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Web3 social network DSCVR raises $9M to build a DeSo platform

Photo Credit: DSCVR

It’s natural to be wary of the major social media platforms. They often sell user data to advertising, and their approach to content filtering has sparked criticism. Web3 supporters believe they can establish an entirely new system that avoids the concentrated power of platforms — a decentralised social media (DeSo) environment in which people ideally have more ownership over the information they create.

DSCVR, a blockchain-based social network built on Dfinity’s Internet Computer protocol, has raised $9M in seed funding led by Polychain Capital to establish a scalable DeSo platform. According to the company, other investors in the round include Upfront Ventures, Tomahawk VC, Fyrfly Venture Partners, Shima Capital, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI).

Fund usage

The new funding will help the platform to grow its team and acquire the tools required to eventually transition DSCVR to a community-run model. The startup is currently looking for engineers, a product designer, and a product manager.

DSCVR, which was launched in August 2021 by Rick Porter, Alexander Turner and Juan Bruce, has already onboarded 100,000 people, published one million posts and comments, and generated “millions of dollars in NFT prizes for users.”

DSCVR, for its part, maintains token-gated communities known as “portals,” in which users must own a specific NFT in order to participate. The communities aid NFT projects in raising awareness by airdropping digital assets to DSCVR users.

New features

DSCVR intends to release new features that will allow users to interact with NFTs in a more social setting. Gifting non-fungible tokens to posts and comments is one of them, as are interfaces with other token and NFT ecosystems and a Discord bot that will enable gated content based on NFT ownership.

The platform will also allow other projects to utilise DSCVR’s gating technology, as well as governance capabilities like as mod elections, as well as the opportunity for DSCVR’s communities to become decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).

“We initially created DSCVR as our personal experiment to see if it would even be possible to build a modern social web application on a blockchain,” said Rick Porter, CEO and Co-Founder at DSCVR. “With our exponential growth in users, this raise will help us accelerate our roadmap and make Web3 accessible to anyone who knows how to use social media.” 

“When it comes to the state of social media, it’s clear people are seeking a new option,” said Olaf Carlson-Wee, Polychain Capital Founder and CEO. “DSCVR is pushing the boundaries of what is possible by creating a native Web3 social solution with unique functionality.”

The Internet Computer ecosystem has also had its share of issues. Dfinity is facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that it offered its tokens illegally as unregistered securities. Polychain and a16z were also named as defendants in the lawsuit, as both were early backers of Dfinity. Dfinity found itself on the other side of the equation last month, when it launched a lawsuit against two New York Times reporters, Andrew Ross Sorkin and Ephrat Livni, alleging defamation of Dfinity.

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