So this is sort of cheating, but I did write the press release, so I am going to count it as my writing for the day. Today one of my favorite investments of the year Squads announced its seed round. Their vision is simple. Make starting a DAO as easy as making a new group chat.
I was the first yes on the round after meeting Stepan their cofounder and CEO through a cold DM on Twitter. I’ll write a whole post about it at some point I’m a little tuckered from the excitement. So I hope you enjoy the stylings of my extremely formal for normies press release. Any typos are my inability to copy pasta from mobile browser pdfs.
Squads, a DAO creation & management application that makes setting up a Decentralized Autonomous Organization as easy as starting a group chat, announces seed round with Collab+Currency
Squads, an application for Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAOs) creation and management built on the Solana blockchain, is pleased to announce a $1.5m seed round led by Collab+Currency with participation from Reciprocal Ventures, Volt Capital, Chaotic Capital, 6thman Ventures, Republic Capital, 8186 Capital, Solana Capital, as well as angel investors Ryan Selkis, Ryon Nixon, Chris Hermidaand Julia Lipton.
DAOs have already profoundly changed social coordination and put pressure on traditional corporate vehicles by expanding within the wider DeFi and NFT ecosystems. However, existing solutions in the market are costly to deploy, have cumbersome management features, and are focused only on web 3.0 power users.
Squads is here to simplify the DAO framework and make it accessible to the majority of users who either already firmly exist in web 3.0 or are just discovering it.
“Squads wants to make starting a DAO as easy as starting a group chat,” said Stepan Simkin, Squads CEO & Co-Founder.
Squads combines all key DAO legos such as deployment, treasury / vault management, on-chain voting, and chat in one simple interface so anyone, anywhere can create and run a DAO. By combining these primitives under one platform and building it on a fast and scalable layer 1 blockchain like Solana, Squads will become a social hub for web 3.0 coordination.
Squads founding team consisting of Stepan Simkin (CEO), Deni Ershtukaev (COO) and Sean Ganser (technical lead) comes from diverse backgrounds of software development, law and finance.
While one of the biggest value propositions DAOs can offer is an experience of spinning up a “company” from a command line without any friction or intermediaries, the Squads team firmly believes that “complicated user interface implementations and high fees have made setting up and running a DAO prohibitive for the majority of even sophisticated crypto users. Squads is here to take DAOs to everyone by bringing accessibility to DAO set up and management.”
“Smart contracts are a significant evolution in human organization on par with the invention of the corporation. The recognition by the state of corporations as a single entity composed of multiple actors drove significant economic growth. DAOs are poised to initiate progress as important as the corporation once did,” said Julie Fredrickson, Managing Partner at Chaotic Capital.
“The fiction which we have called the corporation has relied on legal & judicial layers to enforce distribution of resources. With a DAO, the management and allocation of resources is enforced by code, not lawyers or judges. This frees individuals to put their trust in an entity regardless of its geographic jurisdiction. DAOs allow individuals to collectively form complex contracting relationships and operationalize the movement of resources between individuals and organizations for any number of collective pursuits. As Brian Armstrong the CEO of Coinbase noted “the new jurisdiction is online’” said Stepan Simkin, Squads CEO & Co-Founder. “As human collaboration moves online, so too will our organization and tools.”
While DAOs have shown their utility in early use cases in DeFi & emergent NFTs communities, Squads wants regular people to enjoy their benefits. Colloquially known as web 3.0, mainstreaming access to the benefits of blockchains or decentralized networks of many peer to peer nodes, has been slow as few apps provide simplicity and utility.
“Squads envisions a web3 for regular users. A group of freelancers can band together for contract work. A homeowners association can use a DAO to manage and disburse funds. Investment clubs can pool resources. A gaming guild can coordinate accounts. A group of creators can protect their earnings and intellectual property. A sports league can manage equipment and budgets. According to the Squads team vision: “A DAO should be an easy vehicle for groups of different sizes and budgets to easily organize to achieve common goals.”
Squad’s is at the forefront of web 3.0’s next iteration: social coordination. Squads is also positioned as the first mover of DAO tooling within the Solana ecosystem, giving Squads considerable growth potential. “Squads is the team to bridge the huge gap in the Solana DAO tooling ecosystem by building this critical infrastructure and we are delighted to support them” said Soona Amhaz, General Partner at Volt Capital.
“We’re excited to back the incredible vision of Squad’s founders,” said Stephen McKeon, Partner at Collab+Currency. “Squads sees a future where DAOs become a commonplace structure for organizing economic activity. We believe that rather than working for a corporation or nonprofit, many people will work for a protocol someday. So does the Squads team.”
The funding will be used for the beta release of the core product with a mainnet release to follow. Users can look forward to a Squads v2 release with advanced treasury functionality as well as a mobile application for both iOS and Android. Users of other layer 1s can look forward to multichain expansion in the future. The team will be hiring mobile developers, product managers, a network administrator and a designer.