Balaji Srinivasan, Gitcoin co-founder back $750K seed round for decentralized notification system on Ethereum

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The team behind a decentralized notification protocol Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) has raised $750,000 at a valuation of $5 million, the startup announced on Tuesday. 

The India-based service received backing from several investors in the web3 ecosystem,  including former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, former head of smart contracts at MakerDAO Mariano Conti and Gitcoin co-founder Scott Moore. Several VCs also joined the seed round, including TheLao, MetaCartel and Fourth revolution Capital. 

EPNS is a push notification service that allows crypto services to send notifications to user wallets. According to EPNS founder Harsh Rajat, this was a key missing piece of infrastructure in Web3. 

“It’s a pain point because if there is some sort of problem, users don’t know about it until it’s too late,” Rajat told The Block. 

"An ecosystem for push notifications that work across protocols is exactly what we need right now,” said Conti. “I was lucky to judge EPNS at an ETHGlobal hackathon where I met Harsh and Richa and was impressed with their vision and execution and am excited to be on board."

According to Rajat, the goal of EPNS is to create a platform that allows smart contracts and dApps, along with other traditional services, to interact with user wallets to better inform and alert users. Rajat compared the service to YouTube — a vlogger uses the platform to send notifications to subscribers every time they post a new video, similar to how a registered crypto service would use EPNS to alert its users. 

Services have to activate themselves on the protocol first, and any service can be added to the protocol, from cryptocurrency price trackers to newsletters. The protocol recently launched a mobile app but can also be used on desktop.

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