Michael Schonfeld and Alex Taub (second row, middle and right) of Upstream meet members of the Web3 startup’s staff.
Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld, two entrepreneurs, formerly created software solutions for the social media explosion. They’re now aiming to supply the plumbing for a new one in the Web3 Wild West.
Following the sale of their prior firm, SocialRank, in early 2020, Taub and Schonfeld launched a new venture, Upstream, and have lately switched Upstream’s focus more to groups using cryptocurrency. They introduced Upstream Collective, a solution to aid in the management of decentralized autonomous groups, in November of this year (or DAOs). They’ve acquired $12.5 million in Series A investment led by Boldstart Ventures to grow after gaining early momentum with consumers.
Tiger Global, Ibex Investors, Vayner Fund, Panoramic Ventures, Alpaca VC, Human Ventures, and Blumberg Capital were among the investors in the round, which valued Upstream at $80 million after investment. Crypto experts such as Fenbushi Capital and The Medici Group also participated.
Upstream refers to its product as a collective, but what it actually provides are tools for managing, and ultimately launching, DAOs, which pool groups of individuals who contribute some wealth, generally by purchasing tokens using bitcoin, in return for voting rights in group decisions.
Today, Upstream Collective allows such groups to bring over and manage their projects; in the coming months, Taub, the startup’s CEO, aims to make establishing new ones as simple as a few clicks.
Upstream and its investors are betting that “DAOs in a box” will become increasingly popular, even if no follow-up song by The Lonely Island is presently planned. According to DeepDAO, the total worth of worldwide DAOs is now more over $8 billion, down from an all-time high of almost $10 billion as the value of prominent cryptocurrencies has declined. Upstream Collective has more than $2 million in test user treasuries; the firm had aimed to conclude last year with $100,000 but ended up with four times that amount.