The Synthetix DAO has added some new, perhaps surprising voices to its governance.
Today the synthetic asset protocol announced a $12 million dollar fundraise led by venture capital firms Paradigm, Coinbase Ventures, and IOSG. The funds purchased SNX tokens directly from the DAO treasury, and “will contribute where possible by providing liquidity in the form of SNX collateral, and also participate in its rapidly evolving community governance system,” the announcement reads.
“We’re excited about supporting the synthetixDAO as it builds the leading synthetic asset platform,” said Paradigm investment partner Arjun Balaji. “Synthetix has one of the best communities in crypto and we’re glad to be a part of it.”
The investment is notable for being among the first instances of funds investing directly with and through a project governed by a DAO. How VCs interact with DAO-governed protocols has been a hot topic of late, with some arguing that VCs shouldn’t get preferential treatment, while others say that VCs are welcome, like any entity, to participate in an open ecosystem.
A recent Tweet thread from Hayden Adams, the founder of Uniswap, made the case for working with VCs — so long as they’re the right ones.
1/— Hayden Adams (@haydenzadams) February 12, 2021
I think it's worth briefly explaining the positive and mutually beneficial experience I've had working with @paradigm @a16z @usv and other investors.
I've seen a lot of negativity and propaganda so I think it's worth sharing my personal experience.
Jordan Momtazi, a core contributor to Synthetix DAO (and the former Synthetix COO pre governance decentralization), agrees that it’s all about which funds a protocol is working with.
“Many VC’s don’t add much value. The delta between quality VC’s and the rest is quite large,” he said in a statement to Cointelegraph.
Each of the three VCs that joined in on the $12 million raise are bringing additional value to the table that an individual investor might not be able to muster, Momtazi said.
“Paradigm has been helping the protocol recruit talent through their in house HR and network. They’ve also been actively helping think through our v3 planning. Providing insights into approaches around our re-architecture,” Momtazi said. “Coinbase ventures has helped with connectivity across many functions, both internally and externally.”
IOSG, meanwhile, is helping to spearhead Synthetix’s push into China by assisting with the hiring of a China regional lead, as well as with “in person roadshows and creating educational content in Chinese.”
The raise comes during an especially productive period for Synthetix. The team recently announced the launch of synthetic Tesla stock, and SNX was among the tokens that filings show may be the next to be listed as a Grayscale investment trust.
It’s momentum Momtazi hopes the latest members of the community can help carry forth.
“Having the sharpest minds applied to the hardest problems is part of the community's success and we look forward to working closely with these new stakeholders.”