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SocialFi Infrastructure OpenSocial Protocol Raises $5M to Fuel the Growth of SocialFi Super Apps, with $15M Ecosystem Fund Backed by EVG

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The round was led by Portal Ventures, SNZ Capital and renowned angel investors, who all share the same vision that SocialFi is primed to become the largest consumer use case for mass adoption in Asia

HONG KONG, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, OpenSocial Protocol (OpenSocial), a composable infrastructure layer for building social applications, announced the successful completion of a $5M seed funding round. OpenSocial is a multichain SocialFi infrastructure protocol empowering developers and creators to effortlessly build social dApps. Led by infrastructure investors Portal Ventures and SNZ Capital (early backers of Ethereum, Chainlink, Cosmos, Arbitrum, Polkadot and Dfinity), the round opened in December 2023 and closed in January 2024. 

Other investors included Animoca Brands (HK), Awesome People Ventures (US), Arche Fund (Vietnam), Decima Fund (Japan), Moonrock Capital (EU), OKX Ventures, Orange DAO (US), Panony, Summer Ventures (HK); and renowned web3 entrepreneurs include Smokey the Bera, Brian Fabian Crain, Mike Dudas, Martin El-Khouri, Roham Gharegozlou, Don Ho, Mable Jiang, Adam Jin, Serge Kassardjian, and Jason Yano.

OpenSocial Protocol is founded by Everest Ventures Group (EVG), one of the largest web3 operating groups in Asia focused on consumer applications. They have 300 full-time builders with backgrounds from Alibaba, ByteDance, Tencent and NetEase and 2M+ users across its products. EVG is also an early supporter of Animoca Brands, the Sandbox and Dapper Labs.

EVG set aside a $15M ecosystem fund for developers to build on OpenSocial. EVG has also deployed 30 of its best in-house builders to develop OpenSocial. There are also 50 additional developers building dApps on top of OpenSocial, outside of EVG.

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What is OpenSocial Protocol?

OpenSocial is an open-source social infrastructure layer to power native web3 social experiences.  Founded in 2023, OpenSocial aims to empower thousands of community dApps with infrastructure and UI-layer composabilities, true ownership of intellectual property and relationship, and better-aligned monetisation and financial incentives.

The modular design with easy-to-deploy social tools on a multichain approach enables developers and creators to assemble dApps quickly and economically.

These modules can be either on-chain or off-chain and include: feed, chatroom, text/video/audio/posts, comments, reactions, voting, share, on-chain social graphs (social data and structure), tribes (user and topic based communities), megaphones (an advertising engine), as well as plug-ins (token issuance, DAO tools, betting, voting, bounties, matching, mini-games).

“These modules and tools are designed to provide both an emotionally captivating and financially rewarding social experience covering accessibility, ownership and monetization opportunities to end users and communities,” noted Sean Tao, Co-Founder of OpenSocial Protocol. 

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Another unique web3 mechanism to be unveiled soon is the portability, self-ownership and self-sovereignty of identities and communities within different ecosystems and products.

Why social, why now?

Social has the potential to become the largest consumer use case for mass adoption of web3. The evolution of the internet’s use cases provide a precedent. Social was not a core use case in the first 6 years of the consumer internet (1997-2003) as marketplaces, portals, and games dominated but it emerged to social giants of today as a leading use case in the second phase of post dot.com bubble (2004-2010) as costs declined and adoption grew. SocialFi projects struggle to reach their full potential without the right technology and consumer readiness, similar to Social’s early path in web2. Asian social app adoption is an important factor in EVG’s decision to launch OpenSocial too.

“Importantly, Asia represents more than half of the world’s social media users, with nearly 3 billion people actively using social platforms every day. We think SocialFi’s ‘Axie moment’ will happen this cycle and likely take place in Asia. And the SocialFi trend in Asia will prove that social is a layer not media,” said Allen Ng, CEO of EVG and Co-Founder of OpenSocial Protocol.

