Solana and Seven Seven Six Double Initiative to $100M to Build Decentralized Social Media
Solana Ventures and venture capital firm Seven Seven Six originally announced it would invest $50 million to build decentralized social media on Solana’s blockchain, but increased the amount shortly after.
Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel
- “We will be living in the metaverse faster than anyone thinks, it’s going to happen,” Solana Co-Founder Raj Gokal said
- What’s really exciting is there’s a whole new slew of founders who have a chance to jump into a very energized community and start building something with a very different business model in mind…that’s compelling,” Reddit Co-founder and Seven Seven Six Founder Alexis Ohanian said
Solana Ventures and Seven Seven Six will create a $100 million initiative to build decentralized social media platforms on Solana’s blockchain.
Originally, the pair said that the investment was $50 million, but doubled the amount shortly after to $100 million while still on stage at the event. “I realized $50 million is not that much…so we’re gonna increase it to $100 million,” Gokal said.
The initiative will focus on fueling decentralized social media projects on Web3 so that users and creators can have ownership and creation differing from traditional Web2 platforms like Meta, formerly known as Facebook.
“The baggage of Web2 infrastructure and Web2 precedent is that you know you’re ultimately just harvested for an advertiser and that factors into product decisions and that factors into design decisions,” Ohanian said. “What’s really exciting is there’s a whole new slew of founders who have a chance to jump into a very energized community and start building something with a very different business model in mind…that’s compelling. We could see new platforms emerge very fast,” Ohanian added.
The news follows Gokal having his account suspended from Twitter on Monday for jokingly responding “i’ll kill you” to a tweet by Sam Lessin, a general partner at Slow Ventures, Gokal said. Twitter reactivated Gokal’s account as of this morning.
“But this wasn’t me threatening Sam, right? I’ve known him for 10 years, we trust each other,” Gokal said. The tweet was in reference to when the co-founder of Costco said, “If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out,” to the Costco CEO, who wanted to raise the prices on its $1.50 hot dog combo back in September.
Gokal said it was the first time he hasn’t been on Twitter for 24 hours in years, “it was kind of actually amazing,” he said.
But this nuance in social media helped spark the idea that some things are sacred, positive and inherently good like a cheap hot dog at Costco is a part of their belief system while “gm” a crypto trend of saying “good morning” abbreviated to gm to other users on Twitter is a part of the crypto industry’s belief system, Gokal said.
“There’s an opportunity to build from all directions. It doesn’t have to be the old social platforms we can build new ones and it doesn’t have to be competition and it doesn’t have to be winners takes all,” Gokal said. “There will be hundreds of successful social media companies that are protocols and clients of those protocols. Choices will be made in programmable module ways, just like subreddits do that, but it will be much more fluid,” he added.
We haven’t even seen what happens when people build this way, Ohanian noted. But the cycles are getting faster in the crypto industry, Gokal added.
“I think it’ll happen in waves. Applications and protocols will quickly saturate to a billion, four billion users in rapid succession because it doesn’t have to be a competition…it’s just ideas and changes and protocol shifts and forks that can propagate very quickly,” Gokal said. “I think this future will happen very quickly and it’s all connected, right? This is why we wanted Solana to be one giant global state machine. A lot of people call it monolithic, yeah it’s monolithic, that’s the point it’s all one computer we can build all this together on,” he commented.
“We will be living in the metaverse faster than anyone thinks, it’s going to happen,” Gokal said.
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