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Fundraising in a Bear Market: How This Web3 Startup Raised $5M



Fundraising in a Bear Market: How This Web3 Startup Raised $5M


The crypto bear market had a number of implications, one of which was the ability of Web3 projects in the space to make money. However, not all projects encountered the problem of difficulty in raising funds. In this interview, we meet Vikram Aditya of DAOLens, a Web3 project that recently raised $5 million in an oversubscribed funding round.

Table of Contents:

Bitcoinist: Can you introduce yourself and give a brief description of what you do?

Vikram Aditya: My name is Vikram Aditya. I am a co-founder of DAOLens with Apoorv Nandan. We have been friends for almost a decade ever since we graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati. Since then, I have spent a lot of time designing and developing Enterprise SAAS in my previous role as Product Manager at Merkle Science.

When I see an opportunity, I pursue it, that’s how I found my way to DAOLens. I aspire to build capital, networks, and ultimately use both to create meaningful impact.

And, with DAOLens, we are building for a DAO world first. We provide a simplified, unified perspective to enable businesses to transform into mature DAOs with frictionless, custom onboarding and seamless community management.

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Bitcoinist: Why did you create DAOLens?

Vikram Aditya: We believe that every company, community, or group will eventually be structured into a DAO, even if the nomenclature changes over time.

My co-founder, Apoorv Nandan, and I started this journey with a simple goal: how would we explain DAOs to a five-year-old who had never heard of Web3? In the process, we uncovered a host of deep-seated issues in the DAO ecosystem, from integration to contribution to discovery.

For DAOs to evolve, these were fundamental principles that needed to be simplified. Hence the birth of DAOLens. An idea discussed on a Google call grew into a community of nearly 400 members in just over six months.

We already have three products online: a discovery portal, a partner onboarding solution, and community management tools. All three are used at scale by various DAOs. A portion of the funds will also be used to scale business operations as the startup expands.

Bitcoinist: Everyone knows that fundraising in a bear market is not an easy task. How did you approach this?

Vikram Aditya: While that may be true, we were 4x oversubscribed when we raised those funds. In fact, we had to turn people away because our funding cycle was capped at $5 million.

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The pandemic has highlighted how DAOs are a much better way to work because they allow freedom of choice and time. When we presented our case to investors and stakeholders, not a single person said, “Hey! I don’t think we need what you’re building.

And we’ve been very lucky with our investors who share our long-term perspective. Additionally, they appreciate that our team is built to thrive in challenging settings.

Bitcoinist: You successfully raised $5 million in one of the densest funding rounds ever seen in the space. Names we know?

Vikram Aditya: We have phenomenal angel investors on board. It is a powerful group of founders of web2 and web3. Some of the notable names include Balaji Srinivasan, Gokul Rajaram of Coinbase, Polygon Founder Sandeep Nailwal, Solana Founder Raj Gokal, EPNS Founder Harsh Rajat, Simon Doherty of Animoca Brands, Kunal Bahl & Rohit Bansal of Snapdeal, and CoinDCX co-founder Sumit Gupta. .

Total market capitalization falls to $861 billion | Source: Total Crypto Market Cap on TradingView.com

Bitcoinist: Can you tell us about the NFT project you are working on?

Vikram Aditya: We don’t personally work on any NFT projects, but we have partnered with DAO to build communities around different types of NFTs.

Bitcoinist: Web3, like the rest of the crypto market, took a beating. Do you think recovery is in the picture?

Vikram Aditya: Of course there is a lot of noise, but this is not the first time the market has experienced a downturn. Such disorders are very common in cryptography and any new technology is bound to go through this phase: it indicates maturity. Historically, upheavals like these have led to larger events like the internet going mainstream.

While there will be a drawdown in crypto trades, founders of pure crypto products, at least those I have spoken to, are taking advantage of a bear market opportunity.

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During winters, there is less noise and the market no longer sends the wrong signals, allowing web3 startups with real use cases to thrive. According to the investors we spoke to, as long as people know what they’re building and why they’re building it, they’ll move on, probably faster than before.

Bitcoinist: Where do you see DAOLens and the Web3 space in the next five years?

Vikram Aditya: I am as optimistic as ever. Now is not the time to slow down but to overtake. This winter will bring 5-10 companies like Polygon out of emerging markets like India.

We may opt for another round of financing in the next 12-15 months depending on how the current market situation develops. Our current roadmap is to refine our existing products, hire top talent, and build more solutions to make DAO easier to integrate, manage, contribute to, and discover.

Blockbuild.africa Featured Image, TradingView.com Chart

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