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Breaking news: Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge in North Korea Sanctions Case

Decentralized Investing Platform Syndicate Raises $800K From 100 Investors

Backers of Syndicate’s community raise include Balaji Srinivasan, Jeremy Allaire, Meltem Demirors and dozens more.

Jun 30, 2021 at 4:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:19 p.m. UTC

Decentralized investing platform Syndicate is decentralizing its investor base.

Some 100 investors have pitched in a total of $800,000 in a funding round that includes some of the biggest names in crypto – Balaji Srinivasan, Jeremy Allaire, Meltem Demirors and dozens more. Earlier this year, the platform raised $1 million in a seed round led by IDEO CoLab Ventures.

“Syndicate’s community raise is an important first step in democratizing our own platform and making Syndicate community-owned,” co-founders Will Papper and Ian Lee wrote.

The platform, which is still in private beta, aims to democratize investing by making it easier for people to spin up decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). DAOs are basically shared bank accounts on the blockchain with tools meant to facilitate group decision-making. 

So far, Syndicate has launched six DAOs, including Audacity and the Komorebi Collective, which both provide venture capital to underrepresented founders in the crypto space.

Syndicate’s small but mighty approach to fundraising stands in stark contrast to the ongoing wave of institutional investment in decentralized finance (DeFi). It also speaks to the growing momentum of DAOs in the DeFi ecosystem. 

DAO dogfooding

The community raise was done through a special-purpose DAO on Syndicate’s platform. Lee confirmed the investments were equity investments in Syndicate. 

Lee told CoinDesk in an interview that the round was capped at 100 investors who were invited to invest after being a part of the Syndicate community for months. Contributors to the fund included notable crypto investors, entrepreneurs, professors and even a WallStreetBets moderator. (Note: It also included former CoinDesk writer Joon Ian Wong and Nathaniel Whittemore, host of CoinDesk’s "The Breakdown" podcast.)

“Syndicate is such a cool project because it gets us closer to a world of truly decentralized finance,” Wong told CoinDesk via Telegram. “It’s unlocking new ways for people to back the projects they truly care about.”

Lee said Syndicate’s investors also include members of the organization’s Discord group that previously purchased non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to commemorate the launch of various Syndicate DAOs. Some of these NFTs were purchased for as little as $100, which Lee said was important to the company to ensure equitable access to investing in Syndicate. 

“We believe that investing is really, really powerful. It shapes what gets built in the world, by whom, and for whom, and where. At the same time, existing investment structures and models reinforce, in our opinion, inequality,” Lee told CoinDesk, adding: 

“To solve that, we need to democratize that investment capability. We’re going to do that in a progressive and responsible way by working with aligned investors and communities.”

Lee said Syndicate expects to begin rolling out its private beta in stages beginning in the next several weeks. 

Here's the full list of investors as provided by Syndicate:

Alana Podrx, CEO, Eve WealthAlex Masmej, CEO, ShowtimeAlexis Gauba, Co-Founder, OpynAmeer Suhayb Carter, Mint FundAnastasia Andrianova, CEO, AkropolisAndrew Steinwold, Managing Partner, SfermionAya Kantorovich, FalconXBaek Kim, HashedBalaji Srinivasan, ex Coinbase, ex Earn, ex a16zBeryl Li, Co-Founder, Yield GuildBlake West, Co-Founder, GoldfinchBo Shao, Co-Founder, EvolveBobby Ong, Co-Founder, CoinGeckoBrian Flynn, CEO, RabbitholeCalvin Liu, Compound, DivergenceCarlos Gomes, Forefront, Mint FundChristy Choi, ex BinanceColleen Sullivan, CEO, CMT Digital Cooper Turley, Audius, VariantCourtney Chow, Battery, ex IDEO CoLabCuy Sheffield, VisaDave Kim, Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationDerek Hsue, Co-Founder, ReverieDo Kwon, Founder, TerraDrissErik Syvertsen, GC, AngelListErikan Obotetukudo, Founder, AudacityGabby Dizon, Co-Founder, Yield GuildGeorge Lambeth, Divergence, BalancerIllia Polosukhin, Co-Founder, NEARJacob Horne, Founder, ZoraJake Chervinsky, GC, Compound, VariantJames Foley, Co-Founder, CowriJames Young, CEO, Abridged, Collab.LandJason Choi, Spartan Group, BlockcrunchJazear Brooks, Co-Founder, SifchainJean-CedricJeff Garzik, Co-Founder, VesperJeff Morris Jr., Chapter One, ex TinderJeremy Allaire, CEO, CircleJess Sloss, SeedClubJoon Ian Wong, ex CoinDeskJoris Delanoue, Co-Founder, FairmintJoyce Yang, Founder, Global Coin VenturesJulia Lipton, Founder, Awesome People VenturesJustin Ridgely, BlockFiJustine Humenansky, Playground, Fiat Lux DAOKaito, Bspeak!KazufumiKenny White, Founder, CowriKevin Chou, Founder, Rally, Forte, Kabam, Gen.GKevin Nielsen, CEO, Boardroom“Fully Allocated”, DefaultKieran Warwick, Founder, IlluviumKinsa Durst, RepublicKristie Huang, Komorebi, she256Larry Sukernik, Co-Founder, ReverieLeighton Cusack, Co-Founder, PoolTogether, PleasrDAOLi Jin, Founder, Atelier VenturesLuis Cuende, Co-Founder, AragonMark Roszak, Founder, 1121 LawMatthew Roszak, Co-Founder, VesperMeltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer, CoinSharesMicah Johnson, Creator, AkuMike Sall, CEO, GoldfinchMike Zajko, CoinList, Free CompanyMildred Idada, Founder, Open Web CollectiveMin Teo, Ethereal Ventures, ConsenSys MeshMorgan Beller, NFX, ex Libra, ex a16zNathalie McGrath, ex CoinbaseNathan McCauley, CEO, AnchorageNathaniel WhittemoreNitya Subramanian, CeloNoah Jessop, Co-Founder, Nine RealmsPatrick Chang, Founder, DispersionPrabhakar Reddy, Co-Founder, FalconX, ex AccelRahul Vohra, CEO, SuperhumanRaj Gokal, COO, SolanaRamon Recuero, Founder, BabylonRegan Bozman, Dove Mountain Partners, ex-CoinlistRene Reinsberg, CeloRobbie Bent, Ethereum FoundationRyan Selkis, CEO, MessariSasha (Aliaksandr) Hudzilin, NEARScott Moore, Co-Founder, GitcoinSebastian Delgado, Co-Founder, FeiSina Habibian, Ethereum FoundationSriram Krishnan, Advisor, Calm, ex Tinder, ex SpotifyStani Kulechov, CEO, AaveSteve Blank, Professor, Stanford UniversitySteve Weinstein, Professor, Stanford UniversityThibauld Favre, CEO, FairmintTodd GoldbergTom Bedecarre, Stanford University, ex AKQATyler Ward, Co-Founder, BarnbridgeVanessa Slavich, Celowsbmod, Wall Street BetsXochitl Cazador, Celo, she256

Zack Seward contributed reporting.

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