17th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Sleek, a Hong Kong based web3 social network platform, has successfully raised US$5 million in a seed funding round, the company announced on Friday. The funding round saw participation from notable investors such as Binance Labs, Shima Capital, Spartan Group, Symbolic Capital, Market Across, and Big Brain Holdings. The funds were raised through a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT), according to Tania Tse, co-founder at Sleek.
While Tse did not disclose the valuation of Sleek, a source familiar with the matter revealed that the company is now valued at $50 million following the successful funding round.
Originally launched as ChapterX, a no-code metaverse platform, Sleek made the decision to pivot to a web3 social network due to the belief that the metaverse was not yet ready for mass adoption. ChapterX was previously part of Binance Labs’ Incubation Program, Season 4. Chase Guo, co-founder of Sleek, was previously an investment director at Binance Labs before starting ChapterX, which has now evolved into Sleek.
Sleek, which was introduced in April of this year, operates as a blockchain-based social media platform that facilitates connections between individuals through a card and a Telegram bot. The platform aims to address the challenge of remembering people met in person by automatically capturing data and providing reminders. Additionally, users can discover and network with other attendees through the Telegram bot. Sleek has already garnered 20,000 verified users primarily through word of mouth, with a strong user base and valuable insights into user needs.
In contrast to other web3 social networks, Sleek differentiates itself by focusing on building a real use case rather than relying on tokens or incentives to attract users. This approach aims to foster unique content generation and sustainable growth, as opposed to short-term engagement driven by monetary incentives. Sleek has sold approximately 15,000 cards since its launch, facilitating over 300,000 connections. The platform offers two card variants, prism and premium, priced at around $30 and $35 respectively.
Sleek is also developing a knowledge marketplace that will enable domain or subject matter experts to tokenize their knowledge and monetize it. By leveraging a fee-based monetisation model, Sleek aims to align incentives between creators and fans, fostering shared financial incentives. The marketplace is expected to launch in the first half of next year.
As a multi-chain platform, Sleek supports Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and BNB Chain. However, the default wallet created for each user is on Solana due to its low transaction fees. This approach simplifies user onboarding and allows for seamless receipt of airdrops and NFTs at events without the need for users to create and manage additional seed phrases.
With the seed funding in place, Sleek plans to expand its team, hiring individuals across various functions such as product marketing, growth, and design. Currently, the startup consists of eight team members.