Kickstarter received secret $100m investment to become web3 company



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In early December 2021, a Kickstarter crowdfunding startup received an investment offer in exchange for transforming into a web3 company.

According to Fortune, the news came as a surprise because the Kickstarter team had spent years accumulating capital in the company, and many had already given up hope of ever selling it.

“But a dozen years after its launch, Kickstarter had lost its cachet of cool and churned through CEOs. The Kickstarter of 2021 had little to offer would-be investors but headaches.”

Fortune

According to a person familiar with the deal, Kickstarter board members approached venture capitalist Chris Dixon in the summer of 2021 about a new investment in Kickstarter, with the proposed blockchain pivot offered as an incentive for the deal. For Dixon, the prospect of bringing a familiar name like Kickstarter into the web3 realm was too tempting to pass up.

People familiar with the deal say the stealth round totaled $100 million and was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). In exchange for a16z’s generosity, Kickstarter attempted to become a web3 company. The grand but unlikely plan would move the entire platform to a blockchain called Celo, another a16z portfolio company, where it would operate as an open-source protocol rather than relying on the proprietary code model used by most tech firms.

However, no part of the platform was converted to run on the blockchain. Following public outcry, Kickstarter formed a community advisory board, and the company ultimately decided to shift its focus away from blockchain.

Last week, crypto.news reported that a16z is in the final stages of raising $6.9 billion to enter the AI space. The company plans to complete the collection in April 2024, and half of the funds will go to the central fund. The venture firm does not disclose details on this part of the assets.



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