Spencer Dinwiddie’s Web3 Social Media App Just Raised $26M

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Image courtesy of Calaxy

Calaxy, a Web3 social media app co-founded by NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie, has raised $26 million in new funding, the company announced Tuesday.

The HBAR Foundation and blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands co-led the raise, with participation from Ethereum scaling platform Polygon. The fresh funding brings Calaxy’s total raised to just shy of $34 million following a $7.5 million seed round last year.

Los Angeles-based Calaxy lets creators sell their own crypto tokens to fans, who can redeem the tokens for exclusive content, video messages and other forms of access to those creators. The company has essentially attached Web3 technology to validated creator economy models like Patreon, Cameo and OnlyFans, Calaxy co-founder and CEO Solo Ceesay told dot.LA, with the idea of getting people to use crypto in a way that’s familiar.

New Calaxy CEO Solo Ceesay.

Photo courtesy of Solo Ceesay

“It's meant to be quite intuitive,” Ceesay said. “It's meant to be something that doesn't feel like you're opening a brokerage account and investing in a creators’ cryptocurrency.”

For example, the creator tokens on Calaxy are initially priced one-to-one with U.S. currency—so buying 20 of Dinwiddie’s coins on the platform would cost a user $20. Eventually, the company will allow creators to opt into dynamic pricing, “but we want to make sure that journey is walked when the creator's fan base is ready,” Ceesay noted. Calaxy operates on Hedera Hashgraph, a distributed ledger technology that is an alternative to blockchain.

Dallas Mavericks guard Dinwiddie has established himself as one of the NBA’s earliest adopters of cryptocurrency—having notably converted a $34 million contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets in 2018 into a digital investment vehicle.

After initially serving as Calaxy’s CEO, Dinwiddie has now moved into an executive chair role at the startup; Ceesay, a former investment banker who became Calaxy’s chief operating officer in 2020, is succeeding Dinwiddie as CEO.

The 15-person company’s app is expected to emerge from beta testing this summer. Calaxy says it has lined up around 200 creators, celebrities and influencers for its platform, including Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot, Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard and singer Teyana Taylor.

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Starships Were Meant To Fly: Astrolab's New Jeep-Sized Rover Gets a Lift from SpaceX

Lon Harris
Lon Harris is a contributor to dot.LA. His work has also appeared on ScreenJunkies, RottenTomatoes and Inside Streaming.
Starships Were Meant To Fly: Astrolab's New Jeep-Sized Rover Gets a Lift from SpaceX
Photo by Samson Amore

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Local Los Angeles-area startup Astrolab Inc. has designed a new lunar vehicle called FLEX, short for Flexible Logistics and Exploration Rover. About the size of a Jeep Wrangler, FLEX is designed to move cargo around the surface of the moon on assignment. It’s a bit larger than NASA’s Mars rovers, like Perseverance, but as it’s designed for transport and mobility rather than precision measurement, it can travel much faster, at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour across the lunar surface.

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Meet the Creator Economy’s Version of LinkedIn

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Meet the Creator Economy’s Version of LinkedIn

This is the web version of dot.LA’s daily newsletter. Sign up to get the latest news on Southern California’s tech, startup and venture capital scene.

LinkedIn hasn’t caught on with Gen Z—in fact, 96% rarely use their existing account.

Considering 25% of young people want to be full-time content creators and most influencers aren’t active on LinkedIn, traditional networking sites aren’t likely to meet these needs.

Enter CreatorLand.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: Total Network Services Gains $9M, Autio Secures $5.9M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Total Network Services Gains $9M, Autio Secures $5.9M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

It has been a slow week in funding, but a local decentralized computing network managed to land $9 million to accelerate deployment of its new product called Universal Communication Identifier (UCID™). Another local company that secured capital included Kevin Costner’s location-based audio storytelling platform and the funding will go toward expanding the app’s content library and expanding into additional regions in the United States.

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