Prezenti H1 Retrospective + H2 Proposal

Note: This is in preparation for an incoming proposal next week from CeloPG

Authors: @Wade | @MayaRB | @Thylacine

Looking back: Prezenti H1

Coming to the end of H1 2024 we want to provide an update on the latest round of funding by Prezenti, and and review how Prezenti continues to fit into the new governance model [Celo Governance Guidelines and Public Goods Funding Strategy H1 2024] which was successfully voted on in January this year.

Prezenti officially re-opened its grants on 30th March after another successful temperature check from the Celo community and a successful vote passing on the 7th March. As we write this we have only be running for 2.5 months (rather than the planned 6 months); in this short period we have achieved:

  • 57 new applications reviews
  • Granted 5 (out of 24) successful Micro Pool grants
  • Granted 4 (out of 12) successful Pilot Pool grants
  • Granted 5 (out of 6) successful Growth Pool grants
  • Of the successful above there are: 7 African projects, 3 European and 3 from LATAM
  • Increased some of our marketing
  • 2 members attended Celo Gather in Berlin

Statistics - inception to date

  • 80% of grantees still have active/relevant websites
  • 198 Applications reviewed
  • 56 grant contracts signed
  • Over $1M cUSD granted
  • 28% grant success rate
  • 64% of grantees still active on Twitter/X
  • 51 different projects funded
  • 40 grants completed

H1 Spend Breakdown

Due to the delay in starting funding in H1, our data only shows spending for 2.5 months, not the full 6 months. To give a more accurate spend account we have also included below a 30% spend uplift which is our predicted spend until 30th June 2024.

Also worth noting the disbursement of grants actually contracted vs spend out of our multi-sig differs as grants have up to 4 months to complete.

Grant pool Est. Grants Total Requested Actual Spend (Apr - Jun) Remaining Grants to date Expected grants (June 30th) Predicted Spend (+30%) Remaining funds after 3 months (Apr - Jun) I
Master pool [admin] $25,000 $18,459 $9,176 - $27,635 $(2,635)
Micro 24 $48,000 $10,000 $38,000 7 $14,000 $34000
Pilot 12 $120,000 $40,000 $80,000 5 $50,000 $70000
Growth 6 $150,000 $125,000 $25,000 6 $150,000 0
Total $343,000 $193,459 $152,176 18 $241,635 $101,365

Retrospective Findings

  • Our new 3 tiered pool structure works well, guiding applicants into their respective buckets and allows us to allocate capital more thoughtfully and efficiently.
  • Our narrowed focus on sustainability and income-generating products significantly decreases the surface area for grants that are not suitable while bringing more value to Celo for the long term.
  • We have realized there is more of a need to compare ‘apples to apples’. Our current rolling application round with a steady stream of grant applications decreases the neutrality of applications.
  • There is an abundance of capital across ecosystems, and talent/loyalty is the scarce resource.
  • A need to stop funding projects that have been extensively funded via various sources within the Celo ecosystem to allow them to concentrate on income generating opportunities.
  • The ongoing need to be more collaborative within the ecosystem to ensure there is more sharing and understanding of projects coming in and out.

What next?

Where does Prezenti fit into Celo?

Prezenti has always been at the essence of Celo. Taking the reins of the community led grants programme, created with CCF1 to the ongoing adjustment of our strategy, changing with the inevitable volatile swings of the industry. Its stewards started the same way we envision our grantees. From eager enthusiasts interested in Celo’s mission to contributing meaningfully to the protocol, community and its success. We are a rock, stable and reliable aiming to help direct some of the community fund flows to the thoughtful visionary people and products that need it.

There has, and always will be a need for small/medium sized grants within a blockchain ecosystem. We believe that to achieve this it takes context from the blockchains history, from other ecosystems and market trends while having a vision for the long term future of the industry as a whole.

Prezenti achieves this for Celo.

H2 2024 and Onwards

We would love to continue disbursing grant funds, with the community’s consent. We plan to utilize the remaining/unspent funds from H1 [$101,365] while requesting a replenishment of the grant ‘pools’ with a top up from the next Public Goods Funding Strategy budget. Here is an outline:

Grant pool allocations Grants grant amount Carried Over Requested
Master pool [admin] - $58,365 -$2,635 $61,000
Micro 9 $18,000 $34,000 -$16,000
Pilot 5 $50,000 $70,000 -$20,000
Growth 9 $225,000 $ - $225,000
Total 23 $351,365 -$101,365 $250,000

This would make our total budget for 2024 to $505k cUSD, comparable to previous Prezenti rounds; this is within the scope of the Celo Public Goods H2 budget.

