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, 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.
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.
“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.”
“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.
“Massive is unlocking an entirely new payment method for digital goods and services where users can pay with their device’s idle compute power. And for application developers, Massive is pioneering a new way to monetize users to complement existing business models of paywalls, in-app payments, and advertising,” said Adam Carson, operating partner and crypto investing lead at Point72 Ventures, who’s joining Massive’s board. “We are thrilled to support their vision of bringing Massive to billions of users around the globe.”
Ari Paul, CIO of BlockTower Capital added, “Massive is pioneering a new web 3.0 monetization model for the internet which lets users pay for goods and services with idle computing capacity instead of giving up their personal data. The internet’s advertising-driven business model is long overdue for disruption, and we are excited to partner with Massive on their journey.”