The Funding Platform provides the lubricant which helps individuals, communities, projects, and businesses positively transition through each stage of their development – with the ultimate goal of each entity achieving escape velocity and self-sufficiency as soon as possible.
At scale, a successful Funding Platform distributes more than 50M $NEAR per year and ensures that aggregate funding activity across the ecosystem is many multiples of this number. All funding activity takes place via highly specialized and decentralized vehicles, teams and individuals rather than the Funding Team itself in order to improve targeting, access and accountability.
The Funding Team drives some activities within the control of the NF (eg NF grant allocations, NF direct funding and VC fund allocations) as well as supports other activities which take place outside the NF’s discretionary allocations (eg community-driven mechanisms, DAOs, etc) by providing templates, accountability frameworks, legal documentation and seed capital.
Below are core theses that anchor the platform:
- A well-funded ecosystem supports each corner of the Creator Triangle – Defi is supported with liquidity incentives, Creators are supported with active NFT markets and Communities are supported with funding to bootstrap themselves to sustainability.
- Tech, components and products that support the ecosystem at large, for example new node clients, standards or integrations, have easy access to milestone-based financing.
- Community efforts are supported via rapid small funding for new ideas, people and experiments and more deliberate funding for larger or longer term initiatives.
- Key deals or partners are financed with milestone-based growth incentives.
The Funding team supports this in several ways. First, it presents a quarterly thesis which drives its macro allocation of capital and assesses the areas of risk and opportunity. Next, it uses its Ecosystem Fund allocation to drive targeted funding in areas not well covered by community-driven efforts, for example delegation to support decentralization or supporting incentive mechanisms to drive useful behaviors. Finally, it supports the community-driven efforts by putting in place accountability mechanisms and frameworks to ensure strategically riskier funding decisions are vetted and have the appropriate amount of ongoing oversight.
Success means that NEAR’s ecosystem has such clear and rapid access to funding that any reasonable developer or entrepreneur can devote the lionshare of their time to building world changing technology or apps while being totally confident they will be funded if their project creates sufficient momentum.