreneur Calvin Ayre, the Ayre Group has investments and interests across the world. With a passion for content and publishing, fintech, real estate and property in seven countries around the world, Ayre Group supports and drives the world’s most disruptive innovations.

About Centbee

Centbee is a digital cash wallet that makes it easy for global consumers to buy, spend and send digital cash to their friends and family on their mobile phones using the BSV blockchain.

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ROW8 acquires Rad to power its premium movies streaming service with NFTs

This article was originally published on CoinGeek on December 22, 2022.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ROW8, the Premium Movie Streaming service with the latest Hollywood films like Black Adam with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney, and Bullet Train with Brad Pitt, has acquired the metaverse and web3 streaming platform Rad. ROW8 has premium video on demand movies from every major studio on its platform, with all of its studio partners exploring NFTs in some way. Rad has been building immersive streaming technology and leveraging smart contracts for over 5 years, and has many of the same studio partners for VR and blockchain-based content. Combined, the two companies will work with major studios and the top NFT projects building for web3 and the metaverse.

“Rad’s suite of web3 creator tools alongside ROW8’s library of Hollywood films will make our platform the premier destination for both digital collectibles and your favorite movies” said Jasmina Christoph, Founder and President at ROW8.

“ROW8 is easily the best positioned company in the world to bring Hollywood into the future, with its patented technology, app footprint, and deep relationships with the biggest studios in the world”, said Tony Mugavero, CEO of Rad. “They have the highest level pipeline of content you can have in the entertainment industry, and Rad works with the same studios in web3 and XR, which means we can accelerate adoption of forward-thinking distribution from a place of trust.”

ROW8 has streaming deals in place with every major movie studio, including Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and it offers over 1800 theatrical release-windowed movies. ROW8’s patented technology includes the ability to geo-locate viewers and share revenue with nearby theater chains, dynamic “Scene Alerts” to give viewers a peek into seeing if the next scene is scary or has adult themes, and their proprietary “Movie Love Guarantee” which allows viewers to return a movie and swap it for another one if they weren’t enjoying it.

Rad has streamed innovative content with every major studio and broadcaster globally by licensing content or powering experiences in VR and web3, and has streaming apps on PlayStation 4 and 5, Android TV, iOS, and Meta Quest, and built a globally leading position in VR, distributing content to devices like PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality. Rad was the first streaming service to offer an NFT subscription and is launching its full NFT Stream Pass in December 2022. Rad has done NFT releases with companies like DKNY, Hacksmith, Cinedigm, and directly with creators like Elliot Sloan and platinum rapper Calboy. Rad also worked with ConsenSys to build its cross-blockchain-based platform Ara with the ARA token, which will power ROW8’s NFT platform. Additionally, Rad has numerous studio and well known media investors like Disney, Sony Innovation Fund, A+E Networks, WWE, Warner Music Group, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more.

Tony Mugavero will become CEO of the combined companies, and Rad’s leadership team will all stay as part of the transaction.

“We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with ROW8,” said Brooklyn Earick, Chief Marketing Officer at Rad, who will be staying on as Chief Strategy Officer post-acquisition. “Combined, we’ll be the first platform to offer movies like Avatar and Top Gun alongside NFT’s from Hollywood studios and web3 creatives.”

The combined companies have secured funding in a round led by Ayre Ventures.

Ayre Ventures founder Calvin Ayre celebrated the acquisition, calling it “the perfect marriage of content and delivery, the intersection of preparation and opportunity. ROW8’s vast library of marquee content will discover new ways to reach consumers through Rad’s BSV-based NFTs. BSV is the only blockchain with the scaling capacity and ultra-low transaction fees to realize the promise that web3 holds for creators, distributors and consumers.”

Also participating in the round are Intersect VC, who are investors in Dapper Labs and Triller; former New England Patriot Super Bowl Champion and Pro Bowler Richard Seymour’s 93 Ventures; Alvin Kwan, former head of Corporate Development at Fox and Board Member at Fubo TV; Rusty Matveev, who is CSO at Calaxy and formerly a partner at MSG Ventures; Revere VC; Stacks; and Jason Campbell, former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Paul Rajchgod, Managing Director, Private Equity for Ayre Ventures, will be appointed to ROW8’s board.

About Rad

Rad NFTV is the first streaming platform powered by NFTs. Rad’s suite of apps allows you to stream Live TV, Premium Video, and Live Events all unlocked through NFTs. Discover content in ESports, Music, Comedy, and Sports Entertainment from companies like Complex, Whistle, CoinDesk, DeadHeads, Knights of Degen, and Virtue Animation Studio. Rad NFTV’s library of fast and loud content, NFTs, crypto rewards, and OTT footprint creates a streaming metaverse for the next generation of creators and fans.

The platform can deliver a broad range of NFT and content experiences, with 2D, 3D, 4K, Live, 360° / 180° VR, and traditional video across devices like PlayStation 5, PSVR, Oculus Quest, iOS, Google TV, and more. Viewers can earn ARA rewards and become peers in the network powered by Ara’s blockchain and P2P networking technology, and the company’s Rad Pandas can be used to unlock lifetime subscriptions as well as get additional ARA rewards.

About ROW8

ROW8 is a subscription-free movie only OTT service featuring both new and catalog titles and has distribution deals with all major Hollywood studios. It also features its proprietary “Movie Love Guarantee” allowing customers to return their film within the first 30 minutes and exchange it for another without any additional fees, and its patent pending “Scene Alert” monitoring system which alerts parents to inappropriate scenes before they air, giving them control over what content their children see.

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