nft

An Intro to Recur: The NFT Collectible Platform Set To Take Off

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Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

For those who are familiar with NFTs, Recur has been a hot name in the space since securing investments in 2021 from names such as Gary VaynerchukJason DeruloJoe Lubin, and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen (to name a few).

With partnerships already announced with some of the world’s leading media franchises and IP, such as Hello Kitty, Viacom, CBS, Care Bears, and many major universities, the future appears to be extremely bright for the start-up.

On December 9th, 2021, the Recur Pass—dubbed “Your Portal to the Metaverse”—was launched to the public for 24-hours only, and 64,031 passes were sold for $300/each. Because these passes will never be minted again, the only way to purchase one is on Recur’s secondary market, and the resale value has been hot, with the floor price of a single pass currently set at $680. To date, there have been over $3.6 million transacted on the secondary market.

The most expensive pass that has sold was the rarest one that Recur offered – the “Pure White Zero Pass.” It closed the day before the rest of the passes were made available at Christie’s Auction for 96ETH (approx. $420k at the time).

recur white
NFTevening.com

I recently had a chance to sit down with co-founders and co-CEOs Trevor George and Zach Bruch to talk about the emerging digital collectibles platform and what lies ahead for collectors.

ONE37pm: Since the day the Recur Passes were minted, many of the pass holders have been wondering exactly what the utility behind the passes will be. Can you give some clarification?

Trevor George: The way that we viewed the passes was half an art project, in that it was a generative piece of art, and then half utility-based NFTs for our community. We are ushering in these massive brands. 99.9% of the true fans of those brands are probably not in the NFT space or crypto. They have probably heard about it but likely have not purchased anything yet. 

The other side of the reality is that there is a community of passionate individuals who have been following along the NFT space and what web3 is doing for over a year now. While that's a relatively small percentage, it is extremely important because it's those individuals that are going to bootstrap this industry, alongside Recur and others. 

Imagine if 20 years ago you were given the opportunity from Pokemon to buy the very first Pokemon cards ever made.

- Trevor George

The point of the project was to acknowledge the fact that these individuals in the NFT community at large exist. We wanted to give them a mechanism or a form of utility that the average fan base might not have. Those people are going to come in, but they’re going to arrive after all of us who were already here. Why not give everyone a chance as a sort of thank you for pulling this industry together?

As it relates to the utility, imagine if 20 years ago you were given the opportunity from Pokemon to buy the very first Pokemon cards ever made. If for some reason, there was a rabid community, and they said, “Look, for you all, you get the chance to buy our first cards. They will be labeled the first edition and will be the first cards ever minted from us. You will get access to that sale.”

We took the same approach as step one of the utility. We said, “alright, anyone who holds a Recur pass will essentially get early beta access to the first drops of each of the experiences that we launch for our brands. It’s not every single time that Recur pass holders will be whitelisted. It’s just the very beginning. The very first season. The very first line of collectibles that ever come out. It could be a four-week drop event. It could be an eight-week drop event. It might be once, but it’s arguably going to be the most important and prolific in the brand’s history because they are going to be the first collectibles that ever come out. 

Zach Bruch: There are other ways that this can happen. In some instances, it’s giving them the first access in which they are lining up and purchasing. In other instances, we are giving them access in ways. For example, all of a sudden, in their Recur account, there may be a surprise waiting for them related to a new branded experience. That keeps it exciting and fun. Over time, we are going to continue to create more and more utility for the Recur pass holders. We’ve announced this concept of early access already, and there are a ton of other things we have planned that we are really excited to roll out. 

We can’t wait for the community to experience it because we know we have a really unique approach that’s going to be super compelling. 

ONE37pm: You guys sold 64,031 of these Recur passes. Will every single one of those people who bought a pass be able to purchase the early drops? Will there be enough collectibles for everybody?

Trevor: There will be enough supply. It depends on how it shakes out. Similar to a physical venue, even if every single attendee of the event was a VIP, even VIPs can’t get in if it’s at capacity. If they sleep past their alarm and come in at the very last minute, the supply might be consumed. What we would urge the community to do is even if you hold a pass, you should try to be first in line. We are going to design it so that there is enough quantity for them, but there is never a guarantee because some could purchase multiple quantities, as an example. It’s important that the community lines themselves up. It could also happen in reverse. There could be more supply than needed. But we can’t guarantee that every single person will be able to get one of every single drop. 

ONE37pm: To the rarity end of the passes, let’s say you were lucky enough to get a full house or some other rare property. Does that get you any advanced level of utility?

Zach: The basic utility is the same for every pass holder. However, over the coming year, you are going to see certain subsets of pass holders receive other types of special opportunities, awards, or access in addition to the early access. 

ONE37pm: As for the collectibles, are you planning on some of them having utility as well? 

Zach: Yes. Everything that we’re doing, we think very long-term. We aren’t building one-off drops. Everything we do will have utility. We’re making things so that they can be interoperable so that collectors can participate in other universes and worlds throughout the web3 ecosystem. There’s going to be different collectibility and gamification within our experiences—Gaming-light, collecting style games where you can also earn NFTs, not just purchase them. Going forward, there are going to be all sorts of other utilities for these assets. Again, everything we are doing has immense utility and is being built for the future so that as this entire space develops, collectors can participate and not just be stuck with an asset in an app or on a website. You will be able to take it with you where you want. 

