Web5 App Zion Launches New Version, Raises $6M In Funding Round
Miami-based startup Zion has launched a new version of its app providing access to the Web5 decentralized social network, alongside the raising of $6 million in a funding round led by XBTO Humla Ventures.
The Zion protocol is designed to allow creators to own their communities while users have control over their online identity, and is based on Jack Dorsey’s Block’s Web5 standards and the Bitcoin Lightning Network. According to the release, Zion’s v2 app has a waiting list of over 60,000 users and a valuation of $53 million. The latest round of funding was backed by a range of investors, including footballer Aaron Rodgers and motivational speaker Tony Robbins.
The new app provides a “universal standard for social data exchange” based on “decentralized identities, communities and social content” and “interoperable peer-to-peer relationships.” Its features include a decentralized identifier system, decentralized web nodes and a Bitcoin Lightning wallet. Zion claims to have already served over 3,000 creators, while processing more than 120,000 transactions between creators and fans using Lightning.
Founder and CEO Justin Rezvani said that the company’s business model was “based on giving you a product that you can use to build your audience, that you can own and monetize”. The aim, he added, is for Zion to be “the last platform you ever have to build an audience on”. The protocol, Rezvani said, was a response to the “large-scale censorship of speech and a ceaseless array of data breaches, globally” that has resulted from centralized social media platforms.
Greg Carson, managing partner at XBTO Humla Ventures, said the team at Zion combined “a deep understanding of creator communities and scalable peer-based content technology” with a Lightning payments network, making the company “a unique and exciting investment for the ecosystem”.