Admin Spend

We believe it is super important to have transparency around administrative spend and with pride believe that we are one of the most cost efficient grant programs within the industry.

  • We have a spend of less than 10K $cUSD per month that consists of 3 stewards working various hours at a rate of $134 per hour (unchanged since inception of the program).
  • Due to the nature of the program and the fact that grants last at least 4 months from contract (often with further delays) we need a contingency to cover our support of all grants in the eventuality that future funding from the community fund ceases. This is to fulfill our responsibilities with current grantees and ensure we continue to be financially and legally compliant. Currently we have an account that contains 62.7K $cUSD to facilitate that. This was carried over from the previous Prezenti ask and is outside the scope of Celo PG. This represents our emphasis on being as lightweight as possible allowing most of the value to accrue to grantees while also being transparent.
  • If Prezenti isn’t successful in replenishing future grant funding, after the last current grant ends and our Canadian LLC has been dissolved, any remaining unspent funds would be given back to the community .

Changes

While we believe the changes we have made in our last iteration have benefited all stakeholders there is always room for improvement. The majority of Prezenti processes will stay status quo, we are proposing some changes to be implemented considering our retrospective findings. Most notably:

Grants will now be offered in rounds.

  • There will be 2 rounds each lasting for 3 months.This will be as follows
    • Month 1: Applications for round 1 open (1st /early in month)
    • Month 2: Applications for round 1 close (end of month)
    • Month 3: Processing round 1 applications
    • This is repeated for round 2
  • This reallocation of time can help us focus on another aspect we think will contribute to a more successful program: outreach.
  • We plan for more proactive outreach and marketing to networks to help us identify talent funnels and allow us to access them via different marketing initiatives.
  • Plan to conduct more outreach in Asia as we notice a lack of quality applications coming from this side of the globe.
  • Ongoing plans to collaborate with another Celo entity- more to come

Conclusion

In short, Prezenti proposes to continue offering the only ongoing, non specific grants program for Celo builders. We are requesting a total of $263,635K cUSD.

We believe that we are a valuable piece of the current Celo landscape and provide thoughtful intentional capital to move the protocol forward.

Resources

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Great job guys. Looking to apply in the next rounds to run a short pilot program for Celo.

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Inspiring work and looking forward to the proposal!

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Thank you for the comprehensive update @Wade! I love all the improvements to the grant program, especially the tiered system of Micro, Pilot, and Growth sizes. I also think the upcoming changes to grants rounds is smart and will create more predictability in the process.

Can you share the names and a little blurb about each of the projects who were the recipients of these grants during H1? I think this would really help with creating a comprehensive map of the ecosystem growth and showcase your impact.

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Thank you @emiridbest , @nirvaan and @annaalexa for the kind words! We appreciate the support and comments.

@annaalexa thank you for this suggestion. It is an excellent idea and should definitely be included here. We will update the post shortly with this. I think you will all be excited to see the projects that have funded recently

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Hi all and @annaalexa, here is a list of our current 2024 grantees from the last 3 months funding, a few pending contracts listed too, these are also on our X account.

