Home CompaniesB2B Here’s how Atlanta-based Fanfundr is building the future of fan engagement

Here’s how Atlanta-based Fanfundr is building the future of fan engagement

by Maija Ehlinger

What if brands could ensure a new product launch was going to be a hit even before it got on shelves? 

Today, brands can try to leverage seemingly endless amounts of consumer data to pinpoint what might perform well next. But Atlanta native Drew Williams saw a major flaw in that model. Specifically, he realized that because brands make their production decision based on large amounts of consumer data, they tend to product less impactful things, leading to an “oversaturation of consumer options” that ultimately drops fan loyalty and engagement. 

“Today as consumers, we relinquish a lot of data to large brands, creators, musicians, and record labels…and that essentially creates culture. But most production cycles don’t actually take into consideration real-time consumer feedback. And the result of that is today, [we] don’t actually own or influence the culture that we very closely associate with our personal identities.” 

Williams started working on changing this dynamic with the launch of the social commerce startup Fanfundr

Williams described the Web3 platform as a “channel for brands to leverage consumer influence, ownership, and engagement” and a place for fans to request “bespoke” experiences. Fanfundr brings fans and consumers into the conversation while helping brands “validate new concepts, reduce customer acquisition costs, and increase average revenue per user.”

Fans go onto the platform and put money behind their signature on a blockchain-based petition, which could be asking a CPG brand to launch a new type of shoe or a production studio to write a new character into a series. 

Brands decide what type of petitions they will accept and how much monetary value is associated with the petition. 

Williams said the B2B2C startup’s “ideal client profile includes consumer-facing brands that have passionate communities surrounding their industry,” be it retail brands, independent or major artists, or professional sports teams. 

“Ultimately, our vision is to build the future of commerce, customer experience, and audience engagement by empowering consumers to request, influence and own a variety of exclusive events, products and content from any creator or brand in the world,” he added. 


Building Fanfundr in Atlanta 

Williams helped launch the fast-growing Atlanta startup Kobiton as its first employee in 2016. As Kobiton’s Director of Marketing and head of product-led grwoth, he saw the company evolve to be a major force in the Atlanta startup scene as well as a big player in the mobile device testing space. 

When it came time to strike out on his own, Williams said he wanted to build something “at the intersection of pop culture and technology.” 

Photo Credit: Atlanta Blockchain Center

Because of its outsized influence on music and film, Atlanta feels like a natural space for Williams to launch something like Funfundr. And he’s found early fans of the idea within the city’s startup ecosystem as well. 

The startup was part of the Atlanta Blockchain Center’s first Immutable Founders incubator and took home the top prize at the he ATL Web3 Pitchfest. That meant Fanfundr won $25,000 from the competition, which was funded by the Atlanta Blockchain Center

Marlon Williams, Atlanta Blockchain Center’s founder, told Hypepotamus that “when we launched the Atlanta Blockchain Center last year, we promised to fund at least one company from our Immutable Founders incubator. Our annual Web3 Pitchfest was the end result of that and we look forward to continuing our work with Drew to help him complete his full funding round and grow Fanfundr.”

Brian Zwerner, President of W3 Studio in Atlanta, said that the judges for the competition were”impressed with William’s “compelling version of the future where brands, music artists, and creators use FanFundr to engage their audience and deepen connections.” 

Following the pitch win, Williams is taking that momentum to raise money for a seed round and onboard new brands to help grow the platform. 


Want to follow along with Fanfundr or learn more? Here are some important links: 

Drew Williams’ LinkedIn

Fanfundr website 

Web3 Builders Podcast interview with Drew Williams


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