Trailblazers Spotlight - with Raakhee Miller, CEO of Mojito

“Trailblazers Spotlight – The Leading Innovators in Web3 & Metaverse Marketing” — a curated series celebrating the visionaries and innovators shaping the future of web3 and metaverse marketing.

In our next Trailblazers episode, join Daniel Barry, our esteemed host, in conversation with Raakhee Miller, the visionary CEO of Mojito. With a wealth of experience spanning prestigious financial institutions and tech enterprises, Raakhee offers unparalleled expertise in navigating the dynamic landscape that is Web3. 

Prepare to be blown away as Raakhee reveals Mojito’s journey from inception to becoming a powerhouse in the NFT space. Prepare for insights about the evolution of NFTs, the fusion of physical and digital worlds, and the groundbreaking projects revolutionizing industries from art to luxury…..

"Web3 isn't just about owning assets; it's about owning experiences, culture, and the future."

Raakhee Miller

Raakhee Miller on Trailblazers Web3 & Metaverse Marketing

Raakhee Miller, CEO of Mojito

About Mojito

Introducing Mojito, which emerged from Serotonin, a leading web3 marketing company, born from a creative brainstorming session on a Slack thread. Inspired by its inception, Mojito’s core mission centers on enabling digital ownership of physical items, effectively bridging the gap between the digital and physical realms. With a dedicated focus on luxury goods, art, sports, and entertainment, Mojito serves as the go-to-market partner for large enterprises and brands, guiding them on their journey into the dynamic Web3 space.

Adopting a holistic approach, Mojito supports clients from conceptualization to execution, seamlessly integrating Web3 technologies into their existing frameworks. CEO Rocky foresees a future where NFTs revolutionize various industries, unlocking unprecedented opportunities for data ownership, consumer engagement, and brand collaboration. Mojito continuously innovates and collaborates with leading brands, aiming to redefine customer acquisition and brand loyalty in the Web3 era.

Now, Mojito offers an unparalleled opportunity to capture more profitable consumer insights than ever before. By harnessing the power of Web3, Mojito empowers brands to gain a deeper understanding of consumer preferences and behaviors, allowing for the creation of personalized and engaging experiences tailored to individual needs.

Mojito stands as the premier web3 consumer engagement platform for brands, dedicated to onboarding the world to the exciting realm of Web3. Their white-label web3 product stack encompasses a wide array of features including Engage-To-Earn Rewards, Paid Drops, Marketplaces, Memberships, Wallets, Payments, and more. With a track record of generating over $120 million for marquee brands and creators, including Sotheby’s, Pace Gallery, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Bucks, and CAA, Mojito is at the forefront of driving innovation and growth in the Web3 landscape.

Led by an experienced team of serial Web3 entrepreneurs with over seven years of experience, Mojito is poised to revolutionize consumer engagement and brand experiences

Dan Barry (00:02.006)
The star of this Trailblazers episode is Rocky Miller, the CEO of Mojito, a leading NFT platform solution that enables companies to create new, valuable business verticals and has generated more than 100 million in sales. Mojito launched in 2021 with a 20 million raise and a $100 million valuation from strategic investors like Sotheby's Creative Artist Agency,

NEA and more capital. Over the past 20 years, Rocky has held multiple successful leadership positions at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, McQuire and DriveWealth. So happy you could join us here today, Rocky. I'm honored.

Raakhee Miller (00:50.706)
Hi, Dan. So happy to be here.

Dan Barry (00:53.23)
All right, cool. Well, let's dive right in, shall we? So as I researched you, I noted that you have a lot of experience in this space. And so I'm sure that your answer to this question will prove super valuable to many of the people listening. So what's one key lesson you've learned in your career in this field?

Raakhee Miller (00:57.044)
Let's do it.

Raakhee Miller (01:18.556)
What I've learned is that you never are done learning. I think that is the biggest takeaway for me generally in my career. And I would say especially venturing into the Web3 space. If you've done some research on kind of my career trajectory, you'll see that it followed a very traditional path of finance and software and product.

And I went into the rabbit hole, the Web3 rabbit hole, and happy to be here, obviously. But I think what was a realization to me as I was growing my career in finance and more of the innovation started coming in finance, it just went 100X coming into blockchain and the Web3 space. Because this...

Dan Barry (01:51.203)
Ha ha ha!

