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Web3-based HNT Labs Nets $25M in Series A Funding Round

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led the Series A round for Here Not There (HNT) Labs to fundraise capital to build online square towns. The funding round attracted the participation of Framework Ventures and Benchmark. The Web3-based startup reported netting $25M to allocate towards building Towns. 

Funding Round Navigates the Prolonged Crypto Winter

The project features a Web3-based protocol for group chat integrated with an application allowing online communities to establish decentralized blockchain-based gatherings. 

The announcement conveyed by the Here Not There Labs lauded the successful fundraising given that it coincided with a period when the sector confronted harsh crypto winter. In particular, the prolonged crypto winter made attracting meaningful venture capital investment challenging. 


Nevertheless, The A16Z presence eased the Series A round for the startup and coincided with a January stint when Web3 emerged as the most-funded sector. 

Andreessen Horowitz has in the past announced establishing a $4.5 billion fund aimed at investing in Web 3 companies. The fund targets to allocate over $1.5 billion to seed investments such as Here Not There Labs with the rest allocated towards venture investments.

The decision to lead the Series A round portrays confidence in the project’s longevity.

End-to-end Encryption for Self-governed Town Squares

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The Towns project features a chat protocol with end-to-end encryption allowing communities to formulate programmable and self-governed town squares. The squares allow their users to assemble and chat without the interference of the application owner. During assembly, the town squares hinder owners from claiming user rights, profiting, or denying access. 

The Town Squares allow the communities to exercise control settings. As such, users can adjust their roles, privacy, and administration to realize tailored experiences. It facilitates the issuance of rewards for member participation and the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) when chatting. 

Integrating Decentralization and Web3 Technologies

The project accommodates the capability to build new clients and integrate application programming interfaces (API) that ease control and customization. Here Not There Labs statement shared the team’s vision of establishing a digital town square that allows members to redefine their borders and governing rules. 

A general partner in the a16Z, Sriram Krishnan, equated the project as ambitious though achievable through web3 and decentralization. 

Here Not There Labs founder Ben Rubin seeks to decentralize the Towns network and ultimately hand the governance to the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

Expertise Supporting the Towns Square Project

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The Towns Square project is leveraging Rubin’s experience establishing Houseparty though a group video chat application.

The assembly is set to mirror Rubin’s previous project Meerkat – a livestreaming application. Also involved in the project is Brian Meek, who brings in virtual reality expertise acquired in the STRIVR Labs and engineering expertise in Skype. 

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Stephen Causby

Stephen Causby is an experienced crypto journalist who writes for Tokenhell. He is passionate for coverage in crypto news, blockchain, DeFi, and NFT.

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