Nigel Eccles and Rob Jones are behind Vault, which is billed as a non-fungible token (NFT) platform for creators. They say this makes NFTs – unique digital assets that depict real-life items such as a painting – accessible to a wider fan base.
Vault explains that it’s built on the carbon-neutral Solana blockchain and allows creators to curate exclusive content – music, videos, VIP invites, and more. – for their fans, who to access each vault must hold a key, each of which is a fully negotiable NFT. The new company also says it offers a “seamless” shopping experience, supporting fiat purchases via PayPal, for example.
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It currently has 20 employees, with its product and engineering teams in Edinburgh, and its go-to-market teams in the United States,
Vault CEO Mr. Eccles explained, “My co-founder Rob Jones and I were prototyping product solutions in the creator economy when NFTs first hit the scene. Instantly, we saw the potential that NFTs offer creators to create more favorable revenue streams and align with their communities using scarcity and ownership.
However, they also perceived that NFTs do not work well today for all artists. “Graphic designers, yes, but what about musicians? Writers? Athletes? Filmmakers? Educators? It’s clumsy at best to share audio and video content via NFTs today, let alone play and experience that content – and that means much of the creator economy isn’t able to use NFTs.
User experience with NFTs is a “nightmare,” Eccles added. “Setting up a wallet, transferring crypto, buying an NFT, storing and accessing an NFT is far too complicated for the average consumer.
“Because Rob and I have spent our careers building consumer platforms, we saw an opportunity to create an NFT platform that empowers artists to create in any medium they choose, and is so user-friendly that all fans can participate.”
Vault has seen an “increase” in interest from musicians, he also said. “We see music NFTs as vinyl for the metaverse – a new way to package, sell and collect music online – and we’re seeing an increase in the number of musicians creating vaults of albums and tours where superfans can unlock bonus tracks, music videos and perks like merchandising and VIP experiences.
Mr. Eccles also said that given Spotify’s low artist earnings, there is “incredible potential in the perpetual royalty streams that NFTs offer”, while noting that Vault’s main investor is the venture capital AlleyCorp, whose founder and CEO Kevin Ryan is “one of the leading internet entrepreneurs and investors in New York.”
Other board members and investors include Bullpen Capital, TubeMogul, Everblue Management, Amity Ventures and Courtside VC.
“For us, success depends on the creators and their fans,” Mr. Eccles added. “Can artists share and monetize their creativity in new ways that excite and reward fans? That’s what we’re focusing on. Ultimately, if creators are able to make a living from their art on Vault , then we will have succeeded.