Sia Tech raises $3 million to speed up the development of 'free Internet'

Sia Tech, the blockchain startup behind the namesake decentralized cloud storage platform, has raised $3 million in seed funding to speed up the development of "free Internet."

Dubbed Skynet, the free internet or content distribution network (CDN) would be able to serve content on the decentralized Sia network. It would allow developers to deploy applications "in just minutes."

"We're not talking about a web that is technically feasible yet crippled compared to the centralized alternatives, we are talking about a decentralized web that will become an unstoppable force," said David Vorick, lead developer of Skynet and CEO of Nebulous (the startup behind Sia and Skynet, which has now rebranded to Skynet Labs).

Vorick said: "Ten years from now, using centralized applications instead of decentralized applications will feel like using a fax machine instead of email."

The seed funding round was led by Paradigm, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures and Dragonfly Capital Partners, among others.

"The possibilities created by Skynet blow our minds," said Paradigm research partner Dan Robinson. "The project has enabled a growing ecosystem of builders to quickly prototype censorship-resistant applications and interactive websites including interfaces to Ethereum smart contracts like Uniswap."

Skynet was initially announced in February. The project team believes that the next generation of Twitter, Medium, TikTok will be built on Skynet.

Nebulous raised around $120,000 via a token sale in 2014. Last year, it reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over an unregistered securities offering and paid nearly $225,000 in penalties.