- The startup was co-founded by tech entrepreneur Solo Ceesay and NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie.
- The platform allows creators to mint their own tokens that fans can buy or trade for interactions.
- The tokens’ utility is derived from Web2 platforms like Cameo and Patreon.
Web3 social marketplace, Calaxy, today announced that it has raised $26 million in strategic funding, co-led by Animoca Brands and The HBAR Foundation, with participation from Polygon Studios.
The latest raise follows a $7.5 million seed round last year backed by Animoca Brands, Red Beard Ventures, ArkStream Capital, NGC Ventures and Genesis Block Ventures, along with angel investors NFL player Ezekiel Elliott, “The Bachelor” Matt James and former PayPal head of Blockchain Strategy Jonathan Padilla, among others.
According to TechCrunch, the fresh funding will be stored away for crypto winter, but will eventually be used to expand the platform and its products.
The startup was co-founded by tech entrepreneur Solo Ceesay and NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie.
“Calaxy started as a bunch of documents in a folder on Spencer’s laptop. He and Solo were working together in an effort to securitize Dinwiddie’s NBA contract back in 2018. Through that process, they realized that Creators needed a better path toward monetization,” Calaxy wrote in a blog post.
Ceesay came from a traditional finance background on Wall Street and became Calaxy’s COO in 2020. Two years and $33.5M in total strategic funding later, the 27-year-old is now taking the reins as Calaxy’s CEO while Dinwiddie is transitioning to a role as executive chair of the startup.
The name Calaxy is a portmanteau of “creators galaxy” and aims to reinvent the way creators and fans interact by incorporating content economics in the process. This means that the platform allows creators to mint their own tokens that fans can buy or trade for social engagement and interactions, giving creators improved agency and ownership over their personal brands.
Ceesay told TechCrunch that the tokens’ utility is derived from Web2 platforms like Cameo and Patreon, where users pay for personalised interactions with their favourite celebrities or influencers.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Ceesay said: “People can buy an Ezekiel Elliott coin in order to buy a call with Ezekiel Elliott. Every coin attached to celebrities begins pegged at a 1:1 ratio in line with the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC). It won’t fluctuate in value because fans don’t want to deal with volatility. $20 is worth 20 Ezekiel Elliott tokens.”
In the future, Ceesay expects the value of tokens minted on the platform to fluctuate based on demand and each creator’s assets could be dynamically priced, which would represent the creator’s eventual own economy with a publicly verifiable market cap.
Built on The Creator’s Galaxy—a decentralised protocol with open-source governance, Calaxy now has about 200 creators since its inception.
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