Massive Raises $11 Million in Seed Funding from Point72 Ventures to Bring a New Business Model to the Internet

Coinbase Ventures and BlockTower Capital also participated. The funding will be used to double engineering and business development headcount, scale to millions of users, and form the most powerful distributed supercomputer in the world.

Massive, a fully remote startup that provides a new way for users to pay for digital apps and services by sharing a small amount of their computers’ idle processing power, today announced that it has raised $11 million in seed funding. The round was led by Point72 Ventures with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Kraken Ventures, BlockTower Capital, and CoinShares Ventures. Angel investors in this round include Ryan Selkis of Messari, Prabhakar Reddy of FalconX, Sriram Krishnan of Kearny Jackson, and Packy McCormick of Not Boring. Massive previously raised $1.5 million of pre-seed funding from Launch, Hustle Fund, and angel investor Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures.

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The company offers a friendlier, better-performing alternative to ads, which cost users valuable personal attention and data yet generate low per-user revenues, and to paywalls, which are often unaffordable and lead to low conversion rates. Massive was founded in 2018 by CEO Jason Grad and CTO Brian Kennish. Jason was a top salesperson at Yelp and later founded two successfully acquired venture-backed startups in the fintech and consumer-health industries, Cheerful Giving (acquired by Goodworld) and RCVR (acquired by Palmetto Harmony). Brian was a pre-IPO engineer at Google, where he worked on the Chrome browser and developer products, and has since developed seven apps with more than one million active users each, including the privacy apps Disconnect (anti-tracking software that comes with most major browsers and is installed on the devices of about one billion users) and Adblock Fast (an ad blocker that has more than ten million users).

“We believe Massive will become a widely used monetization method for application developers and the most powerful distributed supercomputer in the world,” said Jason Grad, Massive’s co-founder and CEO. “We couldn’t be happier to welcome this group of investors who will help us create a new payment standard for the internet.”

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“So far, dozens of developers are working with Massive to let their millions of users choose to pay for premium features with leftover computing capacity instead of the personal attention and data consumed by ads,” said Brian Kennish, Massive’s co-founder and CTO. “We’re excited to continue contributing to a model for making money and paying online that can finally be a sustainable alternative to online advertising.”

Advertising, besides distracting users and compromising their privacy, generates less than $0.05 per user per month for the average app developer, while paywalls convert an average of less than 1% of users. Massive has developed an SDK that lets app users opt in to pay for premium features, content, and services with their spare computing resources. The SDK runs unnoticeably in the background and only during opportune conditions, includes user tooling to monitor resource consumption, doesn’t collect any personally identifiable info, complies with worldwide privacy regulations, and is whitelisted by antivirus vendors. Massive aggregates opted-in processing power, storage, and bandwidth to compensate developers by hosting blockchain infrastructure, mining cryptocurrency and, in the future, performing general computing tasks. Conversion rates for Massive’s partner developers hover in the 30% range and their average revenue per user is significantly higher than with ads. As a result, hundreds of thousands of users have already paid for apps with Massive.

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