Weekly HUG #0047: HUG closes on on $5M Seed Round 🎊
Are you here for the art? Say hello to your new favorite social marketplace 🤗
It’s official! HUG closes on our $5M Seed Round
On Wednesday, April 12th, HUG announced the closing of a $5M round of seed funding led by Mark Daniel and Benjamin Milstein (aka OhhShiny) of DIGITAL, a Web3 investment fund founded, with OKX Ventures and L’Oreal Groupe BOLD Ventures.
HUG is excited to be at the forefront of democratizing access to art, and changing the narrative around how artists get recognized and discovered. It is great to have the vote of confidence from some of the most seasoned investors in Web3 and consumer technology to deliver a product that will disrupt a multibillion dollar art industry, while paving new ways for how artists and collectors will engage in the future.
With that, it's time to introduce a brand new HUG, with art and artists front and center. Artists deserve to feel seen, heard, and valued. Collectors deserve to find art that they connect with. So, one year ago, HUG's founders Randi Zuckerberg and Debbie Soon set out to build the inclusiverse. We wanted to create a communal space driven by a love of the arts, beyond an unpredictable algorithm.
Since then, our decentralized community has collectively curated over 1000 creators and counting to get discovered on HUG, where they can connect with collectors through custom profiles as unique as they are. Soon, these profiles will be getting very exciting updates.
This seed funding will allow us to take HUG from social discovery to a social marketplace where artists sell digital and physical goods— imagine Facebook meets Etsy.
Other marketplaces prioritize profits over the creators that built them. At HUG, we're here for the art, and that's why we're putting artists first. HUG artist profiles will soon evolve into virtual storefronts, where creators will be able to connect with collectors to sell both digital and physical goods. Our collector management tools will ensure that important updates and art drops don't get lost in social feeds.
What can you look forward to from us?
We're thankful to every artist we've met along the way. If you're new to HUG but feeling just as excited as we are, join us in the Inclusiverse. Apply for your very own HUG Artist Profile to take part in the future of the creator economy.
Most of all? We're grateful to you. From our earliest supporters to our newest friends, we wouldn't be here without you. We're more prepared than ever to take you farther than you've ever been before.
It’s time to learn more, do more, and be more with HUG. Who’s with us?
Curious about how to curate your own gallery?
Our latest edition of Creator Royalties is a curated collection on how you can curate yourself. Find out firsthand the necessary strategies to create the perfect gallery, whether it’s online or virtual.
While it is true that nothing beats the power of IRL connections, virtual galleries can still serve as an innovative solution to reach and grow new audiences. In fact, they also come with a few advantages of their own. Read more 👑⤵️
HUG celebrates at a debut gallery opening in NYC✨
What better way to celebrate the good news than with a party?
HUG was founded on the principles of decentralized, community-sourced art curation to build a more diverse and accessible ecosystem. Our community spent the past several weeks curating their favorite artists to be showcased at our first gallery show of many, aptly named Enter the Inclusiverse.
Just hours after our big announcement, HUG welcomed the public to Enter the Inclusiverse with our very first gallery opening party at NYC’s Seaport, where the work of these curated artists will bridge the gap from digital art to the real world at the 0×17 Gallery through May 25.
As a remote team, it’s not often HUG’s 14 employees get to come together in person. This past week working together was made all the more sweeter with the countless artists and art lovers from HUG’s community who came to celebrate, admire art, and get HUGs IRL. Everything we do at HUG, we do for you. We can’t wait to share all the dreams and schemes we have in store for you.
Team HUG is here for the art
Huggers get creative coloring in the lines but thinking outside of the box
Artist Ishita Banerjee capturing her work on display
HUG’s gallery is open and free to the public through May 25
HUG & Lion’s Milk brew up a visual treat
We are thrilled to share that HUG-curated artists are now on display at Lion’s Milk, the world’s first NFT coffee shop!
If you’re visiting New York for NFT NYC, be sure to visit Williamsburg and pop in for a pick-me-up from Lion’s Milk while admiring these hug-worthy artists! Located in the heart of Williamsburg, Lion's Milk is the cafe of choice to Brooklyn's local Web3 community
🦁ALPHA: Ownership of a Caffeinated Lions - the Lion’s Milk membership NFT - comes with many benefits, such as having your favorite NFT or PFP on display in the shop.
Get creative with HUG’s new banner maker
We wanted to make it easier for everyone to showcase and share their favorite art, artists, or even their own work with their friends & followers on Twitter. Our new banner maker does just that! Simply upload your favorite works and save to share.
🎓 Last chance! Apply to HUG Studios
What is HUG Studios?
HUG Studios is the only Web3 educational program for creators, by creators. In the past year alone, we have worked with over 1,000 creators across art, music, theater, and entrepreneurship. At HUG Studios, we offer three different programs to meet you where you're at and grant access to the leading creative minds in Web3 to level up yourself for long-term success.
HUG Studios alumni include Boss Beauties, Curious Addys, Women and Weapons, Power of Women, and more!
The original deadline of April 15 has been extended to this coming Monday, April 17th. Apply now to join our next cohort from May 1 through July 24.
The Fragile Friends family is growing!
Our Meta Angels x Adobe Artist-in-Residence, Jack aka jprittee, is releasing this cheery little piece as an edition for his Fragile Friends collection. Minting is currently open for collectors at .02 ETH with public mint opening this Monday at 0.03 ETH ♥️
More about Jack aka jprittee: Jack is a designer & 3D illustrator that is on a mission to spread joy and make Web3 a more inclusive place. Jack's various collections are designed to support & celebrate LGBTQIA+, BIPOC & women creators in Web3 by spotlighting, curating, and reinvesting profits directly into the works of diverse artists throughout our community.
Nail spotting 👀
This queen and her nails just raised $5mil 💅🏽 @thehugxyz
— NailDAO (@nail_dao)
Apr 13, 2023
So, my 8th grade teacher surprised me and came to the gallery! Did we cry, yes. Mr. Gil always believed in me and supported me from day 1.
Protect him at all cost! @thehugxyz
— Wildflower Fields | NFT.NYC 2023 (@wildy_martinez)
Apr 12, 2023
What a wow moment
Met again @TeresaMelvinart
@thehugxyz fab event
— RainbowMosho.nft | NFTNYC23 | Super Rare | Objkt (@RainbowMosho)
Apr 13, 2023
New banner to commemorate the new @thehugxyz brand, featuring art from @aslanruby@Yinkore_@studioSYLVO & @amb@amber_vittoriap
— Alex Cavoulacos (@acav)
Apr 14, 2023
With @NFT_NYC 2023 underway, exciting news came from Web3’s social curation platform, @thehugxyz announced that it closed a $5 million USD seed round.
— Hypemoon (@Hypemoon)
Apr 13, 2023
gm from me and all our HUG artists 🤗
— DebbieSoon.eth 🤗 (@debsoon)
Apr 11, 2023
What a big day @thehugxyz had yesterday!
In 24 hours we…
✔️ announced our $5M seed round
✔️ launched a rebrand to put focus on the art
✔️ hosted a gallery opening feat 35 artists spanning 17 countries
I haven’t had the chance to write all I want to say, but I’m… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
— cropcircle (🤗,🥳)🇵🇭 (@cropcircle_eth)
Apr 13, 2023