Calaxy, the social token startup co-founded by NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie, has raised $26 million to expand its operations, the company announced Tuesday.
The funding round was led by HBAR Foundation and Animoca Brands, with Polygon also participating.
The platform allows fans to connect with high-profile creators by purchasing video messages, online classes, video calls and fan club subscriptions.
The interface intentionally puts the crypto components of the platform out of sight, in a bid to attract mainstream users and celebrities who are not crypto natives.
Solo Ceesay, the company’s co-founder along with Dinwiddie, says he sees Calaxy as an emerging “Web 2.5” product, allowing mainstream users to interact with blockchain services without having to have an understanding of the underlying tech.
“If everyone had to be an engineer to drive a car, we’d have a lot less people driving cars,” Ceesay told CoinDesk in an interview. “We took social token technology, but then also took the utility that you find from already validated Web 2 social platforms focused on monetization.”
Calaxy had previously raised a $7.5 million funding round in June, with participation from NFL star Ezekiel Elliott and Matt James from “The Bachelor.”
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.