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A16z, Ohanian, Snoop Dogg Back DAO-Builder Syndicate in $20M Series A

Following a small-but-mighty round earlier this year, Syndicate now has an investor roster of over 150.

Aug 31, 2021 at 1:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 1, 2021 at 1:35 p.m. UTC

Syndicate, a community-based investment system that simplifies the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), has raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Syndicate has already gathered a long list of backers via a seed round earlier this year, which was followed by a popular community raise. The Series A round brings the total participation to 150 venture capital firms (VCs), angel investors and founders, including actor Ashton Kutcher, entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian and rapper Snoop Dogg.

DAOs are a way of locking up funds on a public blockchain and allowing a group of participants to transparently share governance decisions, often done by voting, as to how funds should be invested or used. The funding round is perhaps the largest stamp of approval on DAO creation from mainstream investors.

Syndicate provides communities with the tools to easily spin up decentralized investment vehicles, and thus far has seen the creation of DAOs such as Komorebi, a collective that invests only in exceptional female and non-binary crypto founders; Audacity, which invests in Black and African founders and emerging/overlooked markets; and Fiat Lux, which is funding scientific research.

The focus on ethical deployment of capital or underrepresented communities is where Syndicate co-founders Will Papper and Ian Lee see DAOs going next, but it’s just the beginning of the road.

“We hope that in the future, Syndicate is going to redefine what investing is and what it means,” said Lee in an interview with CoinDesk, adding:

“So, not only a protocol for investing in venture capital, or other forms of private equity. But to also serve as a general purpose protocol for things like grant-making, nonprofits or donations.”

DAOmentum

The Series A funding will go towards building out the extensive tooling, plus various types of formal and legal structuring that Syndicate needs to take DAOs to the next level, including adding a team of securities lawyers.

It’s a grand vision. Papper sees in crypto infrastructure an analogy of what the internet has done for content creators; what the DAO space is doing to corporations is similar to what YouTube did for filmmaking, he said.

“When you reduce the cost of setting up an investment fund by 1,000x, what happens?” said Papper. “The answer is that setting up an investment fund becomes as easy as sending a tweet – not that we recommend setting up investment funds via tweets. But when it becomes as easy as that, the world just looks completely different, because the creativity is just absolutely phenomenal.”


DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.

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