[Funding alert] EPNS raises $10.1M from Jump Crypto, Tiger Global, Sino Global, Polygon and others
Mumbai-based startup Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) has raised $10.1 million in Series A funding at a valuation of $131 million. The round was led by Jump Crypto, with participation from Tiger Global, ParaFi, A.Capital, Sino Global Capital, Polygon Studios, Harmony Foundation, Wintermute, Zee Prime Capital, Woodstock Ventures, DCX Ventures, Alpha Wave Capital, Zebpay, TRGC and iSeedVC.
The Series A is token-based, with either a 9 to 12 months cliff for each investor along with 24 months to 30 months vesting.
The funding round also included investments from Web3 leaders Andrew Keys of DARMA Capital; David Silverman of Aave Companies; Ajit Tripathi, Mateo a Levy; Kane Warwick, Jordan Momtazi and Justin Moses of Synthetix; Aniket Jindal of Biconomy; Anton Bukov of 1inch; Sahil Dewan of Harmony; Jerome de Tychey of Cometh and Ethereum France, Sam of Journal du Coin.
The purpose of the funding
“The funds from the Series A will go towards growing the EPNS team across development, operations, and business development — with a particular focus on broadening the application of EPNS beyond Ethereum and towards other layer 1s and layer 2s,” said Richa Joshi, Co-founder, EPNS in a conversation with Decrypting Story.
The EPNS platform allows services to send notifications to the wallets. But apart from just notifications, users also earn from receiving notifications. Since the encrypted data of these notifications is stored on the blockchain (directly or indirectly), it not only enables the team to send push notifications out to mobile or tablets but essentially to any centralised or decentralised carriers.
The team will leverage the funding to expand the team and develop beyond the Ethereum ecosystem to stay true to the vision of a multi-chain, interoperable decentralised future. This funding will help EPNS push for faster adoption of the protocol, becoming multi-chain (for starters on the Polygon network soon).
“With a robust team, tech implementation and resources, EPNS will keep perfecting the protocol, building wallet to wallet communication in Web3, and enabling developers and wallets alike to integrate the protocol in the smoothest way possible,” explains Harsh Rajat, Co-founder, EPNS in a conversation with Decrypting Story.
Richa added the growth since they started development in 2020 has been tremendous.
“Since our IDO on Polkastarter in April 2021, our global community has grown to over 150,000. We’ve built partnerships with over 80 companies and protocols across the space, including Uniswap, Gitcoin, MakerDAO, ENS, CoinDesk, dYdX, Bancor, WazirX, and other market leaders. EPNS officially went live on the Etheruem mainnet in January 2022. Since then, we have powered 4 million notifications sent to over 44,400 subscribers,” adds Richa.
As the blockchain ecosystem has evolved into a composable, multi-chain network, native Web3 communication is growing more and more necessary for user experience, developer operations, investor security, protocol architecture, and a lot more, Richa adds.
Today’s methods of communication between and among Web3 users and companies — dominated by Twitter, Discord, and Telegram — give rise to poor UX, scams, and suboptimal communication, according to the co-founder. Among some of the most pressing issues: smart contract version releases are missed, liquidation thresholds are not warned, NFT drops are forgotten, and vulnerabilities aren’t communicated well.
The result is a fractured and siloed approach toward communication in the blockchain ecosystem, making room for an optimised, Web3-native solution.
Generally, EPNS powers communication among protocols and Web3 users. EPNS enables permissionless communication creation and subscription along two categories of users:
- Channels — Any individual or company can create a channel and set up notifications that will be sent out to subscribers. Communication can be triggered automatically in response to on-chain activity, or can be manually sent out with updates or push alerts.
- Subscribers — Any individual can opt-in to receive communication from public EPNS channels. Subscribers will receive notifications directly in the EPNS app in response to on- or off-chain activity, as the channel is set up.
Challenges and future
“Our greatest challenge was understanding how the Web3 ecosystem would best prefer to communicate: through a separate app, natively within a wallet, a combination of both? We are, right now, used to many different ways of communicating and receiving/sending notifications on Web2: email, social media, push notification, and more,” says Richa.
Adding to this Harsh says the team aims to improve on Web2 landscape, by creating a UX that is better for daily use.
“We overcame this by rigorous testing of how we could best deliver communication along our product roadmap, and listening closely to the feedback from our community. And we will continue developing, iterating, updating, and building as the space needs,” adds Richa.
The biggest next step for EPNS is to expand beyond Ethereum. Richa and Harsh added they began with Ethereum because its composable nature and user experience held the greatest opportunity to build, test, and prove the need for native communication.
“Collectively, however, we are moving into a multi-chain world, and we are quickly building EPNS to power communication throughout all of Web3. In the meantime, we will continue supporting more companies as they launch channels and power communication to their users. Many channels in the pipeline,” say the founders.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti