The San Francisco-based startup is building tools in support of Worldcoin, an Ethereum-based token currently in beta. Its World ID platform is attempting to create unique digital identities — based on blockchain technology — for people by scanning their eyes with a small orb.
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The startup has raised many questions surrounding AI, data and privacy. While such an identity platform could be useful as AI makes it more difficult to know who or what one is dealing with over the internet, the scanning of people’s eyes to create a digital identity and how that information could be used has raised privacy and data concerns.
Due to its decentralized nature and hopes to create true unique digital identities, Worldcoin also has been associated with being involved in the process of distributing a universal basic income if AI starts to eliminate massive amounts of jobs — something that also has caused debate.
“As we embark on the age of AI, it is imperative that individuals are able to maintain personal privacy while proving their humanness,” said Alex Blania, CEO and co-founder of Tools for Humanity. “In doing so we can help ensure that everyone can realize the financial benefits that AI is poised to deliver.”
The company did not reveal a valuation, but an earlier report said it was looking to raise money at a $3 billion valuation.
Bucking the trend
While Tools For Humanity may have had a successful fundraise, that has not been the case for most crypto and Web3 startups.
Venture funding to VC-backed Web3 startups plummeted 82% in the first quarter of the year — dropping from $9.1 billion in Q1 of 2022 to only $1.7 billion, per Crunchbase data.
The funding number is the lowest total since the fourth quarter of 2020 — which saw only $1.1 billion — when many people had never heard of Web3.
VC-backed crypto startups saw just more than $800 million invested, the lowest total since more than $600 million was invested in Q1 2020.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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