Mad Realities, a new media startup, has acquired $6 million in early funding to establish a decentralized entertainment platform that allows viewers to own and co-create TV series using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The seed round was led by Paradigm, with funds Maveron, Long Journey, and Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media also participating. Individual investors included Bumble chief brand officer Selby Drummond, Trevor McFedries and Alex Zhang, co-founders of crypto social club Friends with Benefits, Syndicate co-founder Will Papper, and others.
Mad Realities presented its first proof-of-concept dating show, Proof of Love, on YouTube in March, with contestants picked by a community of NFT holders casting votes. Alice Ma, a co-founder of Mad Realities with a background in product and software engineering, also sold an NFT in March for 4ETH to allow the eventual owner to recommend competitors for the show (including themselves).
Until date, the company has been supported by a community of supporters who have contributed 172 ETH (about $500,0000). The new money will be used to hire developers to build up the platform and expand the core team.
Devin Lewtan previously worked on the Clubhouse show “NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys,” an interactive dating show in which any participant in the room could join a live conversation with someone else while others listened live to see if the two contestants could hit it off or face a roasting by the moderators. Guests on the show were Twitch co-founder Justin Kan and musical artist Diplo.
“Mad Realities is the MTV of this new media network that does not exist yet,” said a statement from the company. “Our shows are social experiences from conception to consumption. We are starting with a dating show, but see all reality TV as a content-led community, a social experience to be shared.”
Long-term goals include rethinking how people consume and participate with the content they watch, with the ultimate objective of becoming a decentralized autonomous organization in which NFT holders, not firm executives, decide what occurs. Future iterations of the organization will include a governance token as well as a shift away from the dating genre to co-create new types of shows.