ONE37pm: Any idea of the cost of entry on some of the drops? 

Zach: Our whole idea, in general, is that we want everything to be accessible to everybody. Call it $15-100. It could be a little more or a little less, but the whole goal is to make it accessible to everyone to participate and join. And again, not all NFTs are going to be purchasable. Some will have to be earned through participation. Community members really will be rewarded. That’s a big part of it. 

ONE37pm: Will you be able to use crypto to purchase the drops?

Zach: In terms of payment options, you will be able to buy with a credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and crypto. We support over 200 countries. People bought passes in over 80 different countries, so it’s really amazing to see that so many people from all over the world will be participating and be part of this community and the experiences we will launch.

ONE37pm: Recur recently put out a tweet that you were going to be able to cash people out in February. Is that still on target?

Zach: Yes, that is still the target.

You can assume that if we generate these businesses millions of dollars over the past decades, and singlehandedly led the transformation to direct-to-consumer, what’s coming for Recur.

- Trevor George

ONE37pm: You mentioned Trevor’s extensive background in licensing. I would love to get some more information about that and how it might relate to the future of Recur. 

Trevor: I grew up in my family’s business called TrevCo, and I led the digital transformation of physical merchandise in licensing from brick and mortar to direct-to-consumer. Over the past ten years, since I graduated from the University of Michigan, right when I graduated, it was basically all physical merch business was done at brick and mortar. That’s when Amazon started to become prolific but licensed IP never really sold direct-to-consumer. They are usually sold through a retailer to the consumer. I was the guy that built that entire business. I grew the largest direct-to-consumer business for licensed merchandise in the world. I was then known as the guy that sort of transformed how licensed physical merchandise was sold to consumers. When I learned about NFTs, I realized right then and there that my entire career of helping license brands directly to the consumer could be replicated again, this time with digital goods. I didn’t have a blockchain or crypto background, so that’s how Zach and I came together to form Recur. 

We’ve been public about the partnerships that the public is aware of to date, but I just want to show you one thing on my family business's website. Look at this slide (posted below).

IP
TrevCo.com

You can assume that if we generate these businesses millions of dollars over the past decades and singlehandedly led the transformation to direct-to-consumer, what’s coming for Recur. We have been public about Viacom, CBS, all of the colleges, Care Bears, etc. Imagine what we aren’t public with. That’s all that I’ll say. 

ONE37pm: As a Recur pass holder, that REALLY excites me. 

Trevor: Yeah! It’s going to be really cool.

Zach: Today, we have about 135 full-time employees with deep crypto experience as well as licensing and gaming experience. 

Our crypto and tech teams come from some of the largest exchanges and tech companies like Circle, Kraken, and Twilio. And some even come from some of the largest protocols, including things like USDC, which is today a $49 billion dollar asset.

On the licensing side and gaming side, our leadership team comes from Disney, Warner Brothers, and NBCU, where they held executive positions.

We brought in the best-in-class people to help build out the RECUR vision. When we were starting this business, it was crucial for us to bring in the best talent in the world, and we continue to do so. We want to do every single aspect right because we recognize that we are helping to bootstrap an entire industry.

We are excited for the community to see all that’s to come. The IP that’s about to enter this ecosystem has some of the most robust and expansive fanbases in the world. It will be amazing to see all the new fans and collectors join this community.  

ONE37pm: Will the collectibles be animated and have AR capabilities?

Trevor: All forms. There will be different types of forms per IP. One IP might start 2DP, move into 3-D, and then move into AR. One might be all 3-D and motion. One might be all AR. It just depends. One might be only illustrated. One might be CGI and video. You can imagine sports will be more towards the latter, whereas other IP—maybe like Hello Kitty or Care Bears—might start with illustration and can move beyond that. What we see out in the market is one lane for each IP. We don’t really feel that needs to be the case because the whole point of what we are building is the brand’s official NFT destination. It’s theirs. 

I powered their official storefronts from a merchandising standpoint. On those storefronts, they had a bunch of different categories of products. It wasn’t just one type. They had apparel and clothing, and they had toys. They had DVDs. I think as we look at NFTs and how brands want to speak to their consumers, these will be the official storefronts of digital collectibles. We’ll want to include the different categories of NFTs that might be available. We’re going to launch them over time in more of a collectible style. We definitely see it as being multi-format.

ONE37pm: Anything else that you want the community to know? 

Zach: Yes. Another key thing about Recur is the concept of interoperability and how we allow for it. You are going to start hearing that word a lot. You will see over the coming months that you will be able to withdraw your NFTs across multiple different blockchains. We’ll continue to roll out more and more chains—so as this space continues to grow, you will be able to take these assets and engage with them all over the web3 world and also the web2 world. 

We are excited to help usher the concept of cross-chain interoperability into this space because we think that will take the collectible and NFT space even further than what we have seen today. 

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