“We are thrilled to have such powerful network effects from our very strategic investors. We come from a venture studio operation with backgrounds from Bytedance, Tencent, Alibaba that understand user preferences. OpenSocial’s design principles and dApps strategies are very different from the western-centric players, leveraging on our learning and advantages in Asia, we envision powering hundreds if not thousands of community dApps in 5 years,” said Tao.

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dApps already available on OpenSocial

With the $15M ecosystem fund to empower the next-generation super apps, OpenSocial has already launched its first dApp SoMon (“Social Monster”), a truly decentralized topic-based forum owned by users and communities with degen mechanics and sustainable rewards.

There are various platforms and SocialFi use cases powered by OpenSocial that are soon to launch, including Zeek – a decentralized collaboration network for on-chain social bounty and reputation, backed by OKX Ventures and Animoca Brands.

OpenSocial’s investors are excited

“OpenSocial combines lessons from leading Asia consumer internet businesses like WeChat with a deep understanding of crypto native preferences. The team is building an infrastructure layer that will power an ecosystem of new, community-driven social experiences. Users demand novel financialized experiences – OpenSocial makes that possible,” said Evan Fisher, Founder & Managing Partner of Portal Ventures.

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“In the last five years, EVG has grown from a start-up to one of the largest web3 consumer groups in Asia. OpenSocial is the flagship project of EVG and the team is building multiple dApps on top, which we believe could be the right product at the right time for the right team to deliver. SocialFi is a very challenging and competitive sector with huge potential, while OpenSocial along with SoMon, Zeek and others dApps, has a great chance to be the game changer,” Gavin Wang, CIO of SNZ Capital.

“We are proud to back OpenSocial in its endeavor to empower creators and developers to build social capital and innovate at the forefront of SocialFi. I am confident that OpenSocial will enable the first transformative steps in how we engage digitally, and look forward to incubating unique Japanese collaborations leveraging OpenSocial,” noted Ken Kitahara, Co-founder & General Partner of Decima Fund.

“OpenSocial is well-positioned to fill the social need with its modular, community-owned approach tailored for mobile-first markets like Vietnam. I believe that through OpenSocial’s infrastructure, we will see many innovative Vietnamese social applications emerge that strengthen real-world connections and celebrate local culture in new ways,” said Thanh Le, Founder of Ninety Eight.

About OpenSocial

OpenSocial Protocol (OpenSocial) is a multichain SocialFi infrastructure empowering developers and creators to effortlessly build social dApps. Leveraging its robust social graph and modular design, OpenSocial enables transparent content promotion to specific user groups, ensuring fair value distribution among all stakeholders. OpenSocial offers the best data, tooling, and financial layer and its vision is to enable the largest multi-chain social economy.

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OpenSocial Protocol is founded by Everest Ventures Group.

Website: www.opensocial.co

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpenSocialLabs

About EVG

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Everest Ventures Group (EVG) is a web3 operating group driving mass adoption of web3.  With a global team of 300, we have built and launched a diverse portfolio of products for the future of digital interaction across use cases, such as Aspen Digital, Mugen Interactive, Kiki, LiveArt, Blocktempo, Cassava Network, and Adverse. As an early investor and lead advisor we have contributed to unicorns, and 150+ defining projects such as Celestia, Wormhole, Berachain, Dapper Labs (Flow), Animoca Brands, Immutable, The Sandbox, Yuga Labs, Kraken, Lukka, Dunamu and Blocklords.

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Website: https://www.evg.co/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EVGHQ/

MEDIA CONTACT:

Gemma
[email protected]

 

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Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2423441/opensocial.jpg

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Agora acquires Clearshift’s real estate division

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Agora, a provider of real estate investment management solutions, has acquired Clearshift’s real estate division to “reinvent cross-border payments in investment management.”

The division has utilized Clearshift’s international payments infrastructure to facilitate mass payouts and capital investments between foreign investors, asset managers, real estate property managers, and fund administrators.

