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.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


'We’re Running Out of Ore on Earth': Astroforge Targets April for Test Asteroid Refining Mission

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

'We’re Running Out of Ore on Earth': Astroforge Targets April for Test Asteroid Refining Mission
Photo: Astroforge

One of the most-used elements in industrial work on Earth is disappearing.

Popular for industrial use because of its resistance to corrosion and heat, platinum sells for over $1,000 an ounce and is in everything from wedding bands to medical devices to a number of auto parts.

And retrieving what little of the element does remain, will only exacerbate the ongoing climate crisis – resource extraction was the source of half the world’s carbon emissions and 80% of its biodiversity loss in 2019 and that number has likely only risen.

Read moreShow less

How Studio71 Is Fighting Content Piracy

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.

How Studio71 Is Fighting Content Piracy
Courtesy of Studio71

Some people don’t have TikTok. Instead, they get their short-form video fix from YouTube: Think of long-form videos like “hair fails” and “funny pranks,” that wrack up hundreds of thousands of views.

The problem, however, is that the people who posted the original content often don’t know that their video has been re-purposed. And they aren’t compensated for the use of their content.

Read moreShow less

Universal Hydrogen Wants To Be the Nespresso of Hydrogen-Powered Planes

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Universal Hydrogen Wants To Be the Nespresso of Hydrogen-Powered Planes
Universal Hydrogen

This week, Universal Hydrogen announced that it had received a “special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category by the Federal Aviation Administration.” As the name suggests, this certification allows the company to take its hydrogen-powered engines off the ground and into the skies for further testing.

Read moreShow less