[Short #7] Moonbirds

$55,000 owls

I was determined not to write about Moonbirds since everyone and their mom has or will, but here we are :)

So now we have $300,000 apes, $75,000 anime characters, $20,000 cats, and…

$55,000 owls (at the time of this writing).

Don’t hate the pixelated owl, hate the game

And this project launched on Saturday morning, aka ~48 hours ago…


The Moonbirds project has broken records, dominated NFT Twitter for the weekend, and has continued to be the Belle of the NFT Ball going into the week.

So what the hell is going on here?

For those that have a little more time, this tweet thread sums it up pretty well

Cryptolocity @Cryptolocity

What's are MoonBirds and why is your twitter feed filled with fomo and/or cope about them? Hopefully this thread can give you some more insight about this record breaking NFT project @moonbirds_xyz and their parent project @proof_xyz 1/🧵

8:27 PM ∙ Apr 17, 2022


For those that don’t have as much time, don’t like owls, don’t like bird apps, or don’t like birds in general, here’s the TLDR:

  • Founders are Kevin Rose and Ryan Carson

    • Kevin Rose: Founded Digg, Oak (I use this meditation app lol, guess I’m learning something new while writing this, awesome!), former GP at Google Ventures, and current Partner at True Ventures.

    • Ryan Carson: Founded Treehouse and dove into the Web3 rabbit hole in 2021. Kevin Rose was Treehouse’s first investor back in 2011.

  • Moonbirds are the PFP (profile pic) project of PROOF Collective, a 1,000 member exclusive group of NFT collectors and artists. The cost of membership is almost as expensive as a Bored Ape. This makes Soho House seem like Dollar Tree.

  • Moonbirds has introduced a new-ish concept called ‘nesting’ (haha, get it?). The longer you hold and stake your Moonbird, the more benefits you get. Some of the benefits include getting airdropped specific NFTs depending on the traits of your Moonbird.

Ok great, but why did this project skyrocket from a 2.5 ETH mint cost (~$7,500) to 18 ETH (~$55,000)?

  • The founders and their track record. PROOF and Moonbirds aren’t the brainchild of some 20 year old student, creator, or average entrepreneur (much love to all these founder-creators, we need more!). This is the brainchild of an accomplished team and maybe more importantly, well connected team. They’re already funded by none other than…

  • Not only do they have a track record, they have a Web3 track record. Remember PROOF Collective? :) If you want to learn more about what they’ve done and future plans, check out the overview by Ryan Carson here.

  • They’ve introducing novel concepts to the space. As mentioned earlier - Nesting, airdrop mechanics based on the traits of your Moonbird, an eventual Metaverse with a different angle, etc. The space rewards innovation, especially when it’s executed well.


The first point around the founders and their track record intrigues me the most (the other points all help us to understand why Moonbirds are literally going to the moon, price-wise).

This tweet thread puts it well:

Twitter avatar for @swombat

Daniel Tenner (swombat.eth) @swombat

Moonbirds marks a turning point in NFTs. It's not about @moonbirds_xyz specifically. It's about the whole market. As an experienced startup person, I can see a pattern emerging here. It has some important implications for the future of NFTs. Read on to find out more. 👇


11:30 AM ∙ Apr 18, 2022


TLDR - This was always true especially for smaller projects and creators, NFTs are are going to be a legitimate alternative to traditional methods of fundraising.

Moonbirds just raised $60 million (8000 birds*2.5 cost*$3000 per ETH; it’s a 10k project but 2k were reserved for free for PROOF pass holders)…

And another $10 million from secondary royalty fees ~48 hours in (70k ETH volume on Opensea*5% royalty*$3000 per ETH). This is only on Opensea. It doesn’t include other marketplace royalties, so this figure is higher and will continue to climb with more sales.

I imagine Venture Capital, banks, Kickstarter, AngelList, EquityZen, etc. are watching this closely. Can you imagine the time and effort it would take to raise that sum of money? Not to mention that PROOF/Moonbirds now has an army of ~6,500 diehard ambassador-marketers (holders) for the brand.

This does not mean that everyone should go the NFT route if they need to look for their next round of funding, as there are other considerations (eg: if your 6,500 diehard ambassadors turn into diehard haters because of poor execution).

But maybe it’s something to poke into…

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