With Paradigm’s Support, Farcaster’s Developer Achieves Unicorn Status

According to reports, Paradigm is leading the close of a fresh fundraising round for Farcaster’s parent business. With the deal, its valuation would rise to more than $1 billion.

According to a Bloomberg article citing people familiar with the subject, Merkle Manufactory, the firm behind the social network Farcaster, is expected to see its valuation rise to $1 billion as a result of a fresh investment round.

The cryptocurrency investment firm Paradigm is leading the round. Notable cryptocurrency companies in its portfolio include Coinbase, Blur, dYdX, Compound, and Citadel Securities.

Dan Romero and Varun Srinivasan, two former executives of Coinbase, co-founded Merkle in 2020. Developed on top of the decentralized network for social media apps Farcaster, the company’s flagship product is the social media program Warpcast.

Romero verified that Merkle is soliciting money in a post on March 28. “Wanted to inform all individuals that Merkle Manufactory is concluding a fresh funding round.” Paradigm has not acknowledged being involved. In July 2022, Merkle received $30 million from A16z Crypto, a venture capital firm.

Since Warpcast introduced Frames, a feature that lets apps operate inside articles without leaving the site, the Farcaster platform has witnessed a noticeable increase in user activity. For example, Frames allows users to conduct transactions, browse external blog entries, mint nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and do surveys all within the app.

User interaction has greatly increased as a result of the change. Based on data from Dune Analytics, the Farcaster network has over 249,000 daily active members on March 30 compared to about 5,000 on January 28.

In contrast to the centralized control seen in traditional social media, decentralized social media platforms use blockchain technology to give people ownership over their data, content, and interactions.

These platforms are distinguished by attributes like content monetization without middlemen and resilience to censorship. In this industry, well-known brands include Mastodon, Minds, and Friend.tech. User retention is one of the main issues decentralized social media platforms have, according to two industry insiders.

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