Unstoppable Domains, a Web3 startup, has raised $65million at a valuation of $1 billion. The company sells NFT-based domains, which can be assigned crypto wallets or websites. It is also building Web3 identity solutions and reputation.
Unstoppable domains is a service that offers NFT-based domains for crypto wallets or websites. Today, it announced that it has reached a “unicorn” valuation of $1 Billion after a $65 Million Series A funding round.
Pantera Capital, a new investor, led the raise. It also included funding from Alchemy Ventures and Redbeard Ventures as well as Mayfield, Alchemy Ventures and Redbeard Ventures. Previous backers Draper Associates, Boost VC, and others also participated.
Matthew Gould, founder of Unstoppable Domains and CEO, said to Decrypt, that everyone is excited about the company’s goal of becoming a unicorn. He also mentioned that the company had gotten through the crypto winter of 2018 and 2019, and eventually reached this level. He also stressed to his team that this type of investment was a serious matter.
He said, “When you accept funding, you assume a lot of responsibility.” You have one day to celebrate the win lap and enjoy a glass of champagne, then you go back to work the next day.”
Unstoppable Domains raised $6.9m in VC funding in multiple rounds. This included what was billed in 2019 as a Series B. Gould explained to Decrypt, however, that any prior investment is now part of the seed funding. He also said that previous labeling was due to Unstoppable Domains being a small startup at the time without a PR department.
Gould stated that Unstoppable Domains had registered over 2.5 million crypto domains to date. This includes extensions like.crypto..bitcoin..nft..blockchain and.dao. Registering domains starts at $5 and can cost hundreds of dollars. The firm claims that it has generated over $80 million in revenue so far.
Each Unstoppable Domain is represented by an NFT asset. It’s created on Polygon, an Ethereum scaling platform that allows faster, cheaper and more efficient transactions.
An NFT (a blockchain token) is used to transfer ownership of an item, in this case, a Web3 Domain name. The NFT is minted once and remains in the user’s custody in a crypto-wallet. There are no renewal fees nor ongoing upkeep costs to keep ownership of the Unstoppable Domain. The gas fees that are charged by Polygon for the creation of a domain name are not paid by users.
This last detail is a major difference from the Ethereum Number Service (ENS), a distributed service that sells NFT based.eth names and can be tied with Ethereum wallets. ENS users must pay for a set number of years service after minting, and then renew the name to continue service.
Gould doesn’t view ENS and other similar services (like the Solana Naming Service), as competitors in a sense. They’re all working together to improve crypto accessibility, advance the concept of digital owner, and they all have their own goals. He said, “We support anything that helps to get people to own their digital identities and their digital property online.”
Unstoppable Domains has a large number of partners who support its domains. These include exchanges (like Cryptobase and Blockchain.com), cryptocurrency wallets ( Rainbow), web-browsers ( Brave), as well as more than 300.
It is also pursuing decentralized identity and launched a Login with Unstoppable feature in Jan. Gould sees a huge audience for crypto identity ownership.
He stated, “If we are right, in that every human being on the planet will own crypto, then that means that there’ll be billions of NFT domains registered.” “Just for the simple case of people sending one another cryptocurrency.
Gould stated that this allows users to control their digital identities via a crypto wallet or NFT domain. He also said it has serious implications to online reputation. Users can track bad behavior across different platforms, such as spreading scams.
He said that there is a huge disconnect between how we interact in real life and online. “Online interaction is often not as pleasant as in real life. This is because you can’t bring your whole self online.
Gould gave an example of his father being swindled when he tried to purchase football tickets online. He said that the scammer could hop to another central, siloed platform to continue these schemes. However, Gould believes such actions can be tracked across platforms using an NFT-based online trust system.
Gould stated, “We believe that that’s actually going up the digital conversations we have in our online spaces to be more similar to the real thing.” “Unstoppable Domains’ long-term vision, and I believe for anyone building NFT domains/blockchain-based naming system, is really about establishing online digital reputation.”