Mad Realities, a new media company, raised a $6 million seed round to become a decentralized entertainment platform that lets viewers own and co-create TV shows based on the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) they hold.
The seed round was led by Paradigm, with participation from funds Maveron, Long Journey, and Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media. Individual investors included Bumble chief brand officer Selby Drummond, co-founders of crypto social club Friends with Benefits Trevor McFedries and Alex Zhang, Syndicate co-founder Will Papper, and others.
In March, Mad Realities launched its first proof-of-concept dating show, Proof of Love, on YouTube, in which votes on contestants for the show were chosen by a community of NFT holders. Co-founder of Mad Realities, Alice Ma, with a background in product and software engineering, also sold an NFT in March for 4ETH to let the eventual owner nominate contestants they want on the show (including themselves).
Until now, the company was funded by a community of supporters, who pitched in 172 ETH or $500,0000. With the new investment, the company plans to hire engineers to build out the platform and grow the core team.
Co-founder Devin Lewtan previously worked on the Clubhouse show “NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys,” an interactive dating show that would allow any participant in the room to join a live conversation with someone else while others listened live to see if the two contestants could hit it off or face an eventual roasting by the moderators. The show featured guests like Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and musical artist Diplo.
“Mad Realities is the MTV of this new media network that does not exist yet,” said a statement from the company. “Our shows are social experiences from conception to consumption. We are starting with a dating show, but see all reality TV as a content-led community, a social experience to be shared.”
The long-term vision is to rethink how people consume and interact with the content they watch, with the eventual goal of becoming a decentralized autonomous organization wherein NFT holders, not company executives, decide what happens. Future iterations of the company will include a governance token and moving beyond the dating genre to co-create new types of shows.
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