Raakhee Miller (02:17.096)
This ecosystem is seeded by everybody that just is coming into it with a completely fresh pair of eyes on how to solve problems that they have seen in their sort of legacy systems and how this technology is so game-changing. And so coming into this, I always knew that there'll be things I'll have to learn. And two years into Mojito, every day is school day as one of my...

Dan Barry (02:43.746)

Raakhee Miller (02:44.92)
favorite managers used to say and I'm loving it.

Dan Barry (02:49.334)
No, I'm with you a thousand percent. In fact, as I was getting into really studying the marketing aspect of web three and the metaverse, and it's like you dive in every day, okay, where's the rabbit hole? I'm back at it again, right? And like a year later, I'm like, wow, I've learned a lot, but I still feel like I only know this much, right? And it's constantly changing. So that was actually one of the.

the main reasons that I got started with Web3 and Metaverse marketing. It's like, okay, everybody who's jumping in, they're going to need help. I need help. Right. So, uh, so, so I'm with you a hundred percent like, and like, I'll be going to Mexico in two weeks and I'm going to go off the grid for two weeks. But I'm kind of afraid because when I come back, I'm going to feel like I missed three months, right? It's going to be so crazy. So anyway.

Raakhee Miller (03:28.997)

Raakhee Miller (03:42.459)
would have changed.

Dan Barry (03:47.346)
I'll deal with it when it comes. So my next question, and I'm sure you get this question all the time, but I'm somebody who loves Mojito cocktails, right? So what's the inspiration of naming the company Mojito?

Raakhee Miller (04:05.768)
So it's a true story. There was a Slack thread around, what should we call it? So Mojito, just a little backstory. Mojito started as a company that incubated out of Serotonin, one of the preemptive web three marketing companies out there. And Slack threads started with, what are we calling this? What are we calling this? And our previous

one of our one of the serotonin CTOs came up with mojito the sweetest way to mint so that's there you have it.

Dan Barry (04:44.53)
Ah, okay, the sweetest way to mint. Okay, I get it, I get it. I never connected the minting aspect of Mojito before. So, okay, totally makes sense. I get it. Good answer. Okay, now, another question. Now, I'm 1000% sure you're not expecting this question. So, do you like roller coasters?

Raakhee Miller (04:49.244)
Pretty sweet, huh?

Raakhee Miller (04:55.88)
Thank you.

Raakhee Miller (05:11.08)
Hmm in entrepreneurship not so much in real life a lot

Dan Barry (05:17.356)
That's a good answer, actually. So in real life, like when you're going to like Disney or something like that, I'm a huge roller coaster fan, right? But to me, NFTs have been the ultimate roller coaster experience over the past several years. But in my opinion, they have never wavered as an important ingredient in Web3 and Metaverse marketing.

Raakhee Miller (05:25.524)
Absolutely love it.

Dan Barry (05:43.678)
So the big question is, how do you see NFTs evolving over the next year?

Raakhee Miller (05:50.104)
Yeah, that's the million dollar question. Where is the puck going? You know, I think I'd like to again go back to, you know, when we, when I started in the Web3 space, you know, it was all about cryptocurrency and about, you know, this coin and that coin and this value proposition, that value proposition.

And cryptocurrency is a great use case for the store value in various ecosystems and exchanging that value and not having to require a third party to validate like the centralized organizations that we all know and love.

I think what NFT really brought to the forefront, and this is kind of my theory of why it was so fascinating to everybody, because this is the first time you can own data. You can own it. You can own something that is completely unique. It can represent you. It can represent art. It can represent a serial number. All these things, all this data that, again, is owned by typically centralized bodies can now be owned in a completely decentralized fashion. I think that that.

That's that use case and that power is still there, which is why, you know, we're still here, whether we're on the top of the roller coaster or kind of in the bottoms, you know, making our way up. Obviously, you know, with anything, a lot of the times, the fun and interesting and speculative things are the first to, you know, like get out of get out of gate. So the speculative nature of art and, you know, purchasing art and

memes and purchasing culture or being involved in it from a cultural perspective, which was, again, the first time that this happened. I'm going to leave Dogecoin out of it, but this is really the first time that people that were culture makers, you know, that were not in it for the for the cryptocurrency part of it, the finance part of it, were

Dan Barry (07:36.575)

Raakhee Miller (07:49.296)
were dealing with something so cool and new and innovative where they could own something and they could trade it, they could speculate on it in the sense of, is this something that's gonna take off? Is this gonna be the next cultural icon of some big movement? And it started to build community around it. And I think that was really the magical moment for NFTs 2021. And then you had some amazing people come in, like people and all kinds of...

