MachineFi Lab, which incentivizes the collection of real-world Internet of Things (IoT) device data through decentralized applications (dapps), has raised $10 million in a seed funding round led by Samsung Next, Draper Dragon Fund and Jump Crypto. The round valued MachineFi at $100 million.
The funding will go toward platform development, hiring and potentially the incubation of early-stage projects building on the platform, MachineFi Lab CEO and founder Dr. Raullen Chai told CoinDesk in an interview.
MachineFi was launched last year by the team behind IoTeX, a blockchain that connects IoT devices, such as cameras and sensors, to dapps. The connection of real-world devices to blockchain data could have a wide range of use cases, but could prove particularly valuable for bringing the metaverse into the real world, and vice versa.
IoTeX already powers some real-world devices, including blockchain-powered cameras and the Pebble device for supply chain management, according to the website. The blockchain boasts over 10,000 connected devices.
Other investors in the round included Hashkey Capital, IOSG, Escape Velocity, Goodwater Capital, Xoogler Ventures, Wemade, Hanwha, Alpha Grep, DHVC, Vista Lab, Ribbit Angel Fund and NewBuild VC, among others.
MachineFi offers a full infrastructure suite, including an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchain, multichain crypto wallet, blockchain bridge, an onboarding platform and software development kits (SDKs). The suite helps developers create dapps and machine networks.
"Building on the IoTeX infrastructure, MachineFi Lab jump-starts the large-scale decentralized machine networks. It incentivizes the deployment of machines and the financialization of smart devices and machines' utility and data. And it enables their self-evolving governance," Chai said in the press release.
MachineFi plans to keep building out its core platform with a focus on new verticals such as cell phone location/geolocation. Future potential use cases include real-world equivalents of “play-to-earn," including sleep-to-earn and drive-to-earn, Chai told CoinDesk.
The idea of data collection isn’t always welcome in Web 3 circles, so Chai noted that users can switch data sharing on or off at any time.
“We implement a switch for users called DID [Decentralized Identity],” he said. “Users can choose to turn on the switch by opening up access to their data for a certain dapp and get back some rewards or tokens … but users can also switch it off. It’s all up to the user.”
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