On April 4, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, announced in an Open Forum that the company is planning to enter the NFT business before the end of 2022. This news was confirmed by the company itself a few hours later.
Although Schultz did not provide an exact date as to when the company would move into the NFT world, he assured that it would be “sometime before the end of this calendar year.”
Starbucks to enter the world of NFTs before the end of 2022
During his speech, Schultz asked the audience how many had heard about NFTs. He also inquired as to how many of them had been involved in NFTs or participated in NFT investments. Even though the room fell practically silent, Schultz explained that the ecosystem was young and that Starbucks had the best tools and collections to move into this new ecosystem.
“If you look at the companies, the brands, the celebrities, the influencers that are trying to create a digital NFT platform and business, I can’t find one of them that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has from collectibles to the entire heritage of the company.”
Schultz’s new appointment as CEO of the company could bring an even more crypto-friendly Starbucks. It is important to note that other mainstream companies are not only sponsoring NFT drops but also creating new crypto experiences like stores in the metaverse or collaborations with other crypto projects.
What could Starbucks bring to the NFT space?
As Schultz pointed out in his talk, Starbucks is not just a beverage brand but a company with years of tradition, history, and collectibles found around the world that a digital artist alone could not compete against.
That is to say, if the company sets its mind to it, it could create one of the largest NFT marketplaces in the world. Even if they were to partner with other similar brands in the industry, such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, or Pepsi-Cola, the amount business opportunities could be huge, especially considering that these brands are already used to please their consumer base with collectibles like cans, bottles, and special editions of their favorite beverages.
Starbucks’ valuation is about $96.7 billion, while that of OpenSea, an NFT marketplace founded in 2017, is already surpassing $13.3 billion. So it is not surprising that large companies want to start investing in these new technologies.
And there sure is room for everyone when it comes to developing business opportunities related to NFTs and the metaverse. Just for reference, Citi argues that in the upcoming years, the space could become a $13 trillion opportunity which makes Starbucks’ valuation pale in comparison.