U.S. basketball star Spencer Dinwiddie’s token-based app for creators has raised $7.5 million to accelerate its development and partnerships.
Calaxy, a mashup of “Creator’s Galaxy,” allows creators and celebrities to raise money with tokens and allow fans to interact with them through video messages, online classes, video calls and fan club subscriptions. The raise was completed through a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) that could be redeemed either for Calaxy’s native token, CLXY, or for equity in Calaxy.
“The most exciting thing about the next step is getting this in fans hands and being able to accept feedback,” Dinwiddie, who plays guard for the Brooklyn Nets, said in an interview with CoinDesk.
So far, the app has only been tested internally but will go into public beta in a few weeks, said Solo Ceesay, Calaxy COO and co-founder.
“What that means is we’re going to have a Clubhouse-style rollout, where we invite influencers along with their communities, and one-by-one try to drive some FOMO to the platform,” Ceesay said.
The funding will be used to build out Calaxy’s infrastructure but also to add features like the ability for creators to tokenize their contracts, like Dinwiddie attempted to do in 2020.
The round was raised by Animoca Brands, Red Beard Ventures, ArkStream Capital, NGC Ventures and Genesis Block Ventures. National Football League star Ezekiel Elliott, Matt James from “The Bachelor,” National Basketball Association coach Luke Walton, former head of blockchain strategy at PayPal Jonathan Padilla and NFL player Larry Ogunjobi also joined in.
The raise also includes a list of initial creators who will participate in public beta: Elliott, James, singer-songwriter Teyana Taylor, NBA player (and Taylor’s husband) Iman Shumpert, “WAGS Miami” star Claudia Sampedro and social media influencers Eric Struk, Chaz Smith and Chozus.
Several of the creators and investors are new to crypto, Ceesay said.
“Calaxy is the first palatable crypto investment for these people,” Ceesay said, adding:
“This opens the gateways to new technology and allows them to adopt it and use it in a way in which it makes sense to them – similar to NFTs and NBA Top Shot.”
Calaxy runs on Hedera Hashgraph and uses the Hedera Token Service. The hashgraph is a blockchain-like distributed ledger and boasts a high transaction throughput, which is why Calaxy chose to use Hedera’s DLT versus Ethereum, Dinwiddie said.
Calaxy will also pursue future rounds of funding, and the next round will involve a “token of some sort,” Dinwiddie added.