Polygon and Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six have created a $200 million initiative that will back projects at the intersection of social media and Web3, exploring better ways for humans to connect online.
The motivating force behind Web3 is that a better version of the Internet is possible, one which empowers users over platforms. It is a response to a pervading sense that the current instantiation as represented by the social media giants has strayed too far from the early Web’s open source ideals. The result is, as one Facebook engineer famously quipped, the best minds of our generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.
Polygon’s mission is to offer a wide range of secure, fast, affordable and energy-efficient Ethereum scaling and infrastructure solutions for developers, empowering them to build Web3 applications for the world.
That is why Polygon is thrilled to have Alexis as a partner in this undertaking, who brings an unbeatable combination of deep industry experience, stellar investment track record and values that closely align with those of our community. Alexis co-founded Reddit in 2005, at the very dawn of social networking; he left in 2010 and returned as executive chairman in 2014 to lead a turnaround before resigning in 2020. He co-founded Initialized Capital in 2010 and was a seed investor in Coinbase, Instacart, Opendoor, GOAT, Patreon, Flexport, Ro, Papa, and more. He is also an outspoken advocate for Open Internet and equity and an active supporter of minority- and women-owned businesses.
His new venture firm, Seven Seven Six, already boasts a diverse portfolio that ranges from DroneSeed, a company taking on reforestation with drones and Sky Mavis, makers of Axie Infinity, the pioneering Play-to-Earn Web3 gaming franchise, to Better Brand, which is transforming the most carb-heavy foods into the least, and Stoke Space, a reusable rocket company.
"We are still in the early days of Web3 and the most obvious opportunities right now are in gaming and social," said Ohanian. "This initiative will do just that, with a focus on gaming properties and social media platforms built on Polygon's scalable infrastructure. We’ve already seen some of the best product founders in our portfolio start building on Polygon and I’m excited for Seven Seven Six and Polygon to play a big role in shaping what the new internet looks like.”
Polygon has become synonymous with the scalable, low-fee infrastructure powering the biggest projects in decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), including Aave, SushiSwap and OpenSea. The number of decentralized applications (DApps) building on Polygon passed the 3,000 mark in October, from 30 the same time last year.
Polygon’s network is also quickly becoming the main destination for companies building the foundation for a new breed of social networks. Cent is an ad-free creator network that was in the headlines earlier this year when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold an NFT of the first-ever Tweet for $2.9 million on its platform. Sapien Network’s team is busy building a tokenized social network built on the Ethereum blockchain, but still finds time for stunts like planting a statue of Harambe in front of Facebook’s headquarters. Earth 2 is a virtual twin of our real world and metaverse platform and is now collaborating with Polygon Studios in an exclusive partnership.
“These past few years have brought a dawning realization that social media business models have a profound impact on our world. With Web3, users create the value, control the network and reap the rewards,” said Sandeep Naiwal, Polygon’s co-founder. “This is not just a different way to share lolcats online, though we love those. We are inventing new high-fidelity means of transmitting culture itself.”
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