Baas Info Interview with CEO Sakuro Imayama [Part 2]
Baas Info Interview with CEO Sakuro Imayama [Part 2]
Decentralized crowdfunding: DAOLaunch aims to support startups in the Web3 era｜DAOLaunch CEO Sakuro Imayama｜Interview
This week we continue to dive into the Baas Info Interview that our CEO did on DAOLaunch’s current progress and future plans. Kindly see below for the full content!
4. The key to startup support lies in the use of NFTs
From a startup perspective, does it mean that by choosing your company’s platform, you can build an ecosystem that incorporates NFTs into your project?
Well, we are providing new functions so that you can take various approaches using NFTs when building an ecosystem.
Of course, there are various patterns in the value of NFT. For example, GameFi projects such as “Axie Infinity” and “STEPN”, which have been popular so far, are basically business models where you can earn tokens other than NFT by doing something while holding NFT.
Also, if it is an NFT project represented by the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” mentioned earlier, various incentives will be given to NFT holders, such as economic incentives, conferences where only NFT holders can participate, Business models that provide various utilities such as events, communities, and offline meetings have also emerged.
For example, the GameFi Launchpad, or any other launchpad, the project must consider the content of the ecosystem itself. I think that technical ability is also necessary to successfully build it, but do you have an image that it will be easy if you use your company’s platform?
To explain the specific tools provided by DAOLaunch, DAOLaunch provides functions that allow you to design and manage the issuance of your own tokens, fundraising, listing, and incentives for token holders. In addition, we are developing an “NFT farm” feature that is not seen in other projects.
The NFT farm function is a platform that allows the project side to issue its own native tokens and select which NFTs to distribute as consideration for staking.
In general projects, replacement tokens are often distributed as rewards to keep token holders holding their tokens, but distribution leads to selling pressure. Therefore, in order to avoid such selling pressure, DAOLaunch’s NFT farm function can be set to distribute NFTs as rewards for staking.
In addition, DAOLaunch can issue NFT itself, and that NFT can be set as a staking reward for any token. The token to be staked can be the main token issued by the company or the LP token (liquidity providing token).
From an investor’s perspective, does this mean that not only can you invest in projects that you feel are worthwhile, but you can also participate in staking?
I agree. If an investor thinks there is potential, they can invest in the token on the spot. Once you have purchased tokens for your project, you can stake them using those tokens. By staking, you can reserve and receive rewards such as NFT set by the project. From the project side, it is possible to expose to the community in such a way.
There are many venture capitalists and investors in the world who want to invest in promising projects, so there are many mechanisms for raising funds. I think DAOLaunch can differentiate itself as a fundraising platform in terms of community exposure and marketing.
When thinking about a marketing approach, what they (startups) want is a community, and I think the most important thing is the implementation of smart contracts to see what kind of functions they can provide to that community. Therefore, as a tool, DAOLaunch decided to provide a platform that allows you to receive NFTs by staking tokens together with a token funding platform.
The platform that invests in tokens is already in operation, with several projects registered and dozens of investments made.
By the way, what kind of blockchain does this platform support?
First of all, the tokens for token sale that can be created with DAOLaunch are Ethereum and BNB Chain (BSC) at the moment (*Interview date is June 28, 2022). You can create tokens compatible with ERC-20 and BEP-20 without writing source code.
In addition, it supports Avalanche, Astar Network, Shiden Network, Polygon, and plans to add support for other networks. We are also preparing to increase cross-chain interoperability.
DAOLaunch can raise funds from whitelisted investors with the tokens created in this way. In addition, in the token sale, it is possible to automatically provide a list and liquidity to AMM (compatible with Uniswap and PancakeSwap) called automatic market maker, and it is equipped with a lag-pull prevention function (scam of project developers taking funds away), and countermeasures against SCAM.
5. Working style of a global company
The platform itself seems to be designed for the English-speaking world, but is it also for Japanese people?
The part where the Japanese market has a big advantage over the world is basically that one of the big slogans in Japan is to challenge the world. I think this is because the English language is a big barrier for Japanese people, and it is still difficult for the general public to access the rest of the world.
However, it is the same when viewed from outside Japan, and it is difficult for projects outside of Japan to gain recognition in the Japanese market. When I often talk to overseas projects and VCs, they say they want to reach the Japanese market, and there is a lot of demand for help there. In that sense, we want to bridge Japan and overseas.
