As startups attempt to blockchainify everything—gaming, travel, finance, you name it—a newcomer called Message Party is out to raise more than $2 million to give online chatting its obligatory Web3 makeover.
The social messaging app—which promises to “allow everyone to talk to their friends the web3 way,” according to its website—has secured $1.5 million so far from 19 undisclosed investors, with plans to pull in an additional $600,000, per a filing with the SEC.
Based in Encino, Message Party is led by co-founder and CEO Adam Lurie, who previously launched a creator economy investment firm called Creator Rising and before that worked for talent agency WME. Lurie is joined by co-founder Niel Robertson, who also co-founded a social network for social media influencers and is referred to as Message Party’s “adult in the room.”
So, uh, what does Web3 messaging look like? Judging from a pre-launch site, even Message Party’s founders aren’t sure—with one page altruistically suggesting it’s something “we all get to decide.”
But Message Party’s take on Web3 chat definitely includes wallet-based identities and NFTs that unlock stuff, such as “emojis, stickers, backgrounds, 3D avatars, AR filters, and even whole new forms of shared expression.” The company recently demoed its eponymous web app and maintains a sign-up page for folks interested in playing with an early, alpha version.
“What is in our wallets has become our digital identity online,” said Robertson during the recorded demo, while showing off how users can preview their friends’ NFTs within the app.
The startup has minted NFTs of its own—the priciest of which is a blue robot with gold thunderbolts (it’s kind of like Astro Boy meets Daft Punk) that’s listed for 555 SOL, or roughly $51,000 USD at press time. SOL tokens live on the Solana blockchain, a rival to Ethereum.
Message Party isn’t the only Web3 venture to take on chat apps; others include Status and Ember. Web3 startups also often build communities on Discord, though that popular messaging platform itself isn’t blockchain-focused.
Message Party did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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