The Easy Company has raised $14.2 million to create an easy-to-use “social” crypto wallet

The Easy Company raised $14.2 million in a seed round and launched its “social” crypto wallet to help bring in a larger audience, which it shared exclusively with TechCrunch.

Easy aims to combine user-selected profiles with engaging social features so people can search, browse and experience the Web3 world for themselves. Today his the beta wallet is available to the public on iOS and Android after completing a 30-day private testing phase, Mike Dougherty, co-founder and CEO of Easy, told TechCrunch.

“We’re very focused on building the consumer layer,” Dougherty said. “We thought about the next chapter of web3 through mainstream adoption and usability.”

The funding round included Lobby Capital, Relay Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Tapestry VC, Upside and Scribble Ventures, as well as angel investors from traditional social media and Web3 groups such as former Instagram, product and marketing executives. engineering from Novi and former executives from Airbnb, Twitter, Uber, OpenTable and Eventbrite, among others.

“We want to give the world a new way to engage with web3 but also a new digital wallet,” Kevin Swint, co-founder and chief product officer at The Easy Company, told TechCrunch. “We think the digital wallet space is huge and hasn’t moved away from payments and it’s something we can grow into quickly.”

Many Web3 products and services today are too technical for the average person to use, Dougherty said. “If you look at products and experiences on Web3, they can be too technical and built by and for technical users. … We’re changing that to build a consumer product rather than a tool, which leads to different design decisions.

The platform, which was demonstrated at TechCrunch on Zoom, had a similar layout to social media apps like Instagram thanks to things like the NFT layout, where users can swipe to view both their own NFTs or NFTs of people they “watch”, such as Instagram stories. .

The similarity was also no accident, Swint said. “We have a few key Instagram advisers and we saw ourselves as an Instagram-like experience for NFTs in a portfolio.”

While there are traditional media elements in Easy’s portfolio, it’s “an embrace of both web3 and bringing some of web2 to that, rather than bringing web3 back to web2 “, noted Swint. “Innovation around web3 is at the heart of what we do. It’s a decentralized wallet; a lot of the wallet code is open source and we want to honor the web3 community to move the space forward.”

The wallet also allows users to link their social identity from other sites and manage their profiles with their own NFTs from multiple wallet accounts and blockchains. There is a rating system called Signal, which allows users to review anything from NFT collections to marketplaces and platforms – it also allows the community to report possible fraud in an effort to increase security . Separately, there’s a search feature that allows users to search for terms like “bored” to see both members with that phrase in their name and collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Easy was designed with cross-chain functionality and is currently compatible with Ethereum and Polygon NFT, with plans to have more blockchains in the future, Swint noted.

“Protocols serve products, and products serve people,” Gary Clayton, co-founder of The Easy Company, said in a statement. “Web3 applications are incredibly complex from a user perspective, and the vast ecosystem of blockchains and wallets required for each is dizzying. If we create experiences that make using Web3 as simple and secure as the designs mainstream web, more users will come to Web3.”

Within the app, users can also send crypto and tokens to profiles and real usernames, rather than a random variation of numbers and letters (which often make up their crypto wallet address) , said Swint.

“We started to see the portfolio as very strategic. The wallet is a personal companion that accompanies you on every step of your journey. The wallet itself can do so much more to help us navigate, connect, and stay safe,” Dougherty said. “We built Easy to be that wallet we wanted to use that first day on Web3.”

The capital will be used to continue to develop the social product, but also to expand blockchain support, Dougherty said. “We will work hard to live up to the vision of ‘ease’ and make web3 as simple as what we are used to in web2.”

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