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Fox Invests in Eluvio, Tech Company Behind its First Blockchain Series, Dan Harmon's 'Krapopolis'

Rick and Morty
Dan Harmon, creator of 'Rick and Morty' (pictured), is working on a new animated series for Fox that will have assets sold as NFTs. (Image credit: Adult Swim)

Two months after announcing a new animated comedy series that will be transacted via non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as a $100 million commitment to fund a new division called Blockchain Creative Labs, Fox said it is also funding the San Francisco company supplying that new biz unit with its blockchain tech, Eluvio.

Fox's exact participation in Eluvio's Series A funding round wasn't specified, but the conglomerate said the round is valued at $100 million. 

Founded by former IBM software engineer Michelle Munson, Eluvio provides blockchain technology that Fox hopes will help it better control and monetize digital images, sound and music files and other creative assets associated with its shows, which have been passed around willy-nilly on the social internet ... and all the way back to Web 1.0, for that matter. 

Michelle Munson Fox Eluvio

(Image credit: Fox)

NFTs provide a way for creators--ranging from independent artists to large global media conglomerates--to claim ownership of creative work on digital ledgers that live in ostensibly secure, decentralized portions of the internet known as the blockchain. Best of all for companies like Fox, it can monetize these NFTs, through mechanisms ranging from sales to individual consumers to advertising sponsorship,

“At Fox , we believe that the blockchain, and the overall shift towards a more decentralized web, is providing creators with a wealth of opportunities to reach consumers with exciting new experiences,” said Paul Cheesbrough, chief technology officer and president of digital for Fox Corp., in a statement. “The Eluvio team are the best in the business when it comes to the software and scalable infrastructure required to power live, decentralized experiences across the blockchain and our investment will help bring this technology to a wider market of content creators, media partners and advertising clients.”

At Fox's upfront presentation in May, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier unveiled the new Blockchain Creative Labs venture, as well as the new animated series from Community and Rick and Morty mastermind Dan Harmon, a show, produced by Fox's Bento Box unit, that will leverage the new business model. 

“Not to go too far into it today, but as an advertiser-focused, artist-first and animation-obsessed company, Fox is going to take advertisers into the world of blockchain-powered tokens, including NFTs,” Collier told Fox sponsors. “And Dan’s series, currently entitled Krapopolis, will be the first-ever curated entirely on the blockchain. And just as we’re doing this for our own animation, we will also help your brands connect directly with fans and enthusiasts through NFTs. With and for you, Fox will help art meet brands meet technology.”

Fox, Collier added, will launch a dedicated marketplace for Krapopolis “that will curate and sell digital goods, ranging from NFTs of one-of-a-kind character and background art and GIFs, as well as tokens that provide exclusive social experiences to engage and reward superfans.”

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.