S11 Planning: Research, Strategy and Innovation

Hi everyone,

My name is Nikhil Raghuveera and I lead the Research, Strategy, & Innovation circle. We’re currently undergoing Season 11 planning—Season 11 as 10 seasons have passed since Celo Mainnet Launch on April 22, 2020.

Group Purpose
The Research, Strategy, & Innovation team serves to support and accelerate the growth of projects in four key verticals: DeFi for the People, Connect the World, Social Impact Collective, and the Creator Collective. In particular, we look to catalyze launches and scalable on Celo.

Looking Backward - A view of the the last Season
DeFi for the People

  1. Supported the launch of 18 DeFi projects through grant funding, liquidity incentives, usability reviews, marketing support, security audits, and project management
  2. Concluded a pilot with Mercy Corps Ventures to utilize credit delegation for community based finance with a forthcoming report
  3. Partnered with Goldfinch to build a cross-chain lending solution for Celo DeFi projects
  4. Supported the launch of Uniswap V3 enabling capital efficiency to ReFi projects on the Celo blockchain

Connect the World:

  1. Engaged 51 CICO partners in the Connect the World program, with 10 CICO partners actively integrating the FiatConnect API standard
  2. FiatConnect API is continually being elaborated on by the Valora team, and CICO partners towards a v1.0.0 release.
  3. We were unable to have a CICO partner or a wallet partner integrate with the FiatConnect API standard

Social Impact Collective:

  1. Launched the Social Impact Collective at EthCC in Paris. The Collective aims to support pilots and new use cases, enable mission-aligned builders to accelerate their development, and publish findings on the intersection of social impact and web3
  2. Concluded several pilot projects with Umoja, CARE Ecuador, and Hope4Haiti on humanitarian aid, and Grameen Foundation on liquidity agent networks
  3. Started revising the Theory of Change that was last published in 2019 (more on this below)

Creator Collective:

  1. Launched the NFT Resource Hub to support creators and collectors in the Celo ecosystem
  2. Partnered with Tatum and Mintdropz to deploy NFTs with little to no coding required
  3. Supported the launches of NFT projects and infrastructure through grant funding, marketing support, and project management support.
  4. Completed a pilot testing a Celo NFT-backed rewards program

Looking Outward
A few key pieces have affected our work that we have to account for

  • Market
    • Current down market conditions mean we need to be more diligent on use cases, and find and scale robust solutions that drive value to the Celo ecosystem.
    • Traditional web2 entities can be a bit more risk averse to crypto-based solutions and so we have to engage with intention and prove out robust use cases
    • Less capital directed towards impact-oriented lending with lower interest rates
  • Builders
    • There is a growing ReFi movement and we’re seeing both interest and adoption by builders across the industry; we at Celo are positioned to play a key role in this movement as it aligns strongly with our mission.
  • Liquidity
    • Sticky liquidity remains a challenge especially with fewer new users and less incentives given subdued token prices

Goals for the upcoming Season 11
Our goals for the upcoming Season 11 across the 4 key verticals are:

  • DeFi for the people:

    • Integration of key DeFi primitives and launch multiple Tier 2 and Tier 3 integrations
    • Support launch of 5-10 top growth potential DeFi projects by year end
    • Enable increase in overall on-chain liquidity for accessing LP capital
    • Workshop broader strategic direction and publish revised DeFi for the People strategy by mid-November
  • Connect the World:

    • Launch at least three CICO partners and one wallet partner live on FiatConnect, enabling on/off ramping in at least 15 countries for Mento Stable assets
    • FiatConnect API to achieve v1.0.0 release in December
  • Social Impact Collective:

    • Publish revised Theory of Change in November—goals of the revised version are to expand it to include Planetary Impact (Climate and Recycling) and include an Impact Report that measures the real-world impact of blockchain technology
    • Reception at the SF Office around SOCAP (mid-October) at our San Francisco office where we’re hoping to meet our existing partners as well as new builders / founders that are aligned with our mission
    • Onboard 5 new scalable social impact use cases on Celo and
  • Creator Collective:

    • Onboard NFT builders via Tatum in Season 11
    • Identify partners with a flagship/blockbuster project on Celo that showcases the quality of Creative IP in our ecosystem and can attract Tier 1 creators, Tier 1 and Tier 2 builders/partnerships and new buyers to Celo Ecosystem.
    • Workshop broader strategic direction and publish revised Creative Collective strategy by mid-November

Your feedback
We’d love to get your feedback on this post and our ongoing work as well as ideas for how you might be able to help catalyze these efforts. Please share your thoughts on the areas that we’re working on, what you think we should be doing more or less of, and how we can improve.

With much love,


Hey Nikhil,

Wanted to draw attention to our work with the GeoNFT in the context of the Creator Collective:

There may be some sort of collaboration opportunity – would love to chat if you find it relevant.


Hi Pat, thanks! Let me check this out and get back to you later this week

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Hi! Super interesting. I’ll email you to connect

For transparency’s purpose in this thread, just wanted to let folks know that we’re exploring a few Twitter spaces with the Celo twitter and another think tank to highlight GeoNFTs and their use case. Exciting stuff

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Hi everyone,

Hope the new year is treating you well! I wanted to share an update from my earlier post on Season 11. High level across the team, we aligned on our team strategy and OKRs to ensure that these are not operating in silos, but work in tandem to support growth in transaction volume and monthly active users. Some more specific updates by each vertical:

DeFi for the People

  1. We supported the deployment of Curve, LayerZero, Axelar, Angle Protocol, and Superfluid on Celo
  2. The Curve gauge proposal for a cUSD tri-pool passed and we are working with the Mento Protocol and Angle Protocol teams for a cEUR / agEUR proposal. These gauges will allow CRV emissions through Curve on the Celo blockchain
  3. We’re finalizing the deployment of Squid, a cross-chain DEX on Celo that would make it easier for people to enter the Celo
  4. We posted a governance proposal to deploy Aave on Celo in partnership with Blockchain at Michigan and FranklinDAO
  5. TVL in CELO terms increased to reach over 185M to reach a new high

Connect the World

  1. Alpha Fortress and Bitmama have completed the FiatConnect integration. Michael will be posting a separate comprehensive new year update with more details
  2. Valora is currently working with Alpha Fortress and Bitmama to activate off-ramps country-by-country

Social Impact Collective

  1. We signed MOUs with four new social impact partners who will be announced soon
  2. We’re currently finalizing a few new use case pilots and a forthcoming report on humanitarian aid on Celo that will be released in Season 12.
  3. We announced the Social Impact Prize at the Alliance for Prosperity call. More info to come on what this entails.
  4. Angelo will be posting a separate new year update with more details

Creator Collective

  1. Launched the Proof of Impact Network utilizing Impact Cards on Celo. We’re currently building a V2 version to launch at EthDenver and are looking for protocols to collaborate with and fork this ERC721K framework. See more info here.
  2. Celostrials announced the launch of their carbonized NFT.
  3. Mintdropz recently hosted Andrew Wiggins in the Celo SF office
  4. Livetree is launching on Celo soon. Their beta is live here.
  5. Cyberbox launched their NFT eco-boxes which are live for beta testing here.

We’re currently building out our strategy for this quarter while continuing to support the ecosystem for various launches and use cases. We’ll post another update soon. Additionally, we’re currently planning for community calls across each of the collectives above to discuss further cross-project collaboration, identify needs, and inform the Celo Foundation’s strategy moving forward. We’re planning to host these calls in early February. Look forward to seeing many of you there. In the meantime feel free to reach out or comment here if you have any questions, comments, or thoughts. Thanks!

With much love,