Three Web3 and decentralized digital ID funding rounds bring in over $84M
Excitement for decentralized digital ID solutions for Web3 continues to attract new funding. The latest announcements include .bit raising $13 million in Series A funding almost exactly a year after starting its business, Qui Identity launching officially after securing $6.5 million in a seed funding round, and Unstoppable Domains revealing it raised $65 million in its Series A funding round.
.bit raises $13M in Series A funding round
.bit, an identity protocol built on the blockchain, is a project created by four former Tencent employees, who banded together with the goal of creating a universal identification system for Web3 applications.
After picking a .bit alias, companies are able to link it up with the addresses of their crypto or NFT wallets (compatible with .bit). After doing so, all the data and assets from those wallets will be held in .bit’s “data container” and be displayed on their .bit page.
This is similar to the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), but with digital identity served from the domain.
The identifier also aims to simplify cryptocurrency transactions by enabling .bit users to give their ID instead of the traditional, full 35-character crypto-wallet address.
After almost a year from its launch, .bit is now announcing a $13 million, Series A funding round from CMB International, HashKey Capital, QingSong Fund, GSR Ventures, GGV Capital, and SNZ.
“So far, more than 38k independent addresses have registered for more than 110k .bit accounts, and nearly 100 mainstream wallets and Dapps have integrated with .bit,” the company writes in a blog post.
The article also explains that while .bit currently supports Ethereum, BNB Chain, Tron, Nervos CKB, and Polygon, the company is working towards adding compatibility with all mainstream public chains, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Polkadot, and Solana, among others.
Further, to encourage people with different cultural backgrounds to use decentralized digital identity and improve cultural diversity in Web3, .bit said it is initiating the concept of NameDAO.
“By handing over a portion of the .bit protocol revenue to the [decentralized autonomous organizations], the team aims to motivate more people around the world to spread their culture and better access Web3 through NameDAO.”
Web3 and decentralized identity were also discussed in several sessions at EIC 2022.
Qui Identity launches after $6.5M seed funding
Technology venture Qui Identity is officially launching after receiving $6.5 million in a seed funding round led by Round 13 Digital Asset Fund, with participation from Wittington Ventures, OMERS Ventures, and other unnamed investors in the U.S. and Canada.
According to a company announcement, the funds will be used to expand the firm’s global team, particularly by hiring individuals with expertise in decentralized digital identity, Web3, and mobile. To that end, the company has set up a dedicated career page and is encouraging individuals to apply.
Headquartered in Toronto, Qui Identity was created by Kirk Simpson, co-founder and past CEO of Wave Financial, and Peter Carrescia, former SVP of strategy at Wave.
The company is reportedly still in the early stages of development, but its goal is to build a decentralized digital ID focused on giving consumers and businesses more control over how they share their digital information.
“[The industry has] been very focused on folks that are passionate about Web3, and what I think we can bring is a lot of experience around how to build products that, at Wave, would be onboarding tens of thousands of small businesses every month,” Simpson tells Betakit.
“And to do that you need to make things really simple … That is what we can bring to this space, a bridge between Web2 and Web3 that brings some of this stuff more to the masses.”
Companies recently working on solutions trying to bridge this gap also include biometric firms Reltime and IriTech.
Unstoppable Domains achieves unicorn status
Decentralized digital identity platform Unstoppable Domains announced it achieved unicorn status (reserved for startups valued at $1 billion or more) after a $65 million Series A funding round led by Pantera Capital with participation from a number of angel investors.
The list includes Mayfield, Gaingels, Alchemy Ventures, Redbeard Ventures, Spartan Group, OKG Investments, Polygon, CoinDCX, CoinGecko, We3 syndicate, Rainfall Capital, Broadhaven, EI Ventures, Hardyaka, Alt Tab Capital, Boost VC, and Draper Associates.
The Web3 startup’s goal is to enable people to create their usernames for crypto wallets and build decentralized digital identities. Each decentralized domain name is minted as an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain to give the owner more overall control and ownership.
Just like .bit, the domains provided by the startup can replace crypto wallet addresses to facilitate transactions. Unstoppable Domains offers integration with over 300 applications, including Coinbase, Chainlink, and Brave browser, among others.
The company had, as of July 27, accumulated over 2.5 million registered NFT domains, also thanks to its flexible pricing options (the cheapest ones sell for as low as $5). According to TechCrunch, the platform provider earned more than $80 million in sales since its launch in 2019.
More recently, Unstoppable Domains partnered with Permission.io, a provider of permission-based Web3 advertising, to supply each active Permission user with a $40 credit.
Another collaboration focusing on Web3 applications was established earlier this month between Idex Biometrics and G+D joint venture E-Kart.