Meet Degen Distillery: The Web3 Disruptor Set to Shake Up the Drinks and Spirits Industry

For lifelong entrepreneurs and former business rivals, Sammy Verghese and Tom Webster, the genesis of the idea that would eventually lead to the creation of one of the most disruptive spirits companies in the world all started with a drink.

Just 18 months later, the vision that these two former competitors dreamed up on a beach in Mexico is nearing fruition, highlighted by the successful launch of Degen Distillery, and its formation of strategic partnerships with global drinks industry titan, Brewdog, and tech powerhouse, Google.

Degen Distillery sets itself up as a spirits company for the modern age; one that integrates blockchain and NFT technology to create a lifestyle brand that aims to radically disrupt the traditional alcoholic drinks industry.

Degen Distillery uses the dynamic and interactive nature of blockchain and NFTs to create a first-of-its kind “social distribution” model that enables individuals and artists to co-create alongside the company, and reap an honest share of its ongoing revenue.

Let’s take a deep dive into this unique blend of booze and blockchain, and see what Degen Distillery aims to serve up to revelers in the Web3 space and beyond.

Founders and Conception

Co-founder and CEO Sammy Verghese co-founded his first company in the oil and gas industry at the age of 18, growing the venture to record revenues of $30 million before moving on to found a web2 SaaS company, followed by one of the UK’s fastest growing events companies which produced 650 live events per year by the end of year two. Not to mention co-founding a multi-award winning music venue playing host to Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and many more, turning around multiple failing pubs/restaurants, helping transform a music festival from 6000 tickets to 15,000 tickets – all whilst advising and angel investing in a wide spectrum of start-ups.

He met fellow co-founder and CCO, Tom Webster, whilst rivals in the event industry a decade ago, turning that rivalry into a long-term friendship and mutual respect. In the following years Tom would go on to acquire and exit a UK-based financial advisory company; found a web2 SaaS portal in litigation funding which processes approx £100 million in funding each year, and become the chairman of English football club Seaford Town FC, which, under Tom’s leadership, became the first football club in the world to self-publish NFTs.

Founded in 2022, the idea for Degen Distillery came when Sammy and Tom were several drinks deep into a drinking session on a beach in Mexico. The concept was for something more than just another drinks company in an already crowded marketplace; instead, a disruptive pioneer at the intersection of traditional drinks distilling and blockchain technology.

Innovating the Business Model

The problem Degen Distillery is trying to solve is how to launch a physical product to a global internet-based audience, while ensuring incentivization and proper rewards are in place to compensate participants and affiliates.

The solution is found in its Tokenized Affiliate Protocol (TAP) which tokenizes the contributions of creators and allows them to benefit monetarily from the value they create. Degen Distillery enables individuals and companies to add their own creativity to the venture, whether it be in the form of customized designs for their bottles, music that features in their advertising, or any other part of the promotion and distribution of their products.

Whereas other affiliate programs may reward users with cryptocurrency tokens — which are subject to ever-fluctuating market conditions — Degen Distillery captures the value generated by the company’s efforts and hands it over to the contributor in the form of NFTs, thus locking in the value they contributed to the overall venture.

Degen Distillery also aims to roll out its native token with a host of features benefiting everyone in its business model.

Partnerships

In a show of how well the team can execute, Degen Distillery has already racked up major partnerships with titans of the industry prior to launching or selling a single bottle. The company has partnered with $2 billion-valued Scottish craft-brewing brand, Brewdog, and now benefits from the use of its production and distribution network, which includes its state-of-the-art distillery, its +1M social media following, consumer channel listings, and carbon negative production setup.

Degen Distillery was also selected to be part of Google’s Web3 startup program, which will see the firm reap the benefits of Google’s tier-1 funding support, technical and sales support, Google Cloud credits, and more.

Looking Ahead

Ultimately, Degen Distillery aims to create a sustainable Web3 business venture that isn’t tied to the fluctuating success of the wider cryptocurrency market, venture capital funding, or one-off NFT launches.

Its revolutionary use of community incentives, and its social distribution model, dares to spread the wealth among participants on the ground level, rather than simply returning profits to a select few shareholders.

As one of the more unique applications of Web3 technology to arise in recent times, and with a social-sales setup that threatens to reimagine how lifestyle brands operate, Degen Distillery is riding the knife’s edge of innovation in both the Web3 and spirits industries. Right now, its glass appears to be half-full. Time will tell if it can go all the way.

 

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