IYK, an acronym for If You Know and a shorter version of IYKYK (If You Know You Know), has said that it has secured $16.8 million in a seed round. The round was led by a16z, its alma mater. Funds raised from the seed round will now be invested to launch the IYK platform and onboard a larger number of creators and users.
a16z has echoed the announcement by stating that they are looking forward to helping IYK scale its vision of bringing more creators and brands into the ecosystem. IYK is currently home to a hundred creators. It serves brands like Adidas and Johnnie Walker.
Launched in 2021, IYK has come a long way in offering services pertaining to connecting physical and virtual worlds. Often defined as physical, such a service helps brands connect with their fans better and encourage higher community engagement.
While the seed round was led by a16z, it also received participation from the likes of Collab Currency, 1kx, and Lattice Capital, among others. Interestingly, IYK was previously a member of a16z Crypto Startup School. That accelerator program lasts 12 weeks at a16z, where early-stage startups are nurtured and guided for success. Projects that clear the session successfully are offered an investment worth $500,000 in exchange for 7% equity.
Ryan Ouyang, the co-founder of IYK, was asked about the structure of the capital and the valuation of the venture. They have, for now, declined to answer questions about valuation and capital structure. Ryan has also not shed light on the timeline when asked when IYK actually began to raise capital.
IYK consists of creators who hail from different industries—music, brands, and generic creators. It helps them build a community on the grounds of a digi-physical experience. Products offered by IYK include NFC chips that enable brands and creators to tokenize the physical product. This includes NFTs and is on top of offering developer APIs and modules.
Creators in IYK also hail from the music, fashion, and art industries.
What makes IYK a unique member of the industry, per a statement by Ryan, is the ability to choose a ready-to-use experience without any coding tool. They may choose to collaborate with a developer to remix or extend the experience. IYK is now working to hire its first business development executive, with plans to expand the engineering team.
Hiring a business development executive may take some time, but IYK intends to expand the engineering team at the earliest possible time—that is, in the short term.
As for the Crypto Startup School by a16z, it specifically works with startups in the Web3 domain. The in-person program consists of lectures and mentorship, wherein startup members get a chance to connect with the Web3 industry expert directly.