There is a lot of criticism of venture capital in web3. Bitcoin did not have or need venture capital. Ethereum did not have or need venture capital. So why would any web3 project need venture capital? It is a good question. In the age of community-funded projects, why would a web3 project want to take funding from venture capitalists?
Well buried deep in a 66 page blog post on the Flow blockchain by Packy McCormick lies the answer.
In a section called Kitty Down, Packy describes the challenges that the Dapper Labs team went through between late 2017, when CryptoKitties launched, and the summer of 2020, when Top Shot launched.
What Packy lays out is a series of notes that the venture capitalists (including yours truly) provided to Dapper during the last crypto winter that kept the project alive. As Packy says:
In Dapper’s case, VCs kept the company alive during the bear market and the company sold tokens to the public at the same price it sold them to VCs, even though VCs invested first.
That latter bit is quite important. After Top Shot launched and it was clear that Dapper and Flow were gonna make it, Dapper offered Flow tokens to the community at the same price that the venture capitalists got in the conversion of the notes.
There are many alternatives to venture capital these days, particularly in web3, but there are few, if any, alternatives that stick with you, when times are tough, when a global pandemic hits and you have weeks of cash left, when everything seems lost and you are at rock bottom.
But venture capitalists do, particularly good, experienced, and confident venture capitalists.
And that is what Dapper had by its side. And that is why Dapper was able to launch the Flow blockchain, NBA Top Shot, the Dapper Wallet, and a bunch more hit products too.
That’s why you might want to take venture capital for your web3 project.