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Pharrell Williams “Integrated” With Ethereum NFT Project Doodles, Says CEO BlockBlog

Name the famous musician and producer Pharrell Williams as brand manager of Ethereum The NFT Doodles project might have seemed like a stunt to some observers. However, the company’s CEO says Williams is actually key to the project’s growing push.

At WebSummit in Lisbon today, Doodles CEO Julian Holguin spoke on the subject and others during an onstage discussion with Katelin Holloway, founding partner of venture capital firm Seven Seven Six and a board member of Doodles, alongside Williams. Seven Seven Six, which was co-founded by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, ran Doodles recent $54 million funding round.

Holguin discussed Williams’ impact on the colorful profile picture (PFP) project, citing his wide range of artistic productions across popular culture and his ability to reach diverse audiences with his work. His appointment was announced in June.

“Of [Williams’] influence from clothing collaborations,” Holguin said, “to his work on ‘Despicable Me’ and the motion picture products, to his music, his reach is significant.

“If we really wanted to be global, we needed a creative partner who could help us reach a global audience outside of their current subscribers,” Holguin added. “[Williams is] not just a corporate endorser – he is a daily influence on the brand and is deeply involved in many of the most important decisions we make.

Holguin spoke of Doodles’ desire to create content across a wide range of entertainment mediums, from music on Spotify and Apple Music to shows on YouTube, noting that Williams would be “an integral part of the business and create this product the most efficient”. They are already working together on music inspired by Doodles.

The CEO of Doodles joined in May after a decade with music industry chartmaker Billboard, where he last served as chairman. Holguin revealed at WebSummit that his personal catalyst for entering Web3 centered around a desire to pursue innovation in a nascent space, rather than trying to push web2 companies towards decentralized models.

“It became clear to me that I could either keep trying to drag a traditional brand into the future or help be part of that new future,” he explained. “That’s what ultimately led me to Web3 and blockchain technology.”

Holguin argued that the technological complexities of blockchain networks remain high barriers to entry for consumer onboarding. He claimed that Doodles is a brand bent on “coloring the world with joy”, using vibrant illustrations as a welcoming and “disarming” invitation to the larger experience of the project.

He believes the style will contribute to the wider expansion of Doodles, similar to how NBA best shot used engaging basketball videos to draw people into the NFT space. Doodles has already generated over $535 million value of secondary trading volume since its launch in October 2021, and the team plans to launch a larger Doodles Collection 2 coming soon.

“I think art is going to be the tip of the spear for the integration process going forward,” Holguin concluded.

Holloway’s point of view

Before co-founding Seven Seven Six, which also funded notable NFT startups Yuga Laboratories and Evidence—Holloway has worked for leading Web2 companies including Reddit and Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios. Reflecting on Seven Seven Six’s decision to lead Doodle’s $54 million seed round, she emphasized inclusion and diversity as key attractions.

“We’re investing in the team that we believe can bring incredible innovation to the space and have a very strong sense of inclusion,” Holloway explained, “making sure that we take everyone with we.”

After the onstage discussion, Holloway spoke with Decrypt on how the tumultuous economic landscape has affected his temper for strategic investments in the Web3 space. “I haven’t really changed my strategy,” she said, citing the experience of having “been through so many economic downturns.”

“I was raised by a woman who was raised by a woman who lived through the Great Depression,” she said. “So my family has always thrived in times of less and hardship.”

The crypto market crashed in may in the middle of the collapse of Terra’s UST and LUNA, sending ripples throughout the wider blockchain ecosystem. The NFT market suffered too. But there are a lot of economic difficulties to solve at the macro level right now. Holloway said there was also “opportunity” as prices fall and expectations change.

“I’ve always been very disciplined and pragmatic in my investments, so I always focus on the things that I’ve been focusing on for years,” she said. Decrypt. “But I think there’s an incredible opportunity right now.”

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