The Paris-based company bills itself as an end-to-end web3 solution for brands to create and distribute NFTs, typically linked to physical goods. The NFTs can carry information like a product’s attributes and history, or offer additional features such as an augmented-reality version of the item or “airdrop” capabilities that allow the brand to send loyalty rewards to the NFT holder. Brand partners already using the platform include Breitling, ba&sh, Vacheron Constantin and several others.
Arianee is often seen as one of the main competitors to Aura, the blockchain platform formed by LVMH, Prada and Richemont’s Cartier in 2021 to fight counterfeiting and leverage some of blockchain’s other functionalities. Aura added OTB Group to its consortium of brands last year and has developed a white-label service to let brands issue their own NFTs, it said at a recent event. It has created blockchain-based digital identities for tens of millions of products.
Arianee said in a release that the new funding will go toward accelerating its international expansion, hiring new talent and continuing the development of its products and services. Since its last raise of $9.5 million in March 2021, the company’s staff has tripled, it said, and it now has more than 50 clients and partners.
Its investors this round include previous backers such as ISAI, Noia Capital and Cygni Labs and newcomers including Commerce Ventures and Pierre Denis, a fashion-tech investor who was previously the chief executive of Jimmy Choo. They will receive a mix of equity in the platform as well as Arianee’s cryptocurrency, $ARIA20, which economically underpins its open-source protocol.
”The structure of the investment in both equity & $ARIA20 token shows how a diverse global range of investors, from Bpifrance to Tiger Global, is willing to invest on open source and SaaS web3 solutions,” Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, Arianee’s CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “Web3 is eating the world and we believe brands can leverage this revolution to regain control of their digital presence.”
Proponents of the effort to give every item its own digital identity say they’ll unlock numerous benefits for brands and shoppers alike. But for these IDs to work will require overcoming some big obstacles first.