Crypto startup Context announced a $19.5 million seed round led by early-stage investors Variant Fund and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Wednesday.
The startup, which allows users to monitor other people’s wallets and transactions through an Instagram-esque feed, also released a new version of its product that will now help users automatically find the wallets linked to people they follow on Twitter.
Founded last year, Context believes that watching wallets of friends, influencers, DAOs and celebrities will be the “follow/subscribe of the Web 3 era” and takes inspiration from platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.
In a sense, Context's app can perhaps be viewed through the growing intersection between web3 capabilities and social media platforms. That intersection was on display earlier this year when Twitter rolled out support for NFT-linked profile pictures as part of its Blue subscription services. Instagram, too, is moving toward some form of NFT-style integration.
Indeed, Context’s app is geared toward the particulars of the web3 era, including non-fungible token projects and collectors. The app additionally includes market data from marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible.
Context is led by co-founders Luke Miles and Adam Ludwin, and today has a seven-person strong team, with plans to double staff in 2022. Ludwin is the former CEO and co-founder of Chain, which was acquired by Stellar in 2018. Miles formerly worked at Stripe and was the founder and CEO of “hype culture marketplace” Restocks.
Widening the lens, Context is part of a broader ecosystem of tracking tools that let users follow the activities in the web3 space.
Nansen, which last year was valued at $750 million, offers paid-for services which track the on-chain actions of high-value investors. Meanwhile, Lithuania-based DappRaddar provides data on decentralized application activity including transactions, token volume and the number of active users.
Funders participating in the round run the gamut from crypto CEOs to artists. Among them is venture capitalist Lachy Groom (who, like Miles, is a former Stripe staffer), Dragonfly Capital, Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo, Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, and Phantom CTO and co-founder Francesco Agosti.
They are joined by Trevor McFedries, Meltem Demirors, Jacob Horne, Tess Rinearson, John Palmer, Andy Chorlian, Mathew Dryhurst, Holly Herndon and David Rudnick.
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