really amazing artists that gave this medium, the life that it continues to have. Now with all the things, there were some interesting bubbles going on in the marketplace. And I say this to our investors and other clients a lot as well, just how, when SVB went down, which is banks, the market was afraid. So,

Dan Barry (08:27.127)

Raakhee Miller (08:48.232)
Fiat currency is the backbone of our current economy. And cryptocurrency is the backbone of the blockchain economy. So when some of the unfortunate events happened in the last year, it was bound to affect this, even though a lot of what we work on in the NFT space around consumer engagement, around ownership of data is not really tied to the...

the cryptocurrency environment, but they are correlated. That is the infrastructure and that's, you know, that's the life we all chose. But to answer your question of where this is going, I think this is going where it was always going. It is a massive opportunity for so many sectors that deal with data to now start to build real transparency and ownership of that data, whether it's healthcare, whether it's better management of software.

Dan Barry (09:21.342)
Yes, yes.

Raakhee Miller (09:42.868)
Of course, art will continue to grow. Consumer engagement, so this is a first, kind of a really unique opportunity where consumers get to co-create brand equity and culture with brands, with enterprises. It's a completely new way of customer acquisition. And since we're on the topic of marketing, it's interesting, right? Like right now, what is your CAC for acquiring customers? You are competing for the same eyeballs.

content on like more platforms every day, what's gonna differentiate you? And so I think brands that are getting it right and are doing the right things and where it's not a cash grab, where it truly is a moment of co-creation of different brands potentially even coming together and working together, where the consumers are being treated as, not just consumers, but community and essentially,

your fans are your co-creators. That mind shift, I think, will continue and that's, I think, where this is gonna go, at least in our art space.

Dan Barry (10:49.61)
No, no, I, I agree with you and I, I actually kind of feel to a degree that what's happened, you know, let's say to the speculative aspect of NFTs is probably good. Um, um, it's, you know, to me, NFTs are part of the, the web three tech stack, right? And I would say five years from now, there's probably, there'll probably be a trillion NFTs in circulation one way or the other, right? Um, you know, as you said, they.

they do so much. But I think what I'm saying from a marketing standpoint is, and I think Reddit is probably a good example where it's like digital collectibles or whatever. Like if you're on a Zoom call or whatever, you don't say, yeah, I'm on Zoom on the internet on HTTPS, right? It's like, so to me, from my perspective, NFTs will continue to be a huge part, but...

Raakhee Miller (11:40.98)

Dan Barry (11:48.866)
But I'm going to say most of the time, there probably isn't going to be a lot of like PR releases, Oh, NFT, NFT or whatever. So.

Raakhee Miller (11:57.556)
Absolutely. And I think yeah, you're a hundred percent right. It's more about the outcomes that brands are going for and the additional level of engagement that they're creating versus the NFTs, you know, it's so it's gonna be more about those things and the goals as opposed to the tech underneath that and I Completely agree with you in no other industry. Do you ever talk about?

Hey, let's meet on this HTTP protocol at, you know, this, and my computer's clock time is gonna be this. You know, you never do like that. So yeah, our industry is definitely very, very unique.

Dan Barry (12:28.578)

Dan Barry (12:35.818)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think the other aspect that kind of makes it difficult, you know, it's like, whenever I'm talking, it's like, I'm like Web3 metaverse. I don't want to say crypto, right? I mean, I invest in crypto, but that's another, I don't want to, I don't really want to bring crypto into the Web3 conversation. So, but it's NFTs are still part of that, right? And

And the fact that it had, you know, so NFT as a tech, it just got so, so popular, right? But it's kind of like a double-edged sword, you know, it got really, really popular for a reason, and it's because it's like great tech. So at the end of the day, really kind of looking forward to seeing how it continues to evolve into the next year. So.

So thanks for answering my roller coaster question. Much appreciated. So there is so much happening in the Web3 space right now. So this may not be an easy question, but what is one innovative project, again, in the Web3 space that really excites you right now?

Raakhee Miller (13:33.456)
I'm sorry.

Raakhee Miller (13:52.664)
I'm going to take one of the projects that we're working on. It's not live yet, but I can talk a little bit about it. But I think a really great use case for NFTs is digital representations of physical items. And I think nowhere is that more.

Dan Barry (14:13.826)
So are we gonna use the word fidgetal or no? Ha ha ha.

