Aave’s Stani Kulechov seeks $50m for Lens Protocol at $500m valuation

Aave’s Stani Kulechov seeks $50m for Lens Protocol at $500m valuation
Lens Protocol is one entity under the Avara, formerly Aave, umbrella. Credit: Shutterstock / zidan4ek
  • Stani Kulechov is pitching Lens Protocol to US venture firms.
  • The Web3 social platform raised $15 million in 2023.

Stani Kulechov, the founder and CEO of Avara, is reaching out to US venture capital firms to secure another round of funding for Lens Protocol, according to people familiar with the deal.

The Avara founder is seeking $50 million in a deal that would value Lens Protocol, a social media platform, at $500 million, said one of the people close to the effort.

Avara’s spokesperson did not confirm or deny these figures and declined to comment further.

When asked about a token launch for Lens Protocol, Kulechov told DL News that they “hadn’t gotten that far.” The primary objective is the upcoming launch of the Lens Network, a native network built using ZKsync’s technology stack, he said. ZKsync is a layer2 scaling solution for Ethereum.

Avara is the umbrella company overseeing the lending protocol Aave, Lens Protocol, Family, its crypto wallet, and GHO, a stablecoin.

In 2023, Lens Protocol raised $15 million. There was no valuation available at the time of the raise, according to TechCrunch.

The latest raise comes four weeks after Farcaster, a competing Web3 social media protocol, raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation. Paradigm led the round, which was joined by a16z’s crypto arm and other venture firms.

Lens Protocol and Farcaster are crypto-alternatives to popular social media platforms like X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Control over content

Every interaction, such as liking a post or following another user on the Lens Protocol, can be recorded on the blockchain. Both Farcaster and Lens Protocol allow other developers to build on top of the protocols to create their own versions of social media apps.

Both projects aim to give users control over their digital content and, ultimately, help them monetise what they post on social media.

Approximately 70% of users on Lens and Farcaster have less than 50 followers, according to Dune Analytics.

Liam Kelly is a Berlin-based correspondent, and Ben Weiss is a Dubai-based correspondent. You can reach them at liam@dlnews.com and ben@dlnews.com.

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