Seed Club, a DAO-focused accelerator program, has launched its venture arm out of stealth mode with a $25 million fund, the team shared exclusively with TechCrunch.
“Seed Club is a DAO for builders at the intersection of builders and culture with three areas: an accelerator, a community of members and now the venture arm,” said Anthony Avedissian, one of Seed Club Venture’s co-founders — or “instigators,” as he dubbed himself. “The thesis is centered around shifting from web2-created platforms like YouTube toward web3 creator economies where the value is shared by creators in communities.”
The venture arm has been “quietly investing” since the third quarter of 2021 and has backed projects like Guild, Stability AI, Lens and Metalabel, Avedissian shared. It has 63 members, including crypto venture capital firms like Multicoin Capital, Delphi Digital and Dragonfly Capital, as well as family offices, traditional VCs and corporations. But about half of the members are individuals in the crypto space, he added.
“We feel like now is the right moment for the internet and for crypto for communities to have ownership,” NiMa Asghari, instigator at Seed Club Ventures, said. “Crypto is definitely one of the big pieces of the puzzle, but we felt this philosophy was missing that communities can have ownership and have a source of funding, and we want to be an example of that.”
The capital will be deployed over the next couple of years into projects at pre-seed and seed stages building infrastructure, applications and tooling for DAOs and open communities with checks ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, Avedissian noted.
DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, are groups that are collectively owned by communities and — in theory — allow participants to make operational decisions without centralized leadership, often through token-powered governance. Major DAOs typically focus on raising capital to support specific causes or to purchase something, like LinksDAO, which is on a mission to buy a golf course.
In the past two years, DAOs gained a lot of momentum across the crypto space, but popularity (or hype) around them has since slowed down. While a number of prominent ones still exist within the crypto community, they aren’t really reaching mass mainstream adoption.
“This might be controversial, but I would say we have too many DAO tools and more companies building tools than governable DAOs, but that’s just natural in every cycle of boom and bust. There’s an overshoot of what’s needed,” Asghari said.
“We’re seeing projects maturing and going from this paradigm of all-in-one tooling in the DAO space to being more modular and open, and that’s one of our core values. We don’t want to invest in just one ‘Salesforce’ in the DAO space; we want to back many projects and have them interoperate together,” Asghari added.
Going forward, it plans on backing founders building DAOs and “internet-native organizations” in crypto as well as other categories like artificial intelligence, art and music.
“We see internet-native organizations, as we call them, the next step in the evolution of human coordination,” Avedissian said.