MICRO POOL
Ditto Network Africa Ditto Network is building a modular infrastructure for smart account modules empowering Web3 users and developers with a permissionless and composable Account Abstraction experience. The execution is decentralized and secured by Ethereum restakers using the EigenLayer protocol and Axiom zk-coprocessor. www.dittonetwork.io
Blockchain Floripa LATAM Celo Festival Brazil: Workshops, videos & fun Blockchain Floripa | LinkedIn
ReFi Atlantico LATAM Colombia’s newest ReFiDAO Node, dedicated to promoting regenerative projects. Together, they’ve translated concepts into tangible results, celebrating creativity and teamwork throughout the journey. The main objective is to promote the growth and development of Regenerative Finance (ReFi) technology in Atlantico, as well as to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among the community on Atlantico. refiatlantico | Instagram | Linktree
Remox LATAM Remox is a publicly available treasury and governance solution for on-chain communities. They help on-chain communities manage their finances and governance in one place, ensuring that they are operating in a transparent and accountable manner. https://remox.io/
Dandelion Europe Adding Celo-native payments to the Dandelion events platform at dandelion.events https://dandelion.events
TBC Africa One grant in KYC - tbc
PILOT POOL
The Regen Atlas Europe The Regen Atlas is a platform displaying, funding, and incubating natural capital projects through a map interface. https://www.regenatlas.xyz/
BitGifty Africa Enhancing bill payments on Minipay with BitGifty https://bitgifty.com
PaydHQ Africa Hiring gig workers in emerging markets is easier than paying them - Payd is simplifying how gig workers in Africa and other emerging markets get paid fast and easy. Ultimately, by aggregating their income and spending on one platform, Payd provides gig workers with insights to help them manage their unstructured income - right from budgeting to saving and investing. https://paydhq.com
TBC Africa One grant in KYC - tbc
TBC Africa One grant in KYC - tbc
GROWTH POOL
Hurupay API Africa Hurupay proposes to build an open-source on and off-ramp API that projects and startups building on Celo can integrate for faster and easier conversion of Stablecoins to local fiat and vice versa. https://www.hurupay.com
Oneramp Africa On and Offramp building on MiniPay and Valora, In Uganda and Kenya https://www.oneramp.io
Haraka Africa Social Reputation for Community Credit https://haraka.xyz
Regenerative Europe The VELO-model on which Regenerative is based is unique as it redistributes 100% of the generates fees to token voters, leading to significant value retention for Celo LPs and projects alike. This makes starting and maintaining a healty liquidity pool on Celo easier and more efficient. Currently VELO is closed-sourced and only functions for Liquity-based systems. In addition to making a custom-UI with activity campaigns we’re also building open-source tools that allow any DEX to utilize VELO like tokeneconomics. https://www.regenerative.fi/
TBC Africa One grant in KYC - tbc
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This is amazing work, thank you so much @MayaRB!

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Hi @Wade and team, thanks for creating this Retro and following up with an overview of H1 commits!

I share your belief that the changes made to the process of Prezenti have likely resulted in positive outcomes!

As indicated in the H1 CeloPG review, it’s clear that one-off builder grants play an important role in the development of the Celo ecosystem.

For the second half of 2024, we believe Prezenti is the right team to run a program like this, and we have included a budget of up to 225,000 cUSD in the proposed CeloPG H2 Budget [DRAFT].

I would love to discuss further with Prezenti if the proposed CeloPG H2 structure and budget work or if changes should be made.


On another note, I want to highlight the potential benefit of leveraging more Web3 native infrastructure in the application, review, and payment process. Most Web3 grant programs use Charmverse as the wiki and application process (which has quite a good process for initial application and feedback) and services like Request for payment and tracking.

Happy to provide more tips and insights related to these tools as I’ve used them multiple times.

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I second @LuukDAO ideas about using more Web3 native tools. I can make an introduction to Charmverse if and when the time is right, I have had many conversations with them about using it for Foundation grants program but it was at a time when our program has downsizing and we never had a chance to implement it.

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Thanks for the comments @LuukDAO & @annaalexa

100% we should utilize and dogfood more web3 apps! We have been using Request finance since inception but we could leverage that more now that the functionality has improved dramatically.

Regarding Charmverse, it looks interesting and we are going to meet with the team to see what they have to offer. We have a pretty robust process internally that looks similar to what they offer although their solution looks like it is more public. Not entirely sure that others need/want these details to be public but it also is good as a directory and funnel for talent. With that said, it may increase talent inflow but also increase bots/grant hunters at a larger rate.

I’ll add to that that sometimes using these platforms causes extreme friction for both the grant provider and grantee. We had an extremely bad experience with Questbook technology wise but we also developed significant relationships which helped us in ways would could not have foreseen.

One other product we are likely moving to is deform which provides a web3 product for forms. Always interested to hear other products that can teach us, provide different insights and utilize the aspects of blockchains that we all are here for!

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We have adjusted our ask for H2 funding after discussions with CeloPG to align more closely with their projected numbers. We originally had the ask of $263,635 due to our projections. CeloPG had outlined a budget of $225,000 in their initial draft. You can see below our original projections:

and our modified spend projection:

Screenshot 2024-06-21 at 4.41.48 PM

This will be decreased by $13,635 which will also bring our updated ask to $250,000 for H2. The costs that were cut come from the following:

  • Decrease Pilot Pool grants by 1. Originally 6, now 5.
  • Decrease Micro Pool grants by 1. Originally 10, now 9.
  • Absorb $1,635 from our existing contingency admin fund which is unallocated and would likely be returned anyhow. See here
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