Sknups Raises $ 3.5M For Blockchain Gaming Collectibles, Reveals Dolce & Gabbana Partnership

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Digital fashion collectibles platform Sknups has raised $ 3.5 million in funding and announced a global gaming partnership with fashion house Dolce & Gabbana.

Based in London, Sknups (pronounced Skin Ups) is a new digital collectible platform for fashion and beauty designers in the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that all connect, like novels like Snowfall and Loan player usa.


Funding comes from fashion and web3 investors, including angel investors and traditional funds including Redrice Ventures, Blue Wire Capital and Adelpha. Sknups also plans to partner with Dolce & Gabbana to bring their signature Italian style to games.

To commemorate the announcement of Dolce & Gabbana and to kick off the first collectible campaign, a new inaugural digital drop is now live on

Founded in 2020, Sknups wants to empower gamers, crypto and fashion enthusiasts to upgrade their skins in the Web2 and Web3 digital worlds. Sknups launched in stealth open beta in December 2021 and has since signed a mix of global fashion brands and young emerging streetwear designers such as Benny Andallo and James Mack. Sknups will soon announce new collaborations with leading brands and cultural icons.

“We see the opportunity for brands to move further in a digital world to better connect with Gen Z consumers in places where they have fun and socialize,” said Fred Speirs, CEO of Sknups, in an interview with GamesBeat. “And that happens a lot in games today. It was the excitement of knowing how these two worlds come together.

The mission is to enhance online self -expression by bringing unique skins and collections of people’s favorite games and digital world.

“We have a very good team that combines strong skill and experience in terms of fashion, very strong in-depth knowledge of the technology behind the platform and what we are developing, and then also a lot in terms of gaming. , “said Speirs. “I’m from the business side of fashion. For almost a decade, I’ve been a global lifestyle brand analyst. That’s why we’ve covered a lot of brands that we’re talking about and focusing on right now. And then, recently, I started with building businesses.And I’m so excited to lead Sknups today.

Sknups worked with Benny Andallo.

“We have the first big brand that we can talk about in public, in the form of Dolce and Gabbana. So we feel like it’s a good time to come and talk about it,” Speirs said. “We have a platform. in super scalable technology. We have the ambition to help create repeatable and scalable drops for partners. »

The Sknups team has built a hybrid Web2/Web3 proprietary platform that combines the highest quality digital manufacturing with a broad metaverse reach:

  • The world-class team created digital collectibles with couture 3D models created at Sknups ’metaverse workshop.
  • The Sknups platform scales for billions of users and includes Airdrop tools that provide democratic Drop access to the entire fan community, along with climate-friendly Solana NFTs for collectors, social flexibility tools, Web2/Web3 Composability game fans and integrations.

“Brands and creators who want to build a scalable presence in the digital world need to strike a balance between premium and access,” Speirs said. “Fashion in the metaverse needs to be accessed beyond a small core by celebrities and wealthy VIPs to communicate the changing power of style and craftsmanship to the next generation of fans.”

Luke Alvarez, co-founder of Hiro Capital, co-founder and chairman of Sknups. Other founders include Speirs, Simon Low and gaming technology innovator Alistair Hopkins. The team has 20 people spread around the world, some of them based in London.

Switching games

Former Ubisoft esports leader and gaming veteran Robb Chiarini helped lead the company’s relationships with the gaming ecosystem and game publishers.

“We’re in different stages of internal discussions about how they handle things like game skins and intros, as well as all the things we’re trying to deliver,” Chiarini said. “I’d say there’s a little bit of interest, but there’s a different level of readiness.”

Chiarini said skins have been in play for a long time, and now there are in -game stores for digital skins and even physical items. But a lot of things are changing at a very fast pace, he said.

Connecting Web2 and Web3

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Will you bring your brand to the metaverse?

Speirs said the company is looking to resolve issues from different parties. The company brings together aspiring brands and creators on the one hand, then connects them to gaming experiences.On the other hand, the company focuses on making the experiences fun, he said.

“We did it quickly and made it something that both parties can trust and want to keep going,” Speirs said.
The company started the Web2 space by creating digital collectibles. And it offers an option to embed this digital collectible with a non-fungible token (NFT). But now, that’s not something every brand should do, according to Speirs.

“Every brand we talk to and every game we talk to has a different take on NFTs,” Speirs said. “An important part of our solution is that we have the ease of integrating with a very wide range of consumers. If any party involved wants to transfer that to an NFT, we can do that. But not that. must.

In this way, Sknups allows partners to decide if their customers are ready for NFTs. In games, NFTs have faced some resistance from gamers and game developers. But others are more receptive to the idea of ​​using the blockchain to validate unique digital objects.

In NFT or not in NFT

I’ve noticed how many players have reacted badly to NFT announcements from Ubisoft, Team 17, GSC Gameworld, and others.

“It’s an interesting question because space is growing, interests are growing and products are growing,” Chiarini said. “Our space is made up of digital collectibles. NFTs may not be the direction these different brands are headed. At its core, we are a digital collectible. And we work with a variety of gaming initiatives to bring these brands to the forefront. game.That doesn’t mean in-game NFTs.I think the space is changing.

Speirs said Web3 now has limited reach and the company wants to bring its products to a broad group of people.

“Web3 is more interesting, but it’s a little more addressable audience than Web2,” Speirs said. “That’s why it’s important for us to have a hybrid solution. We want to allow a combination of crypto fan and fashion fan players to upgrade their skins and avatars in the web2 and web3 worlds, because we don’t wants to be exclusive to a subset of it.As the business grows, as the environment changes, of course we respond to it.

In the metaverse?

Dolce & Gabbana has partnered with Sknups.

In some ways, brands see the Metaverse as a Wild West class. They may want to move to a user-generated platform (UGC), but they may find that the brand has been hacked and is already on those platforms.

Going back a long time, “You always have this question when you think of people making fake products or physical things. And often the conclusion is, well, no, you don’t, because at least it means that you’re a hot brand and people are excited about you, ”Speirs said.

Brands have different opinions about it. They want to control their own brand, but it’s very clear about the importance of being accepted by the gaming community, Speirs said. The question is how do you make the metaverse safe for brands and help them maintain the quality of things like UGC.

“It’s not about the old ways of communication,” he said. “It’s about finding the right ways to empower communities, to be part of the conversation. And for us, that’s why we don’t want to be just a platform. We’re also partners that can really help connect these two. different worlds. »

Speirs knows that some brands will jump right into games that don’t use partners. Gucci is an example. But others are looking to Sknups to facilitate their entry into the metaverse in the right way, Speirs said.

“We’re a great way for brands to start moving in this space,” Speirs said. “At the same time, we also want them to have a good experience with us.”

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