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.
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:
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:
Zack Seward contributed reporting.
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