[DRAFT] Celo Public Goods - Grant Request - *Update* RWA-focused Accelerator with Outlier Ventures


Tokenization of real world assets is not a trend but a technological innovation feeding into a multi-decade shift in how consumers relate to the digitization and financialization of the things they own. We believe that the new structures being formed not only could create new economies, but financial systems that are more equitable, communities that are more connected, and ecosystems that are more sustainable. Please find our thesis and application for the program published online here.

Recognizing the fundamental importance of this shift, Outlier Ventures has decided to invest in an RWA-focused accelerator program that will support early-stage projects. Therefore, over the course of the next 8 weeks, Outlier Ventures will select 6-8 teams that we will then help go farther, faster by providing each with 12 weeks of hands-on guidance from OV’s 30+ in-house expert staff (engineers, token design, legal, marketing, and more), as well as a $100k cash stipend.

Importantly, we believe that Celo’s mission to build a regenerative digital economy can both benefit from, and be a strong positive influence on, the builders participating in the OV RWA accelerator program. Furthermore, Celo’s formal partnership in this program would help reinforce the Celo community’s commitment to the advancement of use case around real world assets. Therefore, we are proposing that the Celo Community come alongside Outlier Ventures and take a headline role in supporting the program and its founders by allocating $200,000 cUSD and $50,000 in CELO, to the RWA Base Camp.

Outlier Ventures Background

Outlier Ventures is the leading investor and accelerator in Web3, making over 300 early stage investments in the industry since 2014. Through our accelerator program, we have invested in over 300 early stage companies, across a variety of Web3 sectors in all layers of the stack, from infrastructure to application layer. We have helped raise over $350m in seed funding across various accelerator programs, and have supported the launch and growth of many startups that are creating positive social and environmental impact, such as Givepact, Tracifier, Alcancia, Aria Health, and many more.

We have worked with leading protocols and ecosystems, including Polygon, Aptos, NEAR, Filecoin, Hedera, Polkadot, Zksync, Starkware, Nethermind, Aleo, Aztec and Mina. We have also partnered with Walmart and Farfetch to help drive innovation within their industries and help them to bridge the gap towards crypto and onboarding the next billion users.

By the numbers - OV programs have led to:

  • Successful launch of more than 40 tokens
  • Average live token valuation of $132MM
  • Startup survival rate of greater than 90%

The strength of these numbers is a testament to the differentiators that make OV’s program unique in the field of competition.

Competition Outlier Ventures
Recruiting Pipeline is regionally focused or one dimensional, inbound only Our investment and program team works full time for 3 months, finding founders where no one else can. With a global presence, we also recruit at hackathons, community events, conferences.
Programming Volunteers mentor teams, provide general domain expertise on a volunteer basis Our more than 30 experts include rocket scientists, token designers, lawyers, marketers and fundraising specialists who advise and develop tailored approaches for each startup.
Investment VC-backed accelerators and Ecosystem development programs have a mandate to deploy capital, incentivized by assets under management. OV runs all programs from its balance sheet. Our investment drives our due diligence process and our focus is on long term growth and adoption.
Focus Accelerators with split industry focus lack depth of experience Founded in 2014 as a Web3-only investment partnership. We work daily with the cutting edge Web3 projects.

The Opportunity

Outlier Ventures is seeking one top-tier protocol to serve as our main partner on the RWA program. This partner will help shape the vision and direction of the cohort, playing a part in the next wave of RWA technology by influencing cutting edge startups, expert OV staff, and the wider web3 ecosystem.

By joining us as our headline program partner, Celo’s mission will be illuminated and advanced in the following ways:

  • Outlier Ventures will ensure through its thesis refinement and team selection (more on this below) that at least 3 of the teams brought into the program will either be building on Celo, generally aligned with Celo’s mission of creating more equitable financial and social constructs, and/or focused on bringing certain benefits of web3 tech to developing economies.
  • OV will generate media coverage, social media, podcasts, blog posts, and branding/PR assets in order to market this mission through the “RWA Base Camp Powered by Celo”.
  • Opportunities for participation in major industry events alongside OV. We have plans to host and cohost many events this year and will include Celo as a co-host when appropriate, free of charge.

RWA Base Camp

Thesis Summary

The first stage of Outlier Ventures Base Camp involves setting a specific recruiting thesis. As part of this program we have begun recruiting teams building in the below categories. With Celo as partner, we will refine our focus to recruit more from pillars (such as “Intangible Assets”) that will advance positive impact on people and the planet.

Financial Assets- dApps and solutions which provide consumers, treasurers, fintechs, and institutions access to on-chain structured financial products, equities, commodities and private markets in a composable format which can be used across DeFi

  • Consumer facing dApps
  • Tokenization platforms
  • Liquidity management solutions

Infrastructure- Tailored infrastructure to reflect, store and manage RWAs on the blockchain

  • DAO Treasury Tooling
  • Risk management & assessment tooling
  • Regulation-first onboarding tools.
  • SDKs for complete tokens
  • Data feeds & Liquidity aggregators for x-chain interoperability
  • Oracles solutions providing secure real world data

Intangible Assets- Solutions which are bringing already digitized intangible assets on-chain

  • Open Data / digital identity
  • Carbon Credits / emissions tracking
  • Patents / Trademarks / Copyright
  • Content creator IP on-chain

Physical Assets- Applications & Infrastructure bringing physical items onchain to benefit from enhanced liquidity and decentralization of ownership

