Lens Protocol Secures $15 Million Funding for the Future of Decentralized Social Networking

Aave Companies, a leading tech company specializing in the development of protocols and applications incorporating decentralization and blockchain technologies, has announced the successful raising of $15 million in funding for Lens Protocol.

Lens Protocol, hailed as the user-owned social layer of the Internet, aims to revolutionize the web by providing a decentralized ecosystem that benefits users, creators, and builders in the web3 space.

IDEO CoLab Ventures spearheaded the funding round, with notable participation from venture capital firms such as General Catalyst, Variant, Blockchain Capital, and Palm Tree. Other influential backers included A. Capital, Seed Club Ventures, Robot Ventures, and prominent decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) such as Flamingo DAO, DAOJones, Punk DAO, DAO5, and Global Coin Research.

Renowned angel investors, including Hayden Adams (Uniswap CEO), Alex Atallah (OpenSea Co-founder), Balaji Srinivasan (Entrepreneur), Sébastien Borget (Sandbox Co-founder), Emily Yang (pplpleasr), Denis Nazario (Mirror.xyz), and Sandeep Nailwal (Polygon Co-founder), among others, also contributed to the funding.

Joe Gerber, the managing director at IDEO CoLab Ventures, expressed enthusiasm for the project, stating, “It is more clear than ever that an open, interoperable, and decentralized social layer is needed to create a more creative, pluralistic, and human internet. We are excited about the new possibilities for connection and expression that these underlying technologies allow, and we are thrilled to support the Lens team on this journey.”

Lens Protocol is built upon the foundational principles of ownership and portability on the social web. Leveraging web3 technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts, decentralized storage, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Lens reimagines the internet as a social ecosystem of decentralized applications (dApps) accessible to users through a universal profile. This profile securely stores users’ data, including their social graph, follower network, and the digital artifacts they create, such as texts, images, videos, and more. By placing ownership and social capital in the hands of individuals, Lens aims to transform the way value is created, shared, and monetized on the Internet.

Stani Kulechov, the founder of Lens Protocol, articulated the vision behind the project, stating, “Our vision at Lens is to accelerate the adoption of the next-generation of the internet powered by human connection – the people-powered social layer. Lens creates a more social, open, equitable, and democratic internet – one that is secured by blockchain technology and governed by participants. By preserving digital identity and enabling portability, Lens alters the internet landscape.”

Lens Protocol provides users with the ability to seamlessly move their profiles, activities, and followers across various applications, eradicating the limitations imposed by traditional siloed platforms. Creators are liberated from walled gardens and can establish direct relationships with their followers. With on-chain visibility into follower activities, creators gain the ability to identify effective engagement strategies and develop custom monetization frameworks.

Nick van Eck, a partner at General Catalyst, commended Lens for its commitment to empowering users, creators, and entrepreneurs, stating, “Lens is working toward building a platform that empowers users, creators, and entrepreneurs. With their open technology, data, and algorithms, Lens is poised to transform social networking by driving more value to users and content owners.”

Since its launch as a technology stack without a front-end client, the Lens ecosystem has experienced significant growth, attracting third-party social networks that have developed novel clients and algorithms utilizing Lens’ open data layer. The absence of constraints imposed by closed networks allows the open social paradigm to benefit the entire ecosystem as it scales. Notably, prominent apps like OpenSea and Stripe have already integrated with Lens.

Lens Protocol, launched in May 2022 and currently in beta, has witnessed the creation of over 100 custom applications on its platform, exemplifying the flexibility and potential of the protocol. Lens Protocol is an initiative developed by Aave Companies, the creators of the Aave Protocol, one of the most widely used decentralized finance markets globally.

As the Lens ecosystem continues to evolve, the team behind the project envisions a future where the open and decentralized social web, founded on user ownership, becomes a reality. The Lens Protocol team remains committed to realizing this vision, continuously attracting developers, and fostering partnerships within the web3 space.

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