Former Starbucks and Amazon exec leading stealthy NFT search and discovery startup – GeekWire

Ben Straley, CEO of Thred. (Thread Photo)

A new Seattle startup is jumping into the nascent world of NFTs in an attempt to build a search and discovery platform for the digital tokens.

Thred recently raised $3.5 million to help boost development of its secretive product. The company is a spinout of Brightloom, a customer data startup also based in Seattle.

Thred is led by Ben Straley, a former exec at Starbucks and Amazon who was most recently president at Brightloom.

The company is still in private beta and does not have a public website. Here’s how Straley described the platform in an email to GeekWire:

Major brands including the NBA, Porsche, Instagram, Reddit, Starbucks, and Nike are increasing investments in NFT technology and projects. For example, a growing number of brands are rolling out innovative ways to enhance their loyalty programs using NFTs. Now more than ever with instability and distrust affecting the crypto space broadly, people are looking for trustworthy and transparent information about NFTs. Thred is a platform for consumers that addresses this need and expects to launch in early 2023.

The NFT market has taken a beating amid the downturn in crypto and the broader economy. Trading volume has fallen by 88% since January, when the market peaked with $5.36 billion in sales volume, Decrypt reported.

Starbucks in September said Starbucks Rewards members would be able to earn and purchase collectable digital stamps, or NFTs, then buy and sell them in a marketplace with other members of the loyalty program, through an upcoming initiative known as Starbucks Odyssey. Blockchain technology will authenticate each token and track its ownership as it changes hands in the company’s digital marketplace.

There are existing platforms that provide NFT search capabilities, including Opensea and NonFungible.

Thred’s investors include Valor, Kindergarten, and Augeo, as well as shareholders of Brightloom.

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