Solana-based Grape protocol raises $1.2 million in seed funding

Quick Take

  • Grape protocol, which provides tools for DAOs, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.
  • The protocol was also the reason why Solana went offline for 17 hours last week, as demand for its first token sale crashed the blockchain.

Grape Network, a Solana-based "DAO infrastructure" protocol has raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round. 

The round was led by Multicoin Capital, with participation from SkyVision Capital, Definitive Capital, LongHash Ventures, Double Peak Group, and Solana Capital.

The seed funding round comes soon after Grape raised $600,000 via a so-called IDO (initial DEX offering) on Raydium AcceleRaytor, a crowdfunding platform. In an IDO, a blockchain project makes a token's first public debut on a DEX (in this case, Raydium) to raise funds from retail investors.

But it was chaotic. The IDO caused Solana's outage last week since too many participants, including bots, tried to participate in it, which created a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on the network. At its peak, the blockchain was trying to handle 400,000 transactions per second.

Like its IDO, Grape's seed funding round was also raised via a token sale, the protocol's core contributor Dean Pappas told The Block. With fresh capital at hand, Grape plans to double its current team of 10, said Pappas.

"The demand for our toolset has surpassed every expectation, and we need to double the team size to handle the demand and still develop towards our roadmap," he said.

Grape provides tools for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to help them manage their communities more efficiently. Pappas said most DAOs use Telegram and Discord today, which can be "confusing and jarring."

"The goal of our tools is to direct attention, organize groups and committees more efficiently, and incentivize work that directly advances a community's mission," he added.

Grape's first tool, Grape Access, lets DAOs provide exclusive access to community members based on their wallets balances. It does so by connecting their social accounts to their cryptographic keys. "With Grape Access and our workplace module, DAOs can identify real contributors and delegate responsibilities to further the organization's goals," said Pappas.

The Grape protocol is currently only focused on serving the Solana ecosystem. Some popular Solana projects using the protocol include Saber Labs, Degen Ape Academy, SolanaMonkeyBusiness, and others.

Pappas said Grape is working on releasing more tools for DAOs, including an "intra-DAO payments system" that will allow DAOs to program faster token payments.

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