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Venture capital, Web3 style: Decent Labs snags $10M for world's first decentralized venture studio

The Decent DAO decentralized venture studio launches with the help of more than a dozen DeFi and angel investors and will aim to transform venture capital funding through reliance on crypto-native partners and on-chain funding to develop Web3 projects.
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Written by Marc Wojno, Senior Editor on

In its quest to cultivate growth and prosperity for Web3 through the support of innovative open-source projects, Decent Labs – along with more than a dozen investors – announced today that it has raised an initial on-chain investment of $10 million to launch a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, that will act as an incubator and seeding ecosystem to connect talented developers to financial backers that are invested in the crypto industry.

Decent DAO is valued at $56 million and "will enable sustained participation from its governing members and will serve as a platform for investors to ethically contribute to, but not dominate, projects utilizing funds raised through transparent, on-chain methods," according to the company's announcement. What's more, Decent DAO will support only open-source, decentralized systems that utilize tokenization as the key economic driver while enabling any contribution – regardless of how small – to be heard, accepted, and rewarded based on merit and the advancement of the DAO's mission, the company added. 

"The way people work and organize is changing, so venture building should change, too," says Parker McCurley, CEO and co-founder of Decent Labs. In an interview with ZDNet, McCurley said that he's seeing most venture funds now taking a more hands-on approach with companies. In addition, there's an entirely new kind of family of entities called a venture studio – a hybrid between a development shop (or agency) and a venture fund – where they're taking capital and using it to build projects and pay engineers and designers and product staff and bring them to market. The hope is that those companies can grow and become their own self-sufficient entities and be profitable, and will lead to financial success for the original builders.

"With Decent DAO, what we're doing is taking that model of a company building a company and we're building a decentralized group of builders, investors, visionaries in the Web3 landscape who are building on-chain protocols together and all of this is facilitated by on-chain protocols. So, whereas a venture studio's a company building companies, Decent DAO is a protocol building protocols," McCurley told ZDNet. "We're at the intersection of many radical changes in business as Web3 matures, and we need a DAO that brings together partners that are wholly invested in building equitable access to opportunities in the world of decentralized finance," McCurley said in the company's announcement.

Under Decent DAO, new Web3 projects are going to be proposed on a biannual basis, and based on DAO member voting – and the number of projects that it has resources to build in a biennial cohort – those top-voted proposals will get funded and created, according to McCurley.

Decent DAO's on-chain $10 million investment is co-lead by crypto investment firm BlockTower Capital and ecosystem partner GSR Markets, and is backed by the following investors: Cumberland DRW, OP Crypto, Digital Currency Group, CMT Digital, 1kx, Coral DeFi, Fourth Revolution Capital, Hivemind Capital, Studio Management, Stealth Capital, Valhalla Capital, Ashbury Ventures. In addition, four angel investors – Ryan McKillen, Jason Stone, Vinny Lingham and Pir Granoff – are attached to the DAO launch.

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