Kia’s First NFTs Have Covered Adoption Costs for 22,000 Pets in Shelters

Kia’s First NFTs Have Covered Adoption Costs for 22,000 Pets in Shelters

NFT

In the latest instance of a for-profit company tapping NFTs for charity, Kia’s US unit earlier this year minted its first digital collectibles to raise funds for a US nonprofit working to alleviate overcrowded animal shelters.

The results are now in. The car company raised $100,000 for the nonprofit, The Petfinder Foundation, by auctioning off thousands of robotic puppy-themed NFTs. That amount — plus an additional $500,000 in fiat from Kia — has now covered the adoption costs of more than 22,000 animals residing in shelters, the company said on Tuesday.

The NFTs, rolled out in February 2022, feature “Robo Dog,” the robotic puppy starring in Kia’s Super Bowl spot last year. In doing so, Kia became the latest to support the growing trend of the donation-via-digital-collectible model. NFTs have been used to raise funding for the imprisoned founder of the Silk Road, as well as by the likes of Starbucks to charitable causes. Even NFT vending machines in London have gotten in on the game.

Here’s how it played out: Some 10,000 so-called “adoption pass” NFTs were first claimed in a free mint via the Tezos blockchain. Then, another 10,000 generative versions were put up for sale one week later in conjunction with the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 18.

The digital collectibles — priced at $20.22, each— sold out on the Sweet NFT marketplace that same day, generating the $100,000. A series of more expensive and more rare NFTs also contributed to the six-figure fundraise.

Their smart contracts include a provision for a 10% creator royalty, which has been earmarked to go to Petfinder — not Kia — whenever a Robo Dog is resold.

Sweet was selected “for their overall understanding of Kia’s brand direction, and their user-friendly platform that accommodates payment methods beyond [cryptocurrency],” a Kia spokesperson told Blockworks in a statement.

When Kia’s US arm was at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic evaluating its charitable-giving activities, its executives took notice of a marked uptick in pet adoptions — or “pandemic puppies” — according to the company. The observation, eventually, led to the company’s NFT efforts.

A national nonprofit, The Petfinder Foundation works with pet shelters and adoption groups throughout the US, mainly via direct, in turn, gifts of cash and related grant funding. In all, according to Kia, 22,422 animals found new homes as a result.

“Kia wanted to do something different with the popularity of NFTs as well as the anticipated popularity of Robo Dog from the Super Bowl spot,” the spokesperson said.

A national nonprofit, The Petfinder Foundation works with pet shelters and adoption groups throughout the US, mainly via direct, in turn, gifts of cash and related grant funding. In all, according to Kia, 22,422 animals found new homes as a result.

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