This is just my impression after hearing that, but even in Japan, a relatively large number of blockchain companies have expanded overseas, but companies that have content have not been able to venture out into the world. I would like the platform to be able to provide support in that area as well. By the way, I saw the news that your company will establish a corporation in Dubai in the future, but where is your headquarters now?
DAOLaunch legal entity incorporated in the Republic of Seychelles. We will be launching another project soon, which will be based in Dubai. That’s why I moved to Dubai.
Nowadays, I believe that various projects are being developed around the world, led by Mr. Imayama. For example, Mr. Imayama himself is working in various places, and I think that the members are also in various parts of the world. This interview was also conducted in Dubai and Japan.
Basically, regardless of nationality, it is an image of hiring necessary personnel in various places, such as talking directly and working together if you feel like it. Also, the mobility of human resources in the Web3 industry is extremely fast. Regarding human resources, we have many employees that are not Japanese.
However, there is a consciousness that it is better to be distributed as much as possible. Especially useful in community management. Because the culture is different depending on the region, the way the community responds is also different, and it is advantageous to have strong staff in the region because of the difference in the market due to the geographical difference.
Regarding the location of the corporation, we continue to go to countries where cryptocurrency is expected to flourish in the future, and if we feel that it is a good place to live, we continue to do so.
I actually went to various countries, such as Zug in Switzerland and the Republic of Malta. Malta was the first country to issue a token financing model based on STO-like regulations for VIPs, but when I went there, there was no excitement at all, and perhaps Japan was more excited. It was a feeling on the skin, so it came back in about two weeks.
However, when I came to Dubai, the situation was the opposite of Malta. In September of last year, Dubai announced that it would promote crypto in the future, and in just a month or so, huge crypto-related projects have gathered at a big IT event called GITEX.
Also, while I was negotiating with various projects, there were many people who were planning to go to Dubai. I knew I had to go to Dubai soon.
I see. By the way, if a Japanese person is interested in your company’s corporate culture and work style, and would like to work at DAOLaunch, is it possible to work remotely as a way of working? Also, is the word “DAO” in the company name conscious of DAO (Distributed Autonomous Organization)?
I agree. I expect to work in a remote environment.
Of course, the company name DAOLaunch is partly conscious of DAO. As for the function of our platform, at first we will make it a function that anyone can create a token sale in the form of a DAO. Tokens can be created in seconds, and tokenomics can be configured for them.
Tokenomics is used like a power word, and no one knows whether the tokenomics built by the project is really guaranteed by a smart contract. For tokens designed using the DAOLaunch platform, we also have a function that allows you to lock it on a smart contract.
A project pitch where the project founder creates a token, sets the details, and decides on which exchange (AMM) to list the funds collected from the fundraising, and then presents the business plan to investors. You can also set the screen. There is a background to naming DAOLaunch because we developed a function that can automatically build up to this point and implemented it on the platform.
In this way, we have proceeded with development by concentrating on lowering the hurdles in the form of “anyone”. However, as a fundraising platform, it is still necessary to gather projects with a proven track record and high potential for expected value. It was a very good thing that the hurdles were lowered, but it was not necessarily the case that only projects with high potential were gathered.
In particular, projects with high potential are sensitive to various things such as information leaks. DAO is basically democratization. I think that democratization is important if it leads to the promotion of the project, but conversely, the DAO concept may pose a risk in terms of privacy and information leaks regarding startup investment.
We created a DAO-like aspect as a platform at the beginning, but from there, we gradually started recommending good projects to everyone. has also become stronger. Of course, there may be a DAO aspect as well in the sense of using a decentralized wallet.
Is the current system called DEX, or is it correct in the sense that the smart contract will automatically do everything from the launch of the startup to fundraising and exit? At that time, I think that your company is in a centralized position in terms of creating a platform, but is it correct to imagine that the automated part is decentralized or decentralized?
I agree. As for the DAO part, we initially implemented it with the assumption that it would be used mainly, so it is possible to completely assign it to DAO. However, from the perspective of a project with high technical capabilities, it would be difficult to use if everything was tied up with a smart contract (provided by the platform). We also want to collect projects with high potential, so our way of thinking has changed little by little.
The project requires marketing and exposure to the community, so there has been a change in the direction of providing NFT farm functions etc. that respond to such requests.
In that case, where does your company, which provides the platform, monetize as a profit model?
For the monetization part, we will receive a commission from the project that raised the funds, as well as marketing expenses when introducing other VCs and providing marketing support. It’s a profit model similar to the so-called conventional crowdfunding fee.
