Ex-Coinbase exec raises $30 million led by a16z for decentralized social network protocol

Quick Take

  • Merkle Manufactory has raised $30 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
  • The fledgling company is run by ex-Coinbase executive Dan Romero and is working towards the launch of Farcaster, a “sufficiently decentralized” protocol for building social networks.

A former Coinbase executive said on Tuesday that his company Merkle Manufactory has raised $30 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) to develop a social networking protocol called Farcaster. 

Dan Romero, who left the exchange in 2019, announced the round in a post on his website. He explained that he and Varun Srinivasan, another former Coinbase director, had started working together on an idea called RSS+ in 2020. 

"Our goal was to build a credibly-neutral protocol where users have direct relationships with their audiences and developers have the freedom to permissionlessly build new clients," he wrote.  "We went through a few iterations and ultimately built Farcaster, a sufficiently decentralized protocol for building social networks."

The company has been testing Farcaster with clients and is now working on a second version of its protocol, with an aim to launch later this year. 

Standard Crypto, Elad Gil, 1confirmation, Scalar Capital, First Round Capital, Volt Capital, A Capital, Todd and Rahul’s Angel Fund, Coinbase Ventures, Mischief, Ansa Capital, Haystack, Ribbit Capital, Chapter One, Multicoin Capital, Offline Ventures, Archetype, Canonical Crypto, Proof Group, Floodgate, Balaji Srinivsasan, 6529, Ray Tonsing and several other angels also joined the round. 


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Lucy is the NFT, gaming and metaverse editor at The Block. Prior to joining, she worked as a freelancer, with bylines in Wired, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.