Salsa Valley onboards users into web3 with a spicy mix of games, a metaverse, and crypto

By Riley Kaminer

Salsa has always played a major role in husband-wife duo Alex Kytniukh and Yulia Mazura’s relationship. The Ukrainian natives have been a longtime fan of Latin culture and salsa dancing, which Kytniukh used to teach.

So when they wanted to launch a web3 startup in 2021, it only made sense to call it Salsa Valley. But Mazura explained to Refresh Miami that the company’s use of the word more closely refers to the sauce. “It’s the mix of ingredients representing the diverse mixture of people who make up the crypto world.”

Kytniukh and Mazura, alongside their core team of four, have developed a comprehensive web3 ecosystem centered on the Salsa motif. The ultimate goal: to bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and web3 by creating an immersive B2B2C crypto world. This includes a cartoon series about crypto, a crypto board game, play-to-earn games, and a forthcoming metaverse environment – all powered by their proprietary token, $SALSA. Users can even create their own digital sauce, controlled by an NFT, which they can use across different games.

“Salsa Valley unites crypto projects and communities to help them with long-term interaction, to earn & create their own cryptohistory in products of our ecosystem,” said Mazura. “For B2B customers, it provides low-cost leads, brand awareness and a flow of Web2 users. And for the B2C: membership, entertainment, earnings and like-minded community.”

Mazura sees salsa as a way to onboard people into web3. “A lot of people like hot sauce culture – so we are focused on creating an entertainment that gamifies the learning process to prepare people for the metaverse.”

Already, the company has seen some noteworthy traction. Hackernoon named Salsa Valley Miami’s Startup of the Year 2023 in Miami, beating 165 other projects. They recently completed an incubator program run by crypto hedge fund Gotbit. They have participated in – and ranked in – a handful of hackathons. And they have amassed a social media following of over 44,000 enthusiasts.

To get to this point, Salsa Valley has been bootstrapped. “But last summer we realized we needed to scale, and for that we need VC funds,” said Mazura, leading to Salsa Valley deciding to open a $540,000 seed round.

Kytniukh and Mazura have been in the U.S. for around a year and a half. After traveling across the US and hosting a series of Salsa Valley events, they settled in Miami – attracted to our hospitable climate and active web3 scene. 

“People should know that Miami is a top startup hub,” said Mazura, drawing parallels between our ecosystem and that of Silicon Valley and Austin. “We hope that our story can inspire people to create their own projects and grow Miami’s business environment.”

Salsa Valley co-founders Alex Kytniukh and Yulia Mazura.

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Riley Kaminer