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Story Protocol Launches With Over $54M in Funding Led by Andreessen Horowitz

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Story Protocol is building the infrastructure layer to power a new era of open and collaborative IP.
The project launches with filmmaker David S. Goyer as an advisor.

SAN FRANCISCO, September 6, 2023-- Story Protocol, an open infrastructure designed to power a new era of creativity and intellectual property (IP) ownership, has raised over $54 million in funding led by a16z crypto. Story Protocol is creating a new IP protocol optimized for the internet era. The project aims to democratize IP creation through a global and extensible IP repository.

Story Protocol provides a streamlined framework to manage the entire lifecycle of IP development, enabling features like provenance tracking, frictionless licensing and revenue sharing. Made for creators across all media – prose, images, gaming, audio and more – applications built on Story Protocol give writers and artists the ability to track their work's provenance, allowing anyone to contribute and remix while capturing the value of their contributions.

“In a world of total abundance catalyzed by generative AI, blockchain technology presents the perfect solution for transparent provenance tracking and fair attribution,” said SY (Seung Yoon) Lee, Co-Founder of Story Protocol. “Story Protocol will usher in a new era of entrepreneurial creators and provide existing IP holders an entirely new way to engage audiences and advance their IP.”

The project aims to attract a rich ecosystem of third-party developers providing services encompassing crowdfunding, capital formation, IP discovery, licensing modules, authentication for AI content, and community growth. Story Protocol presents an open and modular architecture that any application can plug into and its decentralized nature removes platform risk for ecosystem builders.

"Web3 has the promise to help solve some of the longest-standing problems in the media and entertainment industries," said Sriram Krishnan, General Partner at a16z crypto. "We believe that Story Protocol has the opportunity to revolutionize the future of IP for artists, fans, and developers by empowering creativity at the speed of the internet."

Funding includes participation from Hashed, Endeavor, Samsung Next, dao5, Insignia Venture Partners, David Bonderman (Founder & Chairman of TPG Capital), Si-hyuk Bang (Founder & Chairman of HYBE/BTS), Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media, CH Kim (CEO of Krafton/PUBG), Kyung In Jung (CEO of Black Label), Wattpad Co-founder Allen and Eva Lau’s Two Small Fish Ventures, Alliance DAO, Foresight Ventures, Mirana Ventures, Balaji Srinivasan, Nicolas Berggruen, Charlie Songhurst, David Lee (SLVC), Sanghun Kim (Former CEO of Naver), Chang Kim (Founder of Tapas) and Roham Gharegozlou (Founder & CEO of Dapper Labs), among others.

“Artists and fans are integral to any successful IP franchise, and Story Protocol will power platforms that allow them to participate in the creative process,” said Ben Enowitz, SVP, Corporate Development & Talent Ventures at Endeavor. “Technology cannot replace authentic, human creativity – but it can bring communities together to unlock the full potential of existing and new IP. We’re excited to support Story Protocol in expanding the ways IP is created and shared with the world.”

In addition to the fundraising, Story Protocol welcomes David Goyer as an advisor. Goyer is a filmmaker and novelist best known as the screenwriter for the “Blade” trilogy (1998-2004) and “The Dark Knight” trilogy (2005-2012) and as the showrunner for the television series “Foundation” (2021) among others. He also has a proven track record of exploring new storytelling mediums such as gaming via Call of Duty and VR with Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series.

“As a co-lead investor in Story Protocol's earliest funding round, I was highly impressed by the caliber of the leadership team and their ability to execute at the intersection of mainstream IPs and web3,” said Simon Kim, CEO and Managing Partner at Hashed. “Just as Git revolutionized software development, Story Protocol is transforming the development of creative IP and enabling contribution at scale with clear ownership attribution.”

“I envision a future where creators will wield greater control over their IPs, extend their influence on a global scale, and cultivate direct connections with their community,” said David S. Goyer, filmmaker and advisor to Story Protocol. “Story Protocol marks a new era for the entertainment industry and the start of a new ownership model for creators and fans.”

Story Protocol's founding leadership team features a powerful mix of a serial entrepreneur and seasoned operators with diverse backgrounds in entertainment, web3, and artificial intelligence (AI).

• Co-founder Seung Yoon (S.Y.) Lee previously founded the mobile serial fiction platform Radish.
• Co-founder Jason Levy led content at Episode, a breakthrough storytelling ecosystem.
• Co-founder Jason Zhao served as a product lead at Google’s Deepmind, translating cutting-edge AI research into customer-facing applications.
• Weilei Yu led growth for Flow blockchain at Dapper Labs, helping bootstrap a multi-billion dollar ecosystem from inception and onboarding thousands of developers.
• Leo Chen was the founding VP of Engineering at Harmony Protocol and previously served as Tech Lead at Amazon and built the first hardware-assisted storage virtualization engine.
• Ben Sternberg most recently served as CFO of Radish Media and previously co-founded and exited Fexy Media to IAC.
• Susan Park served as a design lead at Google where she spearheaded Google’s first web3 patent filings and is a leading art education influencer as @thatsprettyneat on Tiktok and Instagram.

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About Story Protocol

Story Protocol was founded by a team of serial entrepreneurs and experienced operators with a diverse background in consumer tech, generative AI (Deepmind), and Web3 infrastructure (Flow and Harmony). Backed by top investors like a16z crypto, Endeavor, Samsung Next, and Hashed, Story Protocol is building the infrastructure layer to power a new era of open and collaborative IP. Story Protocol’s mission is to grow the creativity of the internet era.

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