Lettuce Celebrate: Salad Partners & Salad Chefs
December 9, 2020
Today is special for all of us here in the Salad Kitchen. The team and I are stoked to announce Salad’s most recent investment, led by our new friends at Carthona Capital, who joined our long-standing partners Royal Street Ventures and Kickstart Seed Fund. We’re proud to share that Salad has now raised more than $5 million in seed capital to chase our mission and continue building the people-powered foundation that will support our future internet.
In a world where demand for computing resources is exploding, there’s one belief we share with all our investors and partners—the same belief we’ve held from the start:
Every connected device has meaningful value.
For the tens of thousands of Chefs who run our software every month, Salad’s mission has not always been clear—today, with this announcement, that changes.
At Salad, we aim to be the *easiest and most trusted way to share compute.* By partnering with millions of gamers around the world, together we’re building mission-critical infrastructure that will help preserve the integrity of our internet and democratize access to computational resources, a commodity that is becoming increasingly important to our digital lives.
Our internet is rapidly changing. This past decade, the growth of data has outpaced Moore’s Law by 60:1. Artificial intelligence doubles its consumption of compute-cycles somewhere between every 2 months and 3.5 months, and tens of billions more IoT devices are coming online every year. We’ve witnessed the rise of cloud computing and the centralization of digital products and services—bringing with them the emergence of antitrust cases and growing concerns about privacy and our digital wellbeing.
There’s no question that massive data, competition for computational resources, and a public spotlight on digital sovereignty and our individual autonomy online are all ahead of us. Exponential change is afoot and we are all a part of it.
Salad is optimistic about what’s ahead. We’re huge fans of what’s happening in the crypto space, and we applaud the dozens of brilliant teams and the hundreds of millions of dollars invested into the development of peer-to-peer marketplaces, currencies, and resource-sharing economies. This is the start of Web3, and we’re confident it will bring a smorgasbord of awesome products and services which put users first, champion human-to-human collaboration without middlemen, and offer real alternatives to Surveillance Capitalism and the gross monetization of our attention.
Decentralized infrastructure is absolutely fundamental to a decentralized internet—without it, the core promise of Web3 is compromised, and the breakthrough of blockchain will fail to deliver on its true potential. Salad believes crypto and the token economics that power these P2P networks have a glaring blind spot that will ultimately lead, once again, to centralization.
Token Economics have a value proposition problem.
Whether it’s Ethereum and other proof of work blockchains paying for GPU cycles, distributed storage like Filecoin or Storj, Golem or SONM with decentralized computing, or Orchid's peer-to-peer VPN, most every blockchain-based network faces the same issue: their incentive model involves coins or tokens that are nebulous to the masses and are often only redeemable for the same resource they seek. Would you share 500Gb of excess storage in return for 0.09231 tokens that can then be redeemed for distributed storage? For most, the answer is a hard "no."
This is where Salad fits in: simply put, it must be worthwhile to share your computer. Be it storage, bandwidth, or processing power (via your CPU or GPU), every computational element has value, and we’re already living in a world where you can get paid to share. The big innovation at Salad is our incentive wrapper.
Rather than seeking spot prices on different networks, verifying their legitimacy, downloading and configuring libraries, managing wallets and private keys, and only finally realizing value after multiple crypto trades, Salad automates the entire process and converts your PC into meaningful rewards—and through this process, we’re building a massive, workload-agnostic network.
Since launching in 2019, this has been our core offering, and crypto is where we got our start. As we expand our cloud infrastructure, our goal is to maximize value for Salad users, continue to decentralize Web3, and, perhaps most importantly, deliver better rewards—better games, DLC, subscriptions, digital purchases, and content. We’re listening, believe me. There’s far more to come!
Salad’s brand focus on trust and transparency, open-source client, and meaningful incentive layer will motivate millions of individuals to join together to power Web3 and democratize access to compute.
Beyond crypto, the trend of virtualization we’ve noticed in the cloud space has begun to spill over into consumer machines—and this is where things get exciting. Enterprise tools like Docker are widespread and virtualization software is starting to ship out of the box. We’re stoked to see that WSL2 will soon ship native with Windows software, allowing Salad to configure an environment where we can run more or less anything in a separate partition, no technical expertise required! The software that runs artificial intelligence jobs and ephemeral IoT Edge workloads won’t know the difference between a Salad PC and a centralized data center, and they will all run in standardized and secure environments. Safe for the supplier, indifferent to the workload—this is when everything will change!
As a Salad Chef in the years ahead, you’ll start to see your computer supporting medical research, massive AI experiments, engineering simulations, rendering workloads, and spot jobs from local IoT devices. As an individual, you will find yourself competing with the likes of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud to deliver computing resources that improve our world. In this future, you will help democratize access to compute resources and provide cheap, elastic computing that is within reach for everyone—not just the tech giants.
Chefs, in this future your computer will be worth far more than the arbitrary, proof of work mining done today. Together, this is what we are all building towards.
Our brand pillars are published and our pledge to trust and transparency persists. Our software client is open source (meaning anyone can audit what they’re installing). Soon you’ll have the ability to opt-in or opt-out of certain compute tasks—keep an eye out for the à la carte menu coming soon! In the months and years ahead, these diversified workloads will be coming online along with a trust-rating system that will grant you access to leveled-up earnings. Together, we’re building a resilient, independent infrastructure layer that will be mission-critical to a free, democratic, and accessible web for all.
With diversified workloads looming, our primary goal over the coming year will be the introduction of SaladPay, which grants you the ability to spend Salad Balance outside of the Salad Storefront. We see thousands of influencers, indie studios, and online retailers providing goods and services you want, and we plan to bridge the gap—no credit card required!
With 400 million high-end PCs sitting largely idle across the globe—a resource that is worth billions—we see "pay with your PC" becoming ubiquitous several years from now. At Salad, we’re hard at work joining the dots.
Everything we do is focused around you, our Chefs. Without you, we are nothing but an empty Kitchen. Together, we will become a powerful force within our future internet. Today’s fundraising announcement is a boon for all of us and I’m excited to see what we can build together!
To the thousands of Chefs who join us in the Salad Kitchen daily, thank you. Let’s build this!
Happy Chopping! Bob & the Salad Team