While the financial details of the acquisition remain undisclosed, Agora will now serve as the division’s primary client-facing interface, offering “user-friendly investment management tools.” Clearshift will retain responsibility for payment execution and compliance functions.

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For existing Clearshift clients, this integration into the Agora platform promises “enhanced capabilities.” Agora’s clients, not currently subscribed to Clearshift, will gain “a transparent solution to foreign exchange activity” that enables “seamless distributions and contributions in any currency worldwide.”

Ari Dobner, CEO of Clearshift, noted, “After years of refining our fund manager payment solution, it became clear to us that our clients would truly benefit from a full investor management solution with seamless payment integration.”

Bar Mor, co-founder and CEO of Agora, added that the acquisition will enhance their platform with “streamlined and cost-effective international payments,” leveraging the “substantial customer overlap between Agora and Clearshift.”

This acquisition follows the recent closure of Agora’s $34 million Series B funding round, backed by Qumra Capital, Insight Partners, and UK-based investment firm Aleph.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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InScope secures $4.3m to revolutionise financial reporting and auditing

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InScope, a newly launched FinTech company, has successfully raised $4.3 million to expand its innovative financial reporting and auditing platform.

According to PYMNTS, the funding round included significant contributions from prominent investors such as Lightspeed and Better Tomorrow Ventures.

InScope is focused on transforming the traditional processes of financial reporting and auditing for private companies. The company leverages advanced technologies, including generative AI and large language models, to automate and streamline the compilation of financial statements—tasks that have historically been prone to errors and required extensive manual effort.

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The new capital will be used to enhance InScope’s platform capabilities. The company aims to shift accountants’ focus from laborious manual tasks to more strategic initiatives, thereby empowering finance professionals with tools to complete reporting and auditing tasks quickly and efficiently.

InScope’s system compiles data from a company’s core systems, such as ERP, along with publicly available information, and transforms these inputs into GAAP-compliant financial and audit documents.

InScope CEO and co-founder Mary Antony stated, “Our technology dramatically reduces the time and effort required for financial reporting and auditing, eliminating the need for outdated manual processes.” Her co-founder and COO, Kelsey Gootnick, also emphasized the transformative potential of InScope, which they conceived out of their own frustrations with existing financial processes.

The company has already begun collaborating with a select group of companies to refine and enhance their financial reporting capabilities. JC Bahr-de Stefano, a venture capital investor at Better Tomorrow Ventures, commented on this partnership: “InScope is already working with a handful of companies to help streamline their financial reporting needs and enable accountants to complete their reporting tasks in minutes instead of months.”

Source: fintech.global

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Citi extends USD Clearing service to Middle East in partnership with Emirates NBD

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Citi has partnered with Dubai-based banking group Emirates NBD to launch its USD Clearing service in the Middle East.

Through this collaboration, Emirates NBD will offer the USD Clearing service, along with its commercial and treasury payment execution capabilities, to corporate and retail clients via its branch networks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This service will enable clients to make cross-border USD payments with continuous availability, addressing current payment flow challenges posed by varying transaction cut-off times in the UAE.

“The introduction of 24/7 USD Clearing will support the growth ambitions of our clients by giving them the ability to seamlessly transfer funds in a timely manner without having to worry about cutoffs and holidays,” said Ahmed Al Qassim, group head of wholesale banking at Emirates NBD.

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Following the initial launch, the service will be extended to all Emirates NBD branches in the Middle East and globally, including partnerships with third-party institutions.

According to its website, Emirates NBD currently operates 853 branches in the UAE, Egypt, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UK, Austria, Germany, Russia, and Bahrain.

Shahmir Khaliq, Citi’s head of services, described the collaboration as “an important step in our journey to creating a multibank solution that is designed to deliver an end-to-end, ‘always on’ experience for participant banks and their customers.”

“Our 24/7 USD Clearing service is a clear differentiator in the market,” Khaliq continued. “It demonstrates the full value of our globally leading cross-border payments and clearing capabilities, which enable our clients to make payments faster and in a more efficient and transparent manner.”

Source: fintechfutures.com

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