Web3 native messaging platform Salsa has raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round led by IDEO CoLab VC and Inflection.xyz. The capital will help Salsa expand its newly launched mobile app to brands looking for a crypto-native way to engage their audiences.
The Salsa mobile app, now available in beta, helps users discover and connect with relevant people and brands. Users log into Salsa using their wallet or decentralized ID and the app uses on-chain data to suggest what users have in common, such as a recent event attendance or participation in a Web3 community. The point is to bring users over from Web2 platforms such as Telegram or Discord, which don’t natively understand on-chain data and can provide a fragmented user experience.
“No one wants to message with a wallet address where it’s like '0x something something.' You have no context around who this person is. You’re probably not going to want to say that much to them,” Salsa CEO Helena Gagern, who co-founded the startup last year with Chief Technology Officer Grace Wang, told CoinDesk in an interview.
“[Salsa] gives you a lot of scope in terms of understanding who that real person is behind a wallet address while still allowing them to remain anonymous,” she added.
Salsa is launching its app in partnership with POAP, a “Proof of Attendance Protocol” that lets users mint memories like event attendance as digital collectibles. POAP is used by leading brands including Adidas, Ebay, Goldman Sachs and Vogue. Salsa can be used to create and claim POAPs within its own app and has a direct integration with the POAP mobile app.
Other backers in the round included Superscrypt and a number of angel investors, including Nader Al-Naji, Liam Horne, Dan Romero, Balaji Srinivasan, Henri Stern, Khan Tasinga, Patricio Worthalter and Gmoney.
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