Crypto Wallet Startup Den Gets $2.8M in Seed Funding Led by IDEO CoLab Ventures

The Den co-founders, the duo behind the viral hit ConstitutionDAO, says solving coordination issues is the biggest challenge for on-chain organizations.

AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2023 at 2:32 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:08 a.m. UTC
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Den, a multi-signature wallet startup, has closed $2.8 million in seed funding led by IDEO CoLab Ventures.

Other notable participants in the round included Gnosis, an Ethereum-based project that offers infrastructure and tooling to on-chain users, including its popular multi-signature wallet Safe (formerly Gnosis Safe). Den declined to disclose the full valuation.

"We build on top of Safe contracts, which currently holds about 5% of all cryptocurrencies," said Jonah Erlich, co-founder of Den. Den is also a guardian of SafeDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization that manages Safe, and Erlich and his co-founder Ittai Svidler are delegates of SafeDAO.

Den is building tools that make it easier for crypto projects to fully move their operations on-chain. This includes solving coordination problems when it comes to multi-signature wallets, which often require nine out of 13 or five out of seven designated signers to approve a transaction before it can be executed on a blockchain. The startup is also building tools that make it easier for teams to initiate a transaction and understand what’s going on in a token transfer.

"We built bots that send out recurring notifications to automate the coordination process," said Erlich. “Coordinating is actually the most commonly cited problem. It sounds trivial, but it’s not.”

Erlich and Svidler, both core contributors of the viral hit ConstitutionDAO, experienced the coordination problem firsthand when ConstitutionDAO put in a bid to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution from Sotheby’s in November 2021. Sotheby’s gave the DAO 48 hours to provide proof of funds in dollars, which required Svidler to execute a single transaction to swap over $40 million of Ethereum in the DAO’s treasury into dollars.

"We needed nine out of 13 signatures," said Svidler, who described ConstitutionDAO’s signatories as "high-profile crypto celebrities" who were "busy people."

"I had to run around New York City coffee shops and send Instagram DMs to get a hold of signers," Svidler told CoinDesk. "We barely made the deadline."

Svidler hopes to streamline the process for future organizations. So far, Den’s current roster of users includes the Ethereum staking protocol Lido, non-fungible token collective PleasrDAO and decentralized finance protocol OlympusDAO, among others.

“We really are focused on serving on-chain teams in whatever form they come in,” said Svidler. “The future is not just DAOs, but more and more traditional teams that are going to be on-chain."

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Tracy Wang

Tracy was the deputy managing editor at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS and some NFTs.


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