Meet Mintouge, the Web3 plug-in that connects luxury brands to their customers via purchased product. It generates digital twins of physical items which combine blockchain based certificate of ownership, digital wearable and private communications channel.
The start-up was one of eight chosen for the inaugural Farfetch X Outlier Ventures Dream Assembly Base Camp accelerator, benefiting from a 12-week mentorship program.
Mintouge enables brands to deliver customer service post sale, digitizing physical assets and communicating via a product’s digital twin stored in an associated app that’s digital wardrobe meets custodial wallet meets social network.
The interoperable, scalable technology means Mintouge can be integrated with pretty much any e-commerce operation — in a matter of minutes via a few lines of code.
Currently, post sale communication represents a real challenge for brands. The luxury consumer expects and demands a high level of customer service but is increasingly reluctant to share their personal data due to the high instance of security breaches.
“Prior to purchase they have a direct line to their customer but once a sale has been completed that line often comes to an abrupt halt. Mintouge offers a solution to this problem plus additional utility — all in one place,” says co-founder Pietro Novelli. This is vital for customer retention, he adds, which, during a recession, becomes more important than customer acquisition.
For the consumer, benefits are multiple. Along with their physical purchase, they receive its 3D digital twin which they can wear in a variety of games and metaverses. It doubles up as a digital certificate of ownership, providing access to token gated experiences and communities.
Here’s how it works. You select a product on a participating brand’s e-commerce site, try the 3D digitized version on an integrated avatar configurator (Mintouge both digitizes the assets and builds out the avatar), pay for it with your credit card (this is important) and receive the physical item in the mail as standard.
The transaction also generates a digital certificate of ownership / digital wearable stored in the Mintouge digital wardrobe app (custodial wallet) and via which the brand can talk to you, airdropping experiences, offers and rewards.
As Novelli puts it, “imagine your next luxury purchase as a key to unlock a private membership club.”
Crucially, neither brand nor user need deal with the cryptocurrency aspect as the Mintouge technology takes care of that via its fiat to crypto payment gateway. “It’s completely frictionless”, says Novelli, “making it a real bridge to Web3 adoption.”
As the community evolves, owners will be able to use the digital twins to resell connected physical products via the Mintouge social community, tracking the market value of their physical wardrobe via the custodial wallet. This resale can also potentially generate an additional stream of revenue for brands (in the same way as creator royalties can be written into smart contracts). The custodial wallet has a $35million insurance policy.
Mintouge had its genesis at Art Basel Miami 2021. One night Steve Aoki was doing a set with Alec Monopoly at Liv at Fontainebleau, Novelli relates. “He was wearing a bomber jacket with his Bored Ape on the back and I thought this guy is redefining the idea of luxury because it’s not just about big brands any more, it’s about exclusive communities. He’s wearing something that’s worth a million dollars and he’s the only person who can wear it.” (FYI Bored Ape and Crypto Punk holders own their IP.)
As for the pedigree of Mintouge co-founders, Pietro Novelli and Kunaal Chande, they were respectively, marketing manager on Meta’s global business team and digital strategist at Bloomberg. The wider team comprises former TikTok, Google
Mintouge has already signed at least one global luxury fashion brand and is in advanced discussions with a number of others. Talks are also underway with an influencer marketing agency. Going forward, the Mintouge technology can enable brands to feature an ambassador’s avatar on the configurator and directly track conversions. The influencer accrues royalties from each transaction as set out in their smart contract allowing them to monetize their communities.
Since its debut, the founders have been bootstrapping the company but will launch their first seed funding round in the first quarter of 2023.