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Lens Protocol-based web3 social app Orb raises $2.3 million

source-logo  theblock.co 21 September 2023 14:16, UTC

Orb Technology, the developer of Lens Protocol-based web3 social app Orb, raised $2.3 million in a pre-seed funding round.

Investors in the round included Superscrypt, Founders, Inc., Foresight Ventures, Aave Companies, Stani Kulechov, founder of Aave Companies and Lens Protocol, and Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, Orb said Thursday. There was no lead investor in the round, Orb co-founder Kimmo Siren told The Block, adding that this was an equity round that began in March and closed in May. He declined to comment on valuation.

"Orb is the first application in the Lens ecosystem to raise funding, creating momentum for a wave of new apps built on web3 technologies," Kulechov said in a statement. "Orb has created a great user experience and continues to innovate at a rapid pace. We are very excited to see what comes next from this talented team."

What is Orb?

Orb is a community-focused web3 social app with chat and communities features. The chat feature allows users to connect and communicate with friends, while the communities feature enables users to join groups with like-minded individuals.

Orb was started as a side project during the Graph Day in San Francisco in June 2022, Siren said, adding that it quickly gained traction among Lens users. Initially, it began as a professional network (web3 version of LinkedIn) powered by on-chain credentials. However, in November 2022, the team decided to pivot, and at the same time, it also transitioned to working on it full-time. Orb came out of closed beta in December 2022.

So far, "tens of thousands of users" have tried the app, Siren said, adding that Orb at the moment is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, users of ERC-6551. Orb's ommunities feature is built on the ERC-6551 standard with Token Bound Accounts. This standard permits each NFT to have its own ERC-4337 smart contract wallet, capable of holding other NFTs and tokens, extending the concept of digital ownership.

Orb communities

Orb said it has received 400+ requests for new communities having 5,000+ users who have generated 15,000+ publications and 150,000+ reactions just inside the communities. "Lens Protocol enables us to build communities that have ownership, whereas other web3 development, such as token-bound accounts, will drive improvements in both mobility and privacy,” Siren said.

With fresh capital in hand, Orb plans to develop new social experiences on-chain, combining commerce, content and communication. It also plans to expand its current team size of less than ten people by hiring mostly mobile devs and designers, Siren said.