Brooklyn Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie has been one of the most outspoken advocates for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in professional sports, even selling tokenized shares of his NBA contract in 2020.
Earlier this year, Dinwiddie launched a new crypto app project called Calaxy, designed to help fellow athletes and celebrities sell social tokens to their fans.
Today, the startup announced that it has raised $7.5 million in funding to build out the platform and grow its team, and it has brought some other famous faces along for the journey.
Alongside the investment news, Calaxy announced some of the creators that will launch social tokens on the platform. NBA champion Iman Shumpert and actress/singer-songwriter Teyana Taylor, who are married and star in a reality series together, will release their own tokens, along with NFL player Ezekiel Elliott, and The Bachelor TV series star Matt James. Reality star Claudia Sampedro and social media influencers Eric Struk, Chaz Smith, and Chozus are also onboard.
Elliott and James are also amongst the investors in this funding round, joining the likes of NBA coach Luke Walton, NFL player Larry Ogunjobi, and former PayPal Head of Blockchain Strategy Jonathan Padilla. Animoca Brands, RedBeard Ventures, ArkStream Capital, NGC Ventures, and Genesis Block Ventures also participated in the round.
Calaxy, a portmanteau of “Creator’s galaxy,” is built on Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology. It will enable an array of interactions between creators and fans, including video messages and calls, MasterClass-esque content, and fan club subscriptions. The Calaxy Creator social token will be used within the decentralized economy, plus creators can sell their own crypto collectibles as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which often take the form of images, videos, and other digital content.
NBA’s Spencer Dinwiddie Dishes on His Crypto-based App for Creators
“The potential of social tokens and how they can shape the ways in which creators interact with fans are endless,” Calaxy COO and co-founder Solo Ceesay told Decrypt. “What we have built at Calaxy is something that is palatable and familiar given our Web 2.0 appearance and capabilities, while at the same time leaning in towards a future [in which] the tokenization of a creator’s time or collectible item can be facilitated in a matter of seconds. We as a company are thrilled to be the gateway into a decentralized world and at the forefront of introducing crypto and blockchain technology to the masses.”
Earlier this week, Calaxy announced a handful of strategic advisors from across the crypto industry, most notably Dapper Labs founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou, whose NBA Top Shot collectibles platform helped spearhead the recent NFT boom. Gharegozlou will be joined by Liquefy CEO Adrian Lai, Centre Consortium Senior Legal Counsel Chad Richman, and Rahul Kathari, Research Engineer at Twitter’s Bluesky decentralized social media project.