Startup Lines Nabs $4M to be Web3’s Communications Platform



Techcrunch | Connie Loizos | Jul 14, 2022

Lines founders - Startup Lines Nabs $4M to be Web3's Communications PlatformThere’s no shortage of headlines about the onset of “crypto winter.” Amid a growing pile of bankruptcies, one of the buzziest startups in the business, the NFT marketplace OpenSea, announced a major layoff just today.

Intersection of social messaging and Web3

However, plenty of founders and VCs are doubling down on the “intersection of social messaging and web3,” says renowned entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil:

Gil has already made an early bet, leading a $4 million seed round in Lines, a startup whose three co-founders studied philosophy at Harvard and whose CEO, Sahil Handa, boasts that the nascent company will become “web3’s messaging platform,” even while he and his former classmates are still developing its tech.

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Who’s backing:  That it’s still a work in progress is apparently just fine with Lines’s backers, which also include renowned angel investors Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Gokul Rajaram. What they’re backing is a vision where every web3 native who wants to be is connected in some way to verifiable communications platform.

Lines value prop

  • There’s a “rapidly increasing number of people using crypto pseudonyms to purchase digital currency, swap NFTs, vote on proposals, and manage treasuries,” explains Handa. “But whenever someone tries to communicate with another person in this network, there’s no way of knowing whether or not they are talking to the right person.”
  • Lines meanwhile strives to enable users to send messages from wallet to wallet and to join group chats based on token ownership.

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  • Handa describes a communication layer that’s both ambivalent about underlying blockchains and crypto wallets, and that, as a result, empowers users in a wide variety of ways. They can find the owner of a particular NFT they’d like to buy, say, or discover like-minded individuals based on the tokens they’ve acquired, or  reach out to potential new contributors of a DAO (a kind of “group chat with a bank account,” as DAOs have been called).
  • But with DAOs, there is the need to coordinate with various members beyond just using Discord.” With NFTs and other collectibles, he adds, “I may want to be able to ping you to buy or sell or trade, so there are other incentives for a communication layer to be useful.”

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