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D3 Raises $5 Million to Revolutionize Domain Names on the Web3 Frontier

By September 6, 2023 No Comments
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Key highlights:

  • This startup called D3 has figured out a way to take domain names and revolutionize how we use them.
  • D3 wants to change all that by creating next-generation domains that work with cutting-edge blockchain tech.
  • This will let you do seriously cool stuff like using your domain name as a login, wallet, or communication identity across any site online.

Web3 startup D3 Global has announced a $5 million seed funding round led by blockchain investment firm Shima Capital to bring next-generation top-level domains (TLDs) and interconnected identities to the Domain Name System (DNS).

Founded earlier this year by digital identity veteran Fred Hsu, D3 aims to modernize the decades-old system of domain names that underpins how we access information online. With its patent-pending technology, D3 plans to apply for new TLDs during the next application window with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that offer enhanced security, functionality and compatibility with decentralized technologies.

“The domain name industry is long overdue for disruption. D3 is perfectly positioned to drive this change and help usher the DNS into a new era of Web3,” said Yida Gao, Managing Partner at Shima Capital. “We have full confidence in Fred and the team’s vision to reimagine digital identities on the internet’s root layer through blockchain integration.”

In conversation, Hsu passionately explained his view that domain names represent a massive yet vastly untapped real-world asset class. While domain investing is a billion-dollar industry, restrictive rules have stifled innovation and the ability to fully unlock their potential value.

Establishing the infrastructure for Web3 identity

D3 aims to break this mold with a novel approach. In addition to forthcoming next-gen TLDs, the company plans to launch the first-ever on-chain marketplace for trading major legacy extensions like .COM, .NET and. XYZ using their native tokenized formats. This move promises to bring much-needed liquidity and transparency to the domain aftermarket, cutting out predatory middlemen along the way.

“Legacy domains sitting idle in portfolios could see new life if made blockchain-friendly. Our technology removes traditional pain points like escrow, transfer delays and lack of data visibility that have hindered the market.”

—explained Hsu.

How D3 aims to streamline digital identity online

Beyond transactions, D3 domains promise to evolve how we utilize digital identities online. With built-in Web3 compatibility, these next-gen names could serve as secure wallets, login credentials, decentralized communication identities and more- even integrating seamlessly across browsers without additional plugins or extensions.

The team draws inspiration from seeing how social recovery phrases have begun supplanting passwords for accounts. In the same vein, D3 domains aim to establish persistent, interoperable identities usable anywhere on the internet.

“In the future, your D3 name might replace countless individual logins the way a passport substitutes ID cards at the airport.”

—Fred Hsu

Backed by leaders in the decentralized domain and digital identity space like Identity Digital founder Paul Stahura, D3 emerges as the first company serious about integrating blockchain within the IANA-regulated root of the DNS. With its field-tested team that helped expand the namespace with releases like .XYZ and .INC, D3 is well-positioned to drive this paradigm shift.

As the startup closes out a successful seed round and kicks implementation into high gear, domain enthusiasts and Web3 pioneers alike watch with anticipation to see how D3 will revolutionize digital identities from the foundational architecture layer on up.