Last week, Farcaster announced their latest financing and USV announced its participation. As that blog post notes, USV has been thinking about and supporting social applications for two decades and we are incredibly excited to finally see real momentum around a new social fabric that is more open, composable, and empowering for users and developers than its web2 predecessors. Specifically, the last few months have been marked by significant user and developer growth in the Farcaster ecosystem, and, as we talked to teams, we realized that most roads led back to one company, Neynar.

Neynar is a suite of developer tools that make it easy to build on top of social protocols like Farcaster and others. These tools include cloud hosted hubs, read and write APIs, authorization, data pipelines, hosted DBs, and more. They have become ubiquitous in the Farcaster ecosystem with virtually every application utilizing Neynar in some form. At USV, we believe that useful infrastructure tends to emerge in a particular pattern. Specifically, we’ve historically observed it is apps first that beget infrastructure, which in turn enables new apps. Rish and Manan’s journey is a great example of this pattern in practice. They were initially building a social application on top of Farcaster and found their performance meaningfully hamstrung by the default Farcaster APIs. As they built custom tooling for Hubs to service their app, they started to realize that there were many other teams with the same problems and looking for a solution. Thus Neynar was born.

The onchain social ecosystem is evolving rapidly. Users, open data, open graphs, and seamless composability are attracting developers and unlocking a wave of experimentation. Neynar is enabling this rapid pace of development and has continued to extend their product offering to meet the market’s expanding needs. What started with helping teams read from and write to the Farcaster protocol evolved into helping developers authenticate and get authorization from users. In January, Frames (embeddable mini-apps) launched and Neynar became a go-to spot for developers and creators alike to build and host their frames. As active users have grown and new clients have proliferated, content moderation, user quality, and cast data have become more important and Neynar has become a home for ingesting and hosting this data as well as providing simple, valuable metadata around user reputation. With Farcaster, a new, unbundled social stack is being formed and Neynar is helping developers build novel experiences at every layer (such as headless marketplaces, moderation bots, data platforms, reputation protocols, and many new clients). Neynar is well positioned to be the enabling infrastructure for each part of this stack. 

We are thrilled to join our friends at Haun Ventures in co-leading Neynar’s $11m Series A financing.

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