Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are blockchain-based groups organized around a shared idea or project and are often governed by a native crypto token. Making the transition from pre-launch community group to a funded, growth-stage entity can come with growing pains.
Origami aims to ease that transition with technological framework and guidance for DAOs, The project has row raised $6.2 million in a funding round led by Bloomberg Beta, the early-stage venture firm backed by Bloomberg, L.P. The capital will help Origami build out its software platform, infrastructure and DAO playbook, Ben Huh, Origami founder and CEO, told CoinDesk during an interview.
Origami supports all aspects of launching and running a DAO, including native token minting or creation, operational software, documents and the smart contracts needed for a project.
“We believe that – foundationally – a community of people-based consensus mechanisms has to exist for crypto to actually work,” said Huh, describing the importance of DAOs to the broader industry. “You and I can reach an agreement about what the protocol or project should do, and the right to actually have that say or control should be clear to all the people who are participating.”
Read more: What Is a DAO?
Other investors included betaworks, Protocol Labs, VC3 DAO, and noted angel investors Dylan Field and Balaji Srinivasan, among others. The round was also backed by Orange DAO, a community of entrepreneurs who invests in funds backing early-stage crypto companies. Huh is a general partner at Orange DAO and recuses himself from any business partnership decisions between the entities.
Origami and Orange DAO are teaming up for a “Power-Up” initiative to provide $20,000 in funding each to pre-launch DAOs to help pave the way to a successful launch. The project will fund a minimum of five projects at this time, but more capital was left on the table and the initiative could back 30 to 40 DAOs next year, said Huh.
“$20,000 is just enough for people to say, ‘Okay, there’s somebody who believes in me, we can actually start creating a company that can raise more money to fund this community.," explained Huh.
The seed funding will go to select vetted DAOs that have an active and growing community, provide a clear pitch to Orange DAO and utilize Origami’s DAO framework. The DAOs also need to have a legal structure such as an LLC in place, which will receive the funding.
“We’re looking for founders and builders who are committed to actually building the DAO and committed to decentralization. We don’t want this to be just another word for a startup,” said Huh.
“People need to understand that tokens governing DAOs is really where the crux of all the power is. That distribution has to be outlined and fair and it has to incentivize community participation,” he continued. “In that way, this is totally different than evaluating a startup.”
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