San Francisco-based startup Masa Network made waves this week, securing $5.4 million in seed funding to develop a decentralized alternative to Big Tech’s data monopolies. The round, led by crypto venture firm Anagram, will fuel Masa’s vision of a user-owned data marketplace leveraging blockchain technology and encryption.
- Masa Network raised $5.4 million in seed funding from investors like Anagram, Avalanche Blizzard Fund, Digital Currency Group, and GoldenTree.
- Masa is building a “Decentralized Google” – an open, secure data marketplace where users can contribute personal data and get rewarded.
- The platform leverages zero-knowledge and fully-homomorphic encryption to preserve data privacy.
- Developers can access the data to train AI models, run analytics, and build applications.
- The funding will support Masa’s Q1 mainnet launch on a dedicated Avalanche subnet through a partnership.
Dubbed a “Decentralized Google,” Masa Network aims to shift power from centralized tech giants to individual data owners. The platform will allow users to contribute personal data to the network and receive rewards in Masa’s native token. Developers can then access this data to train AI models, run analytics, and build web3 applications in a privacy-preserving way.
“For too long, the world’s most valuable user data has been locked away by Big Tech companies and exploited without user consent,” said Masa co-founder Calanthia Mei. “Masa lets you control and monetize your data on a decentralized marketplace.”
Masa Network Raises $5.4M in Seed Round to Build the “Decentralized Google” for the World’s Personal Data
— Masa (@getmasafi) January 23, 2024
Masa’s protocol uses zero-knowledge proofs and fully-homomorphic encryption to ensure data privacy when surfacing insights. This enables practical applications without compromising user security and consent.
The seed round, which brings Masa’s total funding to $9.2 million, includes investment from major blockchain funds like Avalanche Blizzard Fund and Digital Currency Group. Proceeds will go towards Masa’s Q1 mainnet launch on a dedicated Avalanche subnet, resulting from a new partnership between the two platforms.
Since its inception in 2022, over 1 million wallets have already connected to Masa Network. The project’s novel approach to decentralized data ownership has attracted notice from leading DeFi protocols like QuickSwap and Injective. With further development ahead, Masa may pioneer an internet where users can truly claim data as “the new oil” and control its use.
“Masa uniquely enables users to become owners and more tightly aligns the value of the data with the creator of the data, creating a positive sum environment,” said Anagram co-founder Joe Eagan, explaining his firm’s interest in this seed round.
As AI and machine learning create exponential demand for personal data, investors are betting on Masa’s blueprint for a fairer data economy – one that lets you profit from your information. For crypto enthusiasts dissatisfied with Web 2.0’s broken data model, Masa Network represents a glimpse of how blockchain technology could flip the script.