Miami superclub E11EVEN is doubling down on its Web 3 drive with the launch of “E11EVEN Crypto,” a new crypto-focused segment of its brand formed in collaboration with blockchain developer Horizen Labs, the company announced Wednesday.
The new division’s first offering is a non-fungible token (NFT) collection titled “11 Captain’s Club,” which will be issued in early April, with artwork inspired by the club’s renowned hat designs and a hefty 1 ETH (about $2,700) mint price.
Since its start in 2014, the downtown nightclub has taken delight in creating its own garment company, vodka brand, and even a real estate arm that has teamed with crypto exchange FTX to supplement the club’s operations.
Now, the corporation is looking at NFTs as its next opportunistic frontier, at a time when Miami has begun to embrace digital currencies in an effort to become the United States’ hotspot for crypto innovation and culture.
CEO Michael Simkins initially envisioned the crossover years ago, and its potential was validated when E11EVEN began accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment mechanism in April 2021.
“We were the first major club to take cryptocurrency as payment, and we’ve now processed more than $5 million of it inside the nightclub,” Simkins said in an interview. “We’ve long been a favorite hangout for people in the crypto sector, including VCs, startups, and investors.” So, even before we were a direct participant, we were part of the ecosystem by doing all of these things.”
(The publicly traded owner of Tootsie’s Cabaret and Scarlett’s Cabaret in the Miami area recently followed suit by accepting bitcoin payments.)
E11EVEN’s first excursion into digital collectibles came in December, when the club paid 99 ETH (about $272,000) for Bored Ape #11.
While Simkins was unable to confirm any planned Bored Ape events at the club, he did hint at an in-person meet-up for Captain Club NFT holders around the time of the upcoming Bitcoin 2022 conference in April.
“We want to listen to the community to find out what utility they want us to provide, particularly real-life utility,” Simkins added. “There will be real-life utility, and the owners will drive it.”
Horizen Labs, based in New York, was chosen by the club for the project’s backend and raised $7 million in an August investment round sponsored by Kenetic Capital.