Raakhee Miller (14:16.796)
I was gonna say that you would say it first and then I would... People either love it or they hate it. Okay, let's be honest here. Everybody hates that word, but it's, you know, it's the...

Dan Barry (14:19.584)

Dan Barry (14:28.682)
As soon as somebody, I think most of the people in the industry anyway, as soon as you say it, you know what they're talking about, right? So.

Raakhee Miller (14:35.072)
Exactly. And but it's like such an important use case, right? Because you think about a lot of physical goods. And now I'm not talking about not cryptocurrency, not houses and things like that. Time back to culture. Culturally, we have, you know, luxury goods, bags, things we treasure that are physical goods. And

increasingly with additional regulatory pressures. For example, Europe has this passport program now where everything has to have their entire logistics down to where it was made, who made it, and whether it's ESG, et cetera, et cetera. So I think all of these things are going to continue to play out. And the ability to tie something like...

absolutely tie it without any doubt, a physical to a digital is going to be important and more and more people are going to interact with the digital in order to move the physical or represent ownership of the physical, exchange it, trade it, maybe rent it, you know. So that's a very interesting industry where it's, you know, this is solving a real problem. So if you think about a luxury brand that's trying to make its next

handbag, car, you name it, right? And now they have the opportunity to create a pre-order market in order to assess demand, what customers want. They can use that as an amazing engagement opportunity to engage with their consumers on how to design it, it's created a dial on figuring out when should we release this? Should we do this color? Should we do that color? So again, you're creating that environment in this pre-order market. You're then assigning digital ownership.

Dan Barry (16:19.683)

Raakhee Miller (16:26.648)
to the physical good and then physical good gets sent to you or mailed to you or you know rented out or built to your spec. So I think that's a really interesting use case that we're doing some work on at Mojito. We think it will be super interesting. I totally see a world where every physical thing you have will have you know an NFC chip in it and it'll create a token.

Dan Barry (16:35.969)

Raakhee Miller (16:52.688)
So then you own it and then the resell value of that, it'll fight piracy. So there's a lot there. I think that could be a really huge market. And it continues to, and then the possibilities at that point are endless. I can take my shoe, my Louboutin shoe into Roblox or some Metaverse because I do own it. And now I can take the digital version of it with me to the digital worlds.

I mean, it's so interesting. I think they ran a poll for kids. We were talking prior to starting the interview about Roblox, for example, right? It is so popular with the generation of kids now. There's a poll that went out. Yeah, a poll went out on, would you rather own something digitally or physically? And more and more of Gen Z is relating to.

Dan Barry (17:37.622)
Yeah, John Z.

Raakhee Miller (17:51.18)
I'd rather own it digitally because the reach of that, right? And it's fascinating. And so this is where it's all headed. And how can you own something digitally if you can't own it? That's NFTs. How would you know if it's yours and it's unique?

Dan Barry (17:54.444)
Yep, yep, I saw that poll as well. Yeah, very interesting.

Dan Barry (18:04.672)
No, no, no.

No, no, 100%. I'm, and that's why I was saying it's like, you know, five years from now, there'll be like a trillion, uh, NFTs. And then again, some we're going to have a lot of value and others are going to be like, you know, maybe H&M every time they sell something, they have an NFT that guarantees like, you know, where it was made or whatever, something like that. Right. Uh, so I, I totally see that. And then maybe if it was like a, uh, you know,

Raakhee Miller (18:28.154)

Dan Barry (18:36.19)
a really valuable H&M collection. Maybe those NFTs become valuable someday. Who knows, right? It's, it's, you never know. So, um, so, uh, I, I was on your website and cause I, cause I hadn't been on it in a while. So I was on it recently and, and really, really impressed with your various like web three service offerings. But if you had to explain in your own words,

What is the one thing that makes Mojito unique in the Web3 marketing space?

Raakhee Miller (19:09.656)
So I think if I have to just say one sentence, this is going to be one thing. We are the go-to-market partner for large enterprise and brands. So what that means is most of the brands and enterprises we're working with, we take care of everything from concept to validating concepts, where we will go back and forth with our clients on what's working, what's not working.

so that things that are out there, not tone deaf, you know, they're relating to what the environment is now. So everything from concept to design, to build out, to that obviously our infrastructure, we also facilitate their go-to marketing and their marketing strategy. So I'd say we're kind of like a...

all-in-one partner that a customer can use. Now, this doesn't mean we don't work with partners. Depending on the projects, we also work with other tech partners and other agency partners, but we typically end up help chaperoning the customers all the way to their end goal, which is onboarding more and more their Web2 consumers into Web3. We do work with native Web3 projects. We love native Web3 projects.