6. What is crowdfunding in the Web3 era?
This may not be directly related to your company’s business, but how will crowdfunding evolve in the future, and the future of this field, such as Web3, which Mr. Imayama has in mind? Can you tell us how you think about the world view of the world?
There are various types and genres of crowdfunding. Among them, if we limit ourselves to a method that is conscious of capital gains such as equity crowdfunding, the characteristic of crowdfunding is that people who invest I think it will be a story that the number of people will increase and the number of people who will collect funds will increase.
From the perspective of the project side, I think it is necessary for a crowdfunding platform to understand that there are both advantages and disadvantages to exposing to the market.
The disadvantage is that project information may be leaked. Also, as the number of investors increases, there is one thing that costs corresponding to it.
As for the merits, I think that exposure will bring more people to the community, which will make it easier to recruit human resources and make marketing easier.
I think that the demand for crowdfunding is overwhelmingly higher for tokens compared to equity. In addition to obtaining capital gains, I think it is also an advantage to be able to give utility to tokens. If that happens, I think marketing will definitely become an important world.
So, I think that the number of investors will increase if we fully understand the merits and demerits of tokens and prepare to maximize the merits for the project.
The next question is about the DAOLaunch Advisory Council, which was announced in the release of DAOLaunch. , Could you tell us about your specific role and relationship with DAOLaunch?
Basically, it’s about sharing deals and introducing various connections. For example, it is a network where you can consult about startup support, such as introducing a project or asking if you know any human resources that are in short supply in a project.
In addition, Advisory Council is one of the mechanisms for increasing the depth of advice for projects, such as advising on Tokenomics, introducing influencers and media regarding marketing measures, and introducing funding sources.
I would like to move on to the next question. In February 2022, your company was selected for the startup support program “Microsoft for Startups” provided by Microsoft in the United States.
After all, it is very powerful to introduce various connections, including media and VCs, and Azure credits. We are very grateful that the cost of Azure is reduced. This is already purely helpful as a company.
The person in charge at Microsoft who actually supports us is already very friendly, and I feel very strongly that we must be able to support startups like this.
7. Future of DAOLaunch
This is the last question, but I would like to talk about DAOLaunch about your company’s future development.
This is a highly competitive field, so as DAOLaunch, we will continue to add the NFT farm functions and market functions that we talked about earlier, while taking on various challenges. At the same time, in order to maximize the benefits of exposing the project, I think we should take measures one by one to increase the community of token holders in addition to marketing.
Also, we believe that depending on the level of the project, there will always be projects that require marketing and those that do not. For example, there are different support methods for a project that is about to launch and a project that is still in the preparation stage, so it is necessary to match the project.
Furthermore, as the startup progresses further and reaches the seed round and pre-seed round stages, venture capital and investors with a lot of money will be needed. We think that an approach is also necessary, so we would like to build a different platform for startups in that phase.
Apart from the existing DAOLaunch, I’m thinking of creating a platform based in Dubai where venture capitalists or investors can collect money from LPs (Limited Liability Partners) and operate it.
Regarding this, I can’t talk about the details of the project yet, but in the United States, a mechanism called a rolling fund is currently attracting attention. Simply put, a rolling fund is a mechanism that allows you to continue to collect funds through a quarterly subscription model rather than a lump sum investment.
Based in Dubai, we are thinking of doing a Web3 version of it. We are developing a platform that allows anyone to freely and flexibly scale capital as a venture capital, and provide tools to manage LPs in accordance with Dubai law.
You just said that this is based on Dubai law, but if a Japanese company or individual participates here as a startup, what kind of perception do you have about the law and tax system?
Unfortunately, we haven’t supported any Japanese projects so far, so it’s honestly difficult.
Of course, we also recognize that Japan’s tax system and legal issues are quite difficult at the moment. I’m thinking of creating a method of raising funds by selling NFTs on our platform, and there may be a possibility that we can do something there.
However, the world will not wait for the evolution of the world, so if you want to start a startup in this area, move to a more and more advantageous place, such as Singapore for Asia, Dubai for the Middle East, and Zug, Switzerland for Europe. Because I feel that it is one of the real pleasures of competition.
Also, isn’t it now an era where you can work wherever you are? Of course, I want Japan to do its best, but if there’s something I really want to do, I don’t think there’s any need to wait in Japan anymore. The world keeps moving forward.