We have heard from a number of people (@tim, @asa, @thezviad, @cmcewen) that you would like to see an investment thesis on which we will be disbursing funds. We think that it is important to use the correct language in our discussions here. To be clear, we will not be making investments, entering into investment or securities contracts, and we will not be generating an investment prospectus. We will be disbursing community funds to teams and projects that we believe will add value to the Celo ecosystem.
Narrow focus + It’s a community fund
Initially, in v1 we proposed a set of guidelines that would provide formal and informal boundaries for our decision making. Based on community feedback we narrowed that focus down to make community fund distributions in line with areas the Celo Foundation had identified as important. Our thinking on this was that the foundation has a long, well defined list of potential project areas, and limited resources. We believe that we can help ‘fill in the gaps’ by being more nimble than the Foundation, as well as recruit projects proactively.
In response to the feedback from the community, we have decided to narrow down our focus again to a few areas that we believe will have the greatest impact on Celo achieving product market fit. Those areas are on/off ramps, community tools, and research/education.
On/off ramps: CELO/fiat or cUSD/fiat CLOB exchange pairs (e.g. OKCoin), fiat-to-crypto software (e.g. Simplex), P2P platforms (e.g. Paxful), wallet integrations, point-of-sale integrations, e-commerce integrations, etc.
Community tools: Desktop/browser/hardware wallets, developer tools, governance voting applications, block explorers, validator metrics dashboards, etc.
Research & Education: Support people and projects that want to conduct research and/or create educational content, host Celo related talks, etc. This can include both technical and non-technical areas relevant to Celo.
Other: In addition to the above three areas, we will be open to considering other great teams/projects that might be beneficial to Celo’s mission/ecosystem.
@thezviad asked about specific project amounts and percentages. We will target projects that we believe will be able to deliver measurable key results in exchange for 20k-33k CELO. We will target funding 30 projects which would give an average funding amount of 22,180. This parameter set would enable us to for example, fund 10 small projects (<5,000 CELO), 15 projects of medium size (~22,180 CELO), and 2 large projects (>40,000 CELO). These targets are not set in stone.
@thezviad also asked about communication cadence. Within 24 hours of funding a proposal, we will disclose the amount, team, and use of funds. We will maintain a public spreadsheet with the following information for community fund recipients; project name, website/github, recipient name(s), funding date, funding amount, use of funds. On a quarterly basis we will provide a consolidated on the progress of community fund recipients.
Dripping Funds - monthly cadence
@nambrot brought up a concern about minimizing the funds at risk. @asa had surfaced a similar concern earlier. While we initially proposed a multi-sig that would have spent authority up to the full amount approved by the community and this authority could be revoked by CGP, that protection would be limited because a CGP could probably not act as quickly as a malicious multi-sig transaction. As such, we agree that using a Release Gold contract is the correct precedent to set. We will be proposing a 6-month timeline with 1/6 of the CELO released each month. This will limit the risk of unexpected financial loss down to ~1/6 of the total amount allocated.
We think that it is important to set proper expectations around distribution timelines. We do not anticipate community fund distribution to be linear. There may be months that end with some of the funds undistributed, especially early on.
We have also received feedback on the number of Stewards we are proposing and the backgrounds of the Stewards. We have stepped forward to take on this responsibility because we believe in Celo’s mission and want to help the Celo network achieve product-market fit. We understand that some community members would like to see Stewards with specific prior experience. We would also like to see this and we encourage the community to seek out those folks to submit an additional CCF CGP. This proposal has been under discussion since October and we hope that it will encourage others to act and help create a decentralized funding mechanism within the Celo Community.
We would like to highlight the relevant experience of the team submitting CGP-17:
Patrick, General Partner of Validator Capital: Validator capital is a digital asset fund that manages assets on behalf of family offices, accredited individuals, and institutional Limited Partners.
Validator Capital is a certified master validator, receives foundation votes, and contributes to the price stability for cUSD.
Patrick is also building Moola, a money market protocol on Celo. He previously ran the Blockchain Consulting Group where he consulted for blockchain startups on fundraising and go-to-market strategy. He was previously President of Ambisafe, a security and utility token issuance platform where he helped clients raise more than $300m. He was previously cofounder of Hitfin an Ethereum powered derivatives trading platform.
He has published Blockchain 101 and Intro to Stablecoin web courses for the FinTech School and led educational workshops for executives and MBA classes from more than a dozen countries. Prior to crypto, he held quota carrying sales roles at a global retail bank, a solar energy company, and several SaaS companies. He earned a B.S. in Business from Wake Forest University.
Deepak, Founder at MultiSig and Security at cLabs: MultiSig is a boutique security consulting company helping blockchain companies with operational security and incident response processes. He has been involved in the field of Information security for over 15 years with expertise in incident response, security operations, and social engineering.
Deepak got involved in the Celo community by helping lead the Validator Audits during the Celo’s stake off challenge. He later started helping cLabs build their security team from the ground up.
He is involved with the Celo ecosystem and in the broader blockchain community. He was a mentor during Celo Camp Batch 2. He has been involved in the Crypto space since 2013 and considered raising a VC fund during 2016-17. He currently manages a private investment portfolio of over 25 investments.
Previously, he has helped Fortune 500 companies with Incident response management and has conducted investigations of state sponsored breaches (APT intrusions). He has conducted security training for USA’s three letter agencies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (India) and a Master’s degree in Information Security (Purdue University).
Dee, Usopp’s Club. Usopp’s Club is one of the genesis validators which launched the Celo blockchain in April 2020.
He is an entrepreneur who has worked as a Financial Controller and Founder. He has worked for leading French construction companies on large infrastructure projects ($50m+) in East and Central Africa. He was responsible for budgeting, variance analysis, and reporting on projects funded by the EU and World Bank. Dee is a self-taught coder who has built a complete Android application and created a popular wallet for a top 20 blockchain project. He has a Masters degree in Business Management (France).
In conclusion, we will be distributing community funds, not making investments. We will be focused on projects that are building on/off ramps, community tools, and research/education for the Celo ecosystem. We will target funding 30 projects which would give an average funding amount of 22,180. We will communicate within 24 hours of funding a proposal and maintain a public spreadsheet of recipients. We will use a release gold contract that disperses 1/6 of the funds per month. We recognize that this role comes with a high level of responsibility and we appreciate the community’s continued input on this process and support for us.
Patrick, Dee, and Deepak