  • DePin / Machinery /Inventory
  • Real Estate
  • Collectibles / Art / Luxury

Team Selection

The Outlier Ventures recruitment cycle begins approximately 10-12 weeks prior to the program start date. We source founders globally, from inbound and outbound recruiting efforts. Our investment staff attend hackathons, conferences, and other industry events in order to find the best teams that are aligned with the above investment pillars. After receiving hundreds of applications, the OV investment committee begins a process of curating the final cohort of 6-8 teams via four selection rounds:

  1. Investment Committee 1 (IC1): deals are discussed internally
  2. Investment Committee 2 (IC2): projects are invited to pitch
  3. Advanced Due Diligence: OV’s engineers and SMEs investigate the technical feasibility and readiness of a project
  4. Final selection: 6-8 teams chosen to participate

To ensure optimal alignment, selected stakeholders from Celo will be invited to attend investment committee meetings to see shortlisted teams pitch. They will then be invited to fill out a feedback and voting form. The feedback from Celo will be used as an aid to inform the decision making process. Note, the final decision would lie with Outlier Ventures and the voting process would be weighted towards the OV investment team members (details to be confirmed).

Chosen teams will participate in OV’s 12-week-long accelerator program (high level summary below). For its participation in the program, each startup will also receive a $100k stipend from OV and will be presented to OV’s venture ecosystem in order to fundraise. In exchange, teams will provide a portion of their token and equity holdings (up to 6%) to Outlier Ventures.

Program Content

  1. Week 1 & 2: Mentor Madness
    a. Teams meet OV specialists and external mentors in 1:1 sessions
    b. We gather feedback and collated into insights and actionable next steps

  2. Week 3-6: Knowledge Building

    a. Teams have regular 1:1 meetings with OV Product, Token, Marketing/BD and legal specialists to work on bespoke product roadmap, token design and marketing/GTM strategy
    b. Teams are introduced to a carefully-selected external legal counsel. An initial 1 hour session with the legal counsel to deep dive on their product and discuss key areas of legal consideration. OV legal specialists have been on board to support with follow ups
    c. Workshops on a variety of subjects

  3. Week 7: Friendly Pitch Event

    a. Teams pitch in front of 40+ OV team members and external mentors to practice for demo day and receive feedback on their progress

  4. Week 8-12: Fundraising preparation

    a. Teams who have not yet opened their rounds are receiving full feedback and support from the OV Program and Fundraising team to put together all fundraising materials,
    b. Demo Day

  5. Post Program: Teams will have access to 2 months follow up support from the OV Program Manager and Fundraising Advisor

Program KPIs

In addition to the post recruiting and post-program reporting, we will track the following KPIs and report to the Celo community:

  • Total # applicants and # of chosen teams building on Celo.
  • Total # applicants and # of chosen teams in program mission-aligned with Celo.
  • Total # applicants undecided on where to build (pre-program) and # of program graduates building on Celo (post program)
  • Total funds raised by Celo alumni (post program)
  • Program Participant Satisfaction Score

Overall Allocation

Partner Program Fee

Outlier Ventures is requesting a total of $250,000 via $200,000 cUSD and $50,000 in CELO be authorized for the program.

The funding will go towards a portion of the program’s operating expenses, attributed to salaries and overhead of OV staff for the 5 month program cycle, including program personnel (a dedicated program manager and program associate, a project recruiting and investment team, software engineering personnel, token engineering team, in house legal advisory, go to market advisory, and more), a full marketing staff to promote and inform the public of the program along the way, and investor relations personnel who activate OV’s VC network and ensure participating teams are visible when they fundraise.

Option for Investment

As a perk of the partnership, Outlier Ventures will create a unique opportunity for Celo to co-invest into two of the teams in this program. In exchange for $100k to each team (a total of $200k), Celo will receive a portion of OV’s token and equity allocation, equal to approximately 1-1.5% of the total supply from each team.

Exact equity and token provision could vary based on negotiations between OV and each team. This optional scenario would represent an additional $200k commitment from Celo.


We believe Outlier Ventures can play a meaningful role in Celo’s ecosystem development by bringing our deep expertise and rich track record to recruit and integrate the best possible teams building with RWAs and aligned with Celo’s commitment to the creation of a new and better digital economy.

We encourage all Celo stakeholders to participate in the discussion on this initiative which we believe will help the ecosystem flourish as it transitions into an Ethereum L2.


Hi everyone- this is an update to the proposal posted by Aron last week, main changes provided in the Summary, Opportunity, and Option for Investment sections. Mainly:

  • Clarifying OV’s alignment with Celo, both historically and in the context of partnering on this RWA program. In practice, OV will be dedicated to investing in at least 3 teams that are already building on Celo or are well-suited to build with Celo.
  • Presenting the additional option for Celo to co-invest in two teams alongside Outlier in exchange for a portion of token and equity.

Separate from the proposal but in a related opportunity, I would like to inform everyone of upcoming events where we would be happy to have Celo alongside us, such as the Token 2049 RWA Brunch - RWA Leaders Brunch · Luma

Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and will stand by to answer any questions. Thanks!


Hey John, Thanks for this update! These changes makes a lot of sense.

Just noticed Outlier will be part of the leaders’ brunch in Dubai. Aiming to be there and would love to meet the rest of the team!

Looking forward to this proposal.


Thanks @Johnlikes for updating the proposal based on the feedback and questions from the Governance call on Friday.

I’m interested in people’s sentiments about the option to add an investment allocation to the program, which would allow investors to invest in up to two projects in the program.

Please share your current view by voting in the poll below.

  • Accept the option for Investment (add $200K to invest in two teams).
  • Do not accept the option for Investment (only commit to the program).
  • Do not support the program at all.
0 voters

Hi- In case anyone didn’t see it, this proposal has gone on to a vote - Celo Governance by Staking Fund

Hope to have your support so Celo can join us on all the great things coming out of the program!