Worldcoin, a crypto startup involving iris scanning technology co-founded by OpenAI boss Sam Altman in 2019, is close to securing a hefty $100 million funding from a mix of “existing and new investors,” Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing three people familiar with the matter.
Previous investors in October 2021 venture round have included Coinbase Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Three Arrows Capital, and Digital Currency Group, as well as disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
In March 2022, Worldcoin reportedly raised $100 million through a secret token sale at a $3 billion valuation from investors that included Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Khosla Ventures.
Given the prolonged crypto winter we find ourselves in, the fresh funding sought by Worldcoin is indeed sizeable, one person familiar with the matter told FT.
“It’s a bear market, a crypto winter. It’s remarkable for a project in this space to get this amount of investment,” the source noted.
Earlier this month, Worldcoin debuted a gas-free digital wallet that is designed to work with its ecosystem and can be used to authenticate with World ID, get Worldcoin tokens, and send digital money anywhere.
“World App is a different kind of wallet. It doesn’t support every token or functionality crypto has to offer, and it doesn’t expose every possible configuration. Instead, it is designed by TFH [Tools For Humanity] to focus on a handful of key functionalities of Worldcoin and Ethereum to keep things simple and familiar so anyone can use them,” the company said in a blog post.
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Founded in 2019 by Altman and Alex Blania, Worldcoin aims to scan the irises of everyone on earth in order to launch a worldwide identification system. To achieve this vision, the project uses volleyball-sized chrome orbs to scan people’s eyeballs in exchange for its tokens, which it envisions to become a global digital currency distributed to everyone in the world in a fair and equitable manner.
“As we venture into the exciting new Age of Artificial Intelligence, solving proof of personhood is more important than ever—specifically to ensure democratic access and governance of these systems, fairly distribute the benefits generated and know who and what to trust online,” the company’s statement reads.