The emergence of NFTs was shouldered by creative communities. As the pandemic saw artists struggling to carry on their craft, NFTs provided a new medium of monetisation and creative expression.
For entrepreneur and hobbyist beatboxer Kenneth Koh, this was a space filled with opportunity. In February 2021, he’d heard about crypto investments from a friend, which inspired him to venture down the rabbit hole himself.
“This was the same time when my friend Dharni — who’s a two-time world beatbox champion — moved back to Singapore from Poland,” Koh recalls. “I spoke to him about using the NFT and Web3 narrative to come up with a product for the beatboxing community.”
In their efforts to support beatboxers, the pair came up with the idea behind Tezarekt. “We wanted to create products with real utility for the beatboxing community, and use the proceeds to help out artists.”
This led to the launch of an NFT collectibles series, which came with exclusive perks for buyers.
“We offered merchandise, lifetime discounts for world championship events, and raffles for free hotel stays, among other perks. People from all over the world would be able to purchase these NFTs to support beatboxers,” he adds.
Following the success of their NFT collection, Koh and Dharni broadened their vision. “Tezarekt spiralled into a platform which does bespoke projects for brands and communities. It’s not just about beatboxing anymore,” says Koh.
The future of marketing
Today, Tezarekt works with a variety of brands and communities, helping them deliver new forms of social experiences.
“We’re like a marketing agency which does bespoke projects for different groups of people,” says Koh.
This July, the company is working with JU95 — a bar in Boat Quay — on a ‘random cocktail generator’. Customers will be able to choose between three different modes on an ordering kiosk and purchase an entirely new drink.
“The easiest mode will mix one spirit and mixer, while the toughest will create a mix of three spirits and mixers. It’s a very exciting and new experience, for the customers as well as the bartenders,” explains Dharni.
Drinks ordered using this kiosk will be cheaper than the ones on the menu, giving customers even more incentive to try it out.
For Web3 users, this experience goes even further. “When they use the random cocktail generator, they’ll gain points which can be converted into $TEZA (Tezarekt’s native crypto token).” These tokens will then be redeemable for NFTs.
With time, Tezarekt plans to further build this link between its real-world installations and Web3 capabilities such as partnering with Web3 games.
“If a player’s character runs out of health, they’d be able to rejuvenate by buying a drink from one of our installations,” explains Dharni.
Changing dynamics: Web2 and Web3
On face value, one might look at Web3 as a successor to Web2. However, companies like Tezarekt are finding more value in exploring their coexistence.
“Have you seen the market recently?,” Dharni jokes. “We can’t go completely Web3.”
“Our model is more of a hybrid. There’s still a lot of friction in the Web3 space and that’s where our Web2 offerings come in.”
Tezarekt plans to use its real-world installations to support its Web3 ecosystem. For each sale, a percentage of revenue will be used by the company to buy back the $TEZA token and help sustain its value.
While the ultimate goal is to bring people over to Web3, consumers will be able to learn about it at their own pace while making use of Tezarekt’s products.
For businesses and brands, this is a way to adapt to the changing times without alienating a section of their consumer base. With its team of designers and animators, Tezarekt personalises each product and caters to the respective industry of its clients.
“We work with a variety of clients, from dance and e-sports communities to F&B brands,” says Koh. “We’re very versatile in that sense.”
Built for the long run
Trends come and go especially quickly in the Web3 space. There are plenty of projects which die within weeks of inception.
“Everything is just hype-based, and I don’t know how long that can keep going for,” Dharni says. “A lot of projects are simply forcing the Web3 narrative to draw attention before they even come up with a product. They raise funds and exit just as quickly.”
Even projects which have seen immense success can’t seem to make it last because of unsustainable models. Koh cites Axie Infinity as an example. At one point of time, the play-to-earn game allowed users to earn hundreds of dollars through gameplay.
However, the rewards were reliant on new users continuously joining and investing in the ecosystem. Following the crypto market crash, Axie Infinity — along with a host of other play-to-earn games — has suffered immense losses in value.
“You can’t keep pumping the project when there’s no input,” says Koh.
Real-world utility is what separates Tezarekt from a plethora of other Web3 projects which focus on trends rather than their product.
“We offer refreshing social experiences which have never been seen before in the world of commerce,” says Dharni. “Normally, if you go to a merchant, you just pay and get what you want. Tezarekt offers an additional experiential element which a lot of people love.”
“It’s very new for everybody and I think the novelty is here to stay. We believe that Tezarekt will be sustainable over the next 100 years.”