But I think in the last year, year and a half, it's been clear to us that the shift has to happen with the existing brands that have the audience, that have the fandom, that have the communities. And they're going to be the ones that blow up this ecosystem. And so we've really focused in on helping them. I know sometimes it's not just about the concept and the tech and the execution.

It's about understanding the regulatory frameworks. It's about understanding what are the security concerns and other types of data privacy concerns and other concerns that large enterprises have. And a lot of times it's about dealing with the legacy systems that they have and how can we bridge the gap and work with their various teams. So, you know, enterprise software.

Raakhee Miller (21:17.416)
Go Live is its own beast. And I think what we've done really well over the last two years is really understand where our clients are coming from and be thoughtful and good advisors to them and help them execute the projects to their desired results.

Dan Barry (21:36.342)
No, no, totally get that. If a company is doing web three correctly, it almost requires them to totally, like almost like restructure their company and how they're doing business. Right. And if they're not doing that, then, then they're probably web three. It's hard to just do an add on, right? Oh, we're just going to like clunk that there. It really requires you to kind of like rethink how you're doing business. So, yeah, I get that.

Raakhee Miller (22:03.576)
Yeah, absolutely. And most of the successful things have to be integrated, you know, because otherwise if it is like a side experiment or this and again, we encourage and lots of companies start out that way. They'll start out with a small experiment.

Dan Barry (22:17.71)
You got to dip your toe in the water and get an idea of what it is. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Raakhee Miller (22:21.556)
Exactly. But like, there has to be a level of commitment and that commitment is married with an integration to their existing teams. So their existing CMO and their existing technology teams and go-to-market teams, et cetera. That's when it becomes successful as it gets ingrained into their DNA. And then those are the successful projects.

Dan Barry (22:44.758)
Yep. So is, are there any particular verticals that you're finding that are, are kind of like your sweet spot?

Raakhee Miller (22:54.772)
As you know, we started our life with Sotheby's as one of our key investors and clients. So we're obviously forever grateful to them and all the work that they do. And hence, just very focused on the art space. So that'll continue to be a focus for us. We also work with Pace Gallery. And I think that'll continue to be our focus. We just did a launch for...

museum. I'm not a, I don't know if I'm allowed to say the name yet, so I'm just, I didn't check with legal, but that's like, that's a space for us and you know, we're experts there and we love, you know, museums and galleries, you know, call us, we want to work with you. Luxuries, luxury items are another like area for us, so.

Dan Barry (23:27.694)

Raakhee Miller (23:46.088)
High-end luxury brands that want to build additional brand equity and start to bring in their VIPs or even their most ardent fans. Like that's like another vertical for us. And then sports. Sports is, you know, extremely, it's like an in-built community. You have the fan base, you have the community. They want more. They're clamoring for more. So that's, I think, like another vertical for us.

And I think the entertainment space is interesting. We have a recent collaboration going on, which I will be able to talk about more in a month or so in the entertainment space, which is really being disrupted by user-generated content, by AI. And so there's a lot of thinking going around on how to reinvigorate our fan base that we've had for the last 50, 100 years. And now...

Dan Barry (24:40.682)

Raakhee Miller (24:41.417)
They want more and what can we do?

Dan Barry (24:43.906)
Well, sounds like you have a lot of exciting projects on your plate as you go into 2024. So thank you so much for sharing your insights. And based on a couple of things that you're talking about, we might have to jump on another call sometime soon when you can actually talk about some of these like new things that you're working on. But if a brand is listening in and they want to contact you to discuss

possible collaboration with Mojito, how can they reach you?

Raakhee Miller (25:18.196)
I'm at rocky at get Uh, I will have to spell rocky out. It's RAAKHEE at get Or you can reach our biz dev person. Uh, she's Claire at get, which is probably easier to spell.

Dan Barry (25:22.074)
Okay. I was going to just say that yes.

Dan Barry (25:33.835)
Yes, OK.

Dan Barry (25:42.292)
Very, very good. Very good. So again, thanks for joining us and the best of luck to you and Mojito in 2024 and beyond. Take care.

Raakhee Miller (25:50.612)
Thank you, Dan. I look forward to seeing you again. Take care. Bye.

Dan Barry (25:53.69)
Okay. All right. So let's, let's stay

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