DAO platform startup attracts 46 investors in pre-seed round

  • The startup operates as a platform designed to enable more seamless startup and onboarding of DAOs
  • The company already has a number of first lines of live business

A turnkey DAO platform, DAOLens, has proven to be one of the heaviest funding rounds in recent times.

The startup recently raised $5 million in a pre-seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners. Crypto-focused investment firms Better Ventures and iSeed II as well co-directed Round. The valuation of the platform was not disclosed.

While the capital on hand isn’t particularly large, the company has involved 46 backers – one of the largest such collections this year.

DAOLens aims to capitalize on a resurgent market for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) – a sector of digital assets and emerging Web3 technologies where interest has remained stable, despite a widespread market downturn triggered by the collapse of the stablecoin UST of Terra and the woes of crypto lenders including Celsius and Voyager.

The segment has grown, and relatively quickly. Indeed, DAOLens executives told Blockworks that the startup has more than 5,000 such collectives worldwide, overseeing more than $9 billion in assets under management in total.

As the use of DAOs increases, an open question is what exactly constitutes one. Many decentralized organizations have their own governance token – some based on an internal blockchain, others that act as a layer 2 over an existing protocol – which allows users to vote on the direction and day-to-day oversight of the group.

And, similarly, despite the market downturn, Nexus partner Pratik Poddar told Blockworks that deploying venture capital dollars in a bear market can come with a silver lining: taking stakes in companies at bargain prices – especially those working on promising, potentially explosive technologies such as DAOs, he said.

Many businesses, from native crypto shops to tech companies to traditional financial operators, are all curious about DAOs and wondering how to incorporate them into their business models, he said. But getting them up and running – especially without a working knowledge of tokenomics – can be difficult. This is ideally where DAOLens comes in.

“The idea of ​​what a DAO is, how it works and what it does – all of that could well change,” Poddar said.

“But the idea of ​​decentralized work, of different organizations and companies, of employees and partners having ownership of the work they do – and possibly having one person working in multiple DAOs, that will certainly remain.”

More details on what the Bangalore, India-based startup is doing with the new funding, meanwhile, are emerging. It runs a portal for potential DAO participants to find collectives that match their interests, as well as an onboarding solution for participants and tools to govern community management functions.

Other participants, among dozens more, in the pre-seed round include Balaji Srinivasan, formerly of Coinbase and a16z; Kumar Aakash of Matrix Partners; Raj Gokal of Solana; Dean Carlson of GIS; Simon Doherty of Animoca brands; and executives from companies such as Coinbase and SoftBank.

The startup was founded in January by Vikram Aditya & Apoorv Nandan.

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  • Michael Bodley

    Chief Editor

    Michael Bodley is a New York-based editor for Blockworks, where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and digital assets. He previously worked for the institutional investor newsletter Hedge Fund Alert. His work has appeared in The Boston Globe, NBC News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Contact Michael by email at [email protected]

Robert D. Coleman