G-Eazy, Questlove, Lil Wayne, Black Thought invest in emoji startup

Yat is a Nashville-based startup

Yat, the Nashville-based startup that is transforming online identities through personalized emojis, has announced several high profile artists including Questlove, Black Thought, G-Eazy, and Lil Wayne, as investors in the company, who now own his/her own personalized online identity by creating a string of emojis, known as Yats.

Yat co-founder and serial entrepreneur Naveen Jain, left Silicon Valley to launch Yat in the Music City to build the next hub of media innovation and has aggressive goals to grow the team in Nashville. The company has doubled in growth over the last six months with 55 current employees, and is continuing to expand in Nashville. The company aims to bring the total employee count to over 60 people by the end of the year.

“Our vision for Yat is to transform online identities from usernames that have little meaning to a short string of emojis that tell your story,” says Yat Co-Founder, Naveen Jain. “At Yat, our slogan is ‘Be an Icon,’ and we’re giving people a new way to express themselves online while building the groundwork for a self-sovereign universal internet identity system – all built from the emojis that everyone knows and loves.”

Since quietly launching in private beta this February, the company’s built an incredible community of Yat Creators spanning world-class artists, students, musicians, celebrities and iconic creators with over 325M followers like Kesha, G-Eazy, Lil Wayne, Michael Arrington, and Disclosure and 40,000+ members on Discord — with some creators dishing out more than $425,000 to lock in their own online identity made up entirely of a personalized string of emojis.

A new feature launched in July 2021 where Yat Creators can turn their Yats into mesmerizing animations with the Yat Visualizer and at the same time, can mint their Yats on Ethereum and quickly and easily share them onOpenSea, the world’s largest non-fungible token (NFT) platform.

With over 90% of the 4.6 billion internet users around the globe using emojis to express themselves every day, Yat builds on the concept of emojis as a universal language and offers a universal internet identity, website URL, and payment address. For example, imagine a world where instead of being “johnsmith234” someone can be 👁❤🏈️ across every chat app, social network, metaverse, and beyond.

Unlike most handles, however, Yats are also a new form of NFTs, with real functional utility. The price of a Yat is determined by when it was created (its “Generation”) and how rare and in-demand the Yat is (its “Rhythm Score”), starting at $4, pay-once, own-forever. Y.at Creators can share their creations on NFT platforms including OpenSea and Rarible.

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Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com
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