Rally hires Patreon exec as CEO and raises $50M in token sale

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Rally, a crypto platform for creators, has named former Patreon exec Bremner Morris as CEO and it has raised $50 million in a token sale to its community.

The entity raised the money through a sale of its token, $RLY, and that means the community has invested a total of $108 million to date in the Rally platform.

The funding will be used to build out the broader $RLY Network ecosystem, including Rally and other consumer-focused projects. The funding will also be used for a forthcoming venture studio and an Asia-focused creator monetization project as part of a larger decentralization strategy included in the proposal.

Since launch in October 2020, more than 170 personalized cryptocurrencies have launched via Rally including Grammy-award winners Portugal the Man ($PTM), international soccer star Keisuke Honda ($KSK), Clubhouse innovators Bomani X ($BOO) and Christina Holder ($WOMXN), and global esports organization GenG ($GGSC).

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Rally has pioneered the personalized cryptocurrency (dubbed a social token) for creators. Fans purchase these tokens and use to gain access to things like special events. The coins benefit not only creators but also the fans as well, Rally claims. They could invest in coins or collect them. They can hold onto them as they rise in value, and then sell them for a profit.

Powered by the digital ledger of the blockchain, Rally is a crypto platform that allows creators and artists to launch their own digital currency and to build sustainable, independent economies with their fan communities.

International soccer star Keisuke Honda.

Above: International soccer star Keisuke Honda is also using Rally.

Image Credit: Reuters

I like the idea because it fits into what I call the “Leisure Economy,” where we someday will all get paid to play games and build careers that didn’t exist before. I’m talking about folks like esports athletes, cosplayers, influencers, YouTubers, livestreamers, modders, and many other people. These are all the people that Rally is targeting, Chou said. But he’s also targeting companies and brands.

The new boss

Morris was appointed by the community earlier this year to lead go-to-market initiatives for the $RLY network’s flagship app, Rally. Since joining the project, Morris has assisted with rapidly scaling Rally to a leading crypto platform for creators. In the last quarter alone, Morris oversaw the launch of an upcoming visual brand identity and website, assembled a leadership team of creator economy experts including execs from Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter and YouTube and partnered with UTA to represent Rally to the creator / talent ecosystem.

Prior to joining Rally, Morris held senior leadership positions in the creator and digital economy ecosystems, including serving as Patreon’s head of go-to-market and revenue and head of creator partnerships. Prior to joining Patreon, Morris drove the growth of AppDirect, a leading cloud software marketplace provider.

New hires

Rally also announced other new hires. Carol Chen serves as Rally’s vice president of engineering. She has been working on software development for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Rally, she led the engineering team of platform ads and content ingestion in Pandora music. She also has extensive experience working in e-commerce, digital coupons, and gaming.

Chris Fortier serves as Rally’s vice president of product. He previously led product for music at Twitch, where he was the first product hire for the music vertical and supported musicians on Twitch as they tripled their share of video consumed and quintupled their share of revenue.

Stephanie Pereira joined Rally as vice president of creator success. She previously served as director of New Museum’s New Inc. Prior to that, she was a senior leader at Kickstarter where she worked for over six years, first as the inaugural director of arts, and ultimately as director of creator engagement where she oversaw strategic growth and management of a global community of over 100K people.

Johnny Tong joins Rally as Head of Finance. He joins the company following a six year tenure as Director, Head of Treasury at Peet’s Coffee.

New roles for founders

Kevin Chou is CEO of Rally.

Above: Kevin Chou is CEO of Rally.

Image Credit: Rally

With the passing of the community proposal to decentralize the $RLY network ecosystem, former CEO Kevin Chou and his cofounder Mahesh Vellanki will launch a venture studio, SuperLayer Labs, that will fund and accelerate separate projects on top of the $RLY network. They will continue to serve Rally in an advisory capacity. The proposal also allocated a budget from the community treasury to establish a separate creator-focused project that will aim to mirror Rally’s success in the greater Asia region.

Rally now moves into a community-governed state as a project. The project’s original funding included a mix of VCs including Andreesen Horowitz, Canaan, Battery Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Green Bay Ventures, and other major blockchain VCs, entrepreneurs, and more. The full community proposal can be read here.

The project will soon be divided into five separate and independent entities, including a new venture studio headed by Rally founders Kevin Chou and Mahesh Vellanki; and a forthcoming creator-focused project in Asia. Full breakdown in the release below.

Morris will step into the CEO role at Rally.io, which will keep the moniker of Rally.

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