Software development company Aave Companies today announced the acquisition of Sonar, a San Francisco-based metaverse developer where players can build worlds and interact with user-created spaces using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Aave Companies is the umbrella entity for various crypto projects, including the lending and borrowing protocol Aave, the up-and-coming social platform Lens Protocol, as well as the stablecoin GHO.

While the terms of the deal are undisclosed, the acquisition will see Sonar’s co-founders, brothers Ben South Lee and Randolph Lee, as well as several other team members, join Aave Companies to focus on building social-mobile applications powered by the Lens Protocol, a Polygon-based decentralized social media protocol that lets users store their content as NFTs.


“We love Aave’s approach to social media through the Lens Protocol. It just became clear to us that all the building blocks to truly transform the way we connect online are right there on Lens,” Ben South Lee, who is assuming the role of the Senior Vice President of Product and Design at the Aave Companies, said in a statement shared with Decrypt.

Sonar, which was launched as a product of Y-Combinator in the summer of 2020, is an iOS gaming app that allows users to create and discover digital spaces and be part of activities, such as listening to music, playing games, and engaging with other users via custom "moji" NFTs available on the Opensea marketplace.

Aave's Lens makes room for 'mojis'

According to Sonar’s website, “mojis are sometimes cute, sometimes weird, but always entertaining collection of playable 3D avatars” that can make friends through voice and text, emote, and create worlds with emojis.

Mojis are made up of a body, a mouth, eyes, and accessories and come with a gem—diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, and quartz—that represents the rarity of its combined parts.

Integrating the Lens Protocol into Sonar will help the team to “figure out the right combinations that are approachable and familiar to anyone,” added Ben South Lee.


“Ben, Randolph and the Sonar team bring exceptional creativity and decades of valuable mobile, engineering, product design and market growth experience in social as well as their innovative product," Stani Kulechov, CEO of Aave Companies, said in a statement. "We are thrilled the Sonar team is joining our Lens team to accelerate our social media and mobile app strategy.”

The Aave Companies plans to build other Web3 consumer applications that will be launched as early as next year.

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