Investing in Playground—web3-powered community discovery


Investing in Playground—web3-powered community discovery

Words Founders Factory

June 9th 2023 / 3 min read

The problem

Community is central to success in web3. Communities power and sustain value for web3 platforms, whether that’s through sharing content, fulfilling governance functions, or even helping to build the platform.

But it’s difficult to discover web3 communities as a user; and even harder to build them as an organiser. 

Users rely on existing platforms like Discord, Telegram, or even Twitter, none of which are really fit for purpose. Not only are they non-web3 native, they are cluttered, making it hard to decipher the spam or fraud (which is commonplace). 

Organisers have an even more disparate set of tools at their disposal—adding Whatsapp, Eventbrite, Slack, Facebook groups all into the mix too. Building communities is very time-consuming, manual, and hands-on: losing track of community management can make you look very disorganised.

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The solution

Playground is a web3 platform that facilitates the discovery and creation of cultural communities. 

The discovery hub (for users) introduces people into membership communities, all of which are gated by token ownership. Members are able to navigate and join different communities on the Playground platform across categories including music, design, NFTs and crypto, art, film, meditation, and beyond. Through these, users can access ‘drops’: items of digital or real-world value offered exclusively for members.

The creator tools (for organisers) help you build, grow, and monetise your dream community. Through your page you can organise ‘drops’, available exclusively to your members, offering anything from events, to music, NFTs, artwork, videos.

They’ve already raised $2.3 million in seed funding from leading ad agency Anomaly and crypto-gaming leader Animoca Brands.

The team

Jia Ling Yang (CEO & Founder)

Jia’s experience is as a creative in the advertising world. She was a creative director at Meta, prior to which she worked in senior creative roles working with huge brands including Converse, Absolut, and YouTube.

Saurabh Sachan (CTO)

Saurabh has served as CTO across several exciting businesses, including Chet, a resource curation platform, StayUncle, a hotel aggregator and booking platform for unmarried and LGBTQIA+ couples, and Shopholix, an online to offline commerce aggregator. He’s also founded his own businesses, most recently Mithya Labs, a software development agency. 

Coral Garvey (Chief Creative Officer)

Coral’s worked in a number of creative roles at Depop and Adidas before joining Playground as their CCO. She also runs Garvey Studios, a socially conscious leather boutique. 

Nico Barnett (Director of Product Management)

Prior to Playground, Nico was Director of Product at Bitspawn Protocol, a blockchain gaming protocol, before which he was a product manager at Rogers Communications (the Canadian telecoms provider). 

Why we’re excited to invest

Damian Routley, Chief Commercial Officer at Founders Factory, says: “We’re incredibly excited to invest in Playground, a platform designed for creators, by creators, to help people access a vast array of communities, and connect with like-minded individuals, artists, and brands worldwide. Jia has created a platform that enables community discovery, live events, and discussion forums, creating opportunities for meaningful connections and lasting relationships. I'm looking forward to working with Jia and the team as they scale to more communities globally.”

What Playground wants to get out of the programme

  • Founders Factory has been extremely active in helping Playground operationalize our go-to-community strategy. We are working with the accelerator to not only level up our community acquisition and retention strategies, but also leveraging the network to build our sales and partnerships talent pipeline

  • We are particularly excited to partner with their LP Pico, a leading brand activation agency. Being able to collaborate closely with an agency such as Pico is invaluable to the product team, so that together, we can reimagine the future of how brands activate cultural communities

  • As Playground grows, the Founders Factory ecosystem is very strategic for Playground, helping us build our European presence, and access to projects and investors in Europe - which is very important to our brand and international culture

Building a company in media, live events and web3?

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