Former Gaana CEO’s NFT startup FanTiger lets you invest in songs and earn royalties
Prashan Agarwal, ex-CEO of Gaana and co-founder of, believes that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will gain mainstream adoption if they have strong utility and incentivize users to own them.
A music industry veteran, Prashan saw the potential in creating an NFT platform where buyers could own a piece of a song and earn royalties based on its performance.
Buyers could also use the NFT to access exclusive rewards (such as encounters with their favorite artists, and possibly resell the NFT on a secondary market for a higher return on investment).
With this vision, Prashan buildsa platform to connect independent artists, creators and musicians with fan communities via NFTs.
Prashan tells The decrypted story:
“With music streaming, artists typically cede copyright and royalty income to platforms and record labels, and they work off a set amount. As a result, their income is reduced and they end up deriving most of their income (up to 90% in many cases) from events. With FanTiger NFTs, artists and fans can directly own music rights and IP addresses, earn more from royalty revenue, and get more benefits.
To build the platform, FanTiger earlier this year raised $5.5 million in a funding round led by Multicoin Capital. Other investors in the round includedPravega Ventures, GAMA, IOSG Ventures, Polygon Studios, as well as Sandeep Nailwal (Co-founder of ), Gokul Rajaram, Prashant Malik and Miten Sampat.
The platform has already signed with artists such as Sunanda Sharma and Naalayak for their musical releases. He claims to have several other partnerships in the works, with a focus on music in languages such as Punjabi, Tamil, Marathi, Bhojpuri, etc.
How does the platform work?
On the artist side, FanTiger is a way to raise funds and earn revenue related to the release of an upcoming song.
For example, the platform will look to rise anywhere between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 35 lakh per song depending on the greatness of the artist.
Funds are raised by splitting ownership of the song into hundreds or thousands of NFTs and selling them to the artist’s fans.
“We start with Rs 499-Rs 799 as an ideal entry point for fans to purchase an NFT of an upcoming song. Let’s say we are able to sell 2,500 of these NFTs and raise Rs 25 lakh for the artist. In this way, the artist has the opportunity to earn revenue directly from the fans, unlike the traditional mechanism where streaming platforms and record labels absorb most of the revenue,” Prashan said.
FanTiger takes a 2% cut on funds raised.
It also encourages and helps artists organize meet and greets, video calls, and other unlockable content for NFT owners, allowing creators to build their fan communities.
When the song is broadcast on YouTube, Spotify, Gaana, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms, it earns royalties based on its performance. These royalties are redistributed to the artist and the fans.
“45% of royalties go to the artist. 45% is put into our royalty vault for our fans. And the rest (10%) is our share,” says Prashan.
“Staying with the same example, let’s say the song has a good online stream for three months and brings in Rs 40 lakh in royalty revenue for fans. This is attributed to the existing 2,500 NFT owners and equates to a return of approximately Rs 1,600 per holder. There is also a chance of future revenue beyond the three months, as the song will continue to stream across all platforms,” he explains.
Secondary marketplace for NFTs
FanTiger is also building a secondary market where holders can sell their NFTs.
Here, prices are determined based on supply and demand. But Prashan believes that these NFT prices will not be as volatile as many rare and high-value NFTs that are sold for several hundred thousand dollars on the likes of OpenSea.
“NFTs generate cash flow from royalty income and also provide exclusive access to artists. Moreover, there are several hundreds or thousands of NFTs per song. With all of these elements put together, a user in the previous example could perhaps sell his NFT (which cost him Rs 799) for Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. These are not NFTs whose value skyrockets from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh for no apparent reason,” says Prashan.
The secondary market is currently in the works, and when operational later this year, it will feature a 5% platform fee and a 5% commission paid to the original artist. The seller keeps 90% of the final sale price.
Finding the right balance between supply and demand pricing and embedded value in NFTs is perhaps FanTiger’s most important goal. This is especially true because India’s NFT market has seen moderate traction and limited sales, despite the involvement of several prominent film and music celebrities.
For instance, Amitabh Bachchan’NFT’s entire collection sold for less than $1 million, while global projects such as CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) sold NFTs for millions of dollars each.
Several local projects such as WazirX NFT Market, Diginoor, Rario, Vibranium, Swaraj Projekt and others have also been breaking new ground in the segment, looking for new ways to break into the Indian NFT market.
A new class of NFT
For Prashan, a new class of cash-generating NFTs could turn the tide and maybe converting the value-conscious Indian market into NFT investors.
“There are many NFT projects that only focus on supply and demand. There is no underlying asset supporting NFT. However, the market is large and many startups have the freedom to explore interesting ideas. Given that we understand the space well, we believe we are positioned to lead the disruption,” he says, adding:
“With FanTiger, holders can not only earn royalty income, but also earn maximum profits by supporting emerging or relatively unknown artists early on. This way we can create a new asset class for music fans. »
FanTiger is also tinkering with the idea of NFT baskets, where users can invest in a range of NFTs with a central theme.
The broader vision is to establish a DIY Platform (DIY) for creators to engage directly with their fans, where both parties stand to gain financially. And this vision is not limited to music – in fact, Prashan believes a similar formula can be extended to TV series, movies or other media content formats on the FanTiger platform.
“We are aiming to bring one lakh artists and one crore users to the platform within three to five years,” he concludes.