DAO Maker (not to be confused with Maker DAO) is the growth solutions provider and blockchain project launchpad behind some of this year’s most successful projects — including Orion Protocol, My Neighbor Alice, LaunchX and DAFI Protocol.
What Is DAO Maker (DAO)?
DAO Maker is a growth technologies provider that creates SaaS solutions for nascent and growing crypto startups. Its flagship product is the DAO Pad, a multi-investment platform that allows DAO token holders to participate in early-stage token sales for stringently vetted upcoming projects.
Some of the most prominent projects launched via DAO Maker include My Neighbor Alice (ALICE), Orion Protocol (ORN), Seascape Network (CWS) and Infinity Pad (IPAD). A full list of projects and their performance is listed on the DAO Maker website.
Besides its popular DAO Pad product, DAO Maker also provides a range of additional services to nascent blockchain-based projects. These include incubation services, operations and advisory services, and another of its flagship products — social mining. Projects can use social mining to reward value-adding community members with their native token — helping to raise awareness, incentivize participation, increase liquidity and grow the number of holders.
The platform is powered by its native utility token, known as DAO. The token is used to participate in token sales on the DAO Pad platform, and can also be staked to earn a yield via one of DAO Maker’s vaults. The token will also be used for community governance in the near future.
DAO Maker is the brainchild of co-founders Christoph Zaknun, the platform's CEO and an early mover in the initial coin offering (ICO) space, and Giorgio Marciano (CTO), a heavily experienced entrepreneur and IT engineer with over 13 years of experience in software development. The two co-founders are joined by other C-level staff, notably including Hassan Sheikh (CMO), a former lecturer in Mathematics and experienced business strategist.
How Does DAO Maker Work?
Like most modern blockchain project launchpads, DAO Maker requires that users lock up a fixed minimum number of DAO tokens in order to participate in launches.
As of writing, users must stake at least 500 DAO in DAO Maker’s vaults. Users will receive 1 DAO power for every DAO staked. Users can also triple their DAO power by staking DAO-USDC Uniswap LP tokens instead. By staking DAO, users also earn a yield in the form of a selected project token, e.g. Evolution (EVN), Yield Protocol (YIELD), Open Ocean (OOE), etc.
This DAO power is used to participate in DAO Maker’s strong holder offerings (SHOs), SEED sales or dynamic coin offerings (DYCOs) — the latter of which is a type of partially refundable token sale method.
Users allocate their DAO power to the sale they want to participate in. This then enters them into a lottery to win an allocation. The more DAO power a user allocates to a sale, the better their chances of winning. According to the official guidelines, users are separated into one of five tranches depending on the number of DAO spent, these tranches are:
- Tranche 1: 500–999 DAO Power
- Tranche 2: 1,000–1,999 DAO Power
- Tranche 3: 2,000–3,999 DAO Power
- Tranche 4: 4,000–9,999 DAO Power
- Tranche 5: 10,000+ DAO Power
Each tranche brings with it an increased chance of winning.
If a user wins a participation slot, their allocation will be automatically funded by their USD Coin (USDC) balance, and their DAO power will be locked for 10 days — after which it resets. Unsuccessful users will be free to spend their DAO power again right away.
Besides the DAO Pad, DAO Maker is also developing a new flagship product known as Venture Bonds. This will allow users to purchase bonds from startups, following which DAO Maker will deploy their funds to overcollateralized DeFi and CeFi lending markets to earn a yield. This yield is then distributed to startups to finance their growth and development, while bond purchasers earn project tokens and/or equity in return.
Once the bond matures, users will receive their funds back and will keep any yields they have accrued in the form of project tokens or equity.
As it stands, DAO Maker's DAO Pad, Vault and Social Mining features are online, but the development of a number of other products is ongoing. According to the official roadmap, the platform is scheduled to launch the beta version of its Venture Bonds product in Q3 2021, and will begin supporting equity offerings by Q2 2022.
How Are Infinity Pad and DAO Maker Related?
Infinity Pad is a decentralized launchpad platform designed to help launch and grow highly sought-after projects building in the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem. The platform is set to leverage DAO Maker's white label Chainmaker kit to access all of its current and future products and features. Infinity Pad will also have access to DAO Maker's registered and KYCed user base.
In short, Infinity Pad is the first platform to leverage DAO Maker's chainmaker kit and aims to be the first launchpad incubator on BSC.
What Makes DAO Maker Unique?
Despite offering a full range of both B2B and B2C products, DAO Maker is best known for the DAO Pad and DAO Maker token (DAO). As such, it’s best to compare it with competing token sale platforms — including Polkastarter, PAID Ignition and BSC Pad.
Some of the main distinguishing features that separate it from these platforms currently include:
Owing to years of experience in the blockchain space (since 2017), DAO Maker has been exposed to a diverse range of blockchain projects. It has also worked with several at the incubation level, providing the team behind the platform with a deep understanding of what it takes to build a successful product.
This manifests as highly stringent selection criteria for projects looking to launch on DAO Pad — with only the highest quality projects making the cut. The result is an impressive track record for its token launches with even the worst-performing token sale achieving at least 3x the SHO price, while the best performers have achieved well in excess of 100x returns at their all-time highest value (e.g. Orion Protocol).
With the sizable number of users looking to participate in IDOs, many launchpads opt to give as many people as possible a chance to participate by keeping the allocation per person relatively low. While this provides certainty, the absolute returns from each project can be low.
DAO Maker, on the other hand, focuses on ensuring each winning participant gets a relatively high allocation — usually $500 to $1,000 per person (depending on the project). In many cases, these tokens are 100% unlocked at their token generation event (TGE), whereas others are partially vested over a defined period of time.
DAO Maker is unusual among token launchpads in that it also provides a full range of other services to many of its hosted projects to help maximize their chances of success. This might include helping to modify its tokenomics to make it more sustainable, assisting with community building, sourcing market makers and exchange partnerships, as well as a variety of other advisory services.
DAO Maker has made accessing early-stage investments a simple process by providing a single entry route via the DAO token. Anybody with a fully verified account that has staked at least 500 DAO tokens will be eligible to enter the lottery to win a slot in their selected project.
The DAO token is one of the few launchpad tokens that is non-inflative. The total supply is capped at 312 million and this number will not be increased. Instead, the rewards provided by each yield vault are contributed by DAO Maker ecosystem partners.
How Does DAO Maker Compare With Polkastarter?
Right now, DAO Maker partially competes with both blockchain incubators and token launchpads. However, Polkastarter stands out as arguably its major competitor today.
Though the platforms are similar in that they require users to stake tokens in order to potentially access early-stage investments, the way they go about this differs somewhat.
For example, Polkastarter requires users to hold their POLS tokens for at least seven days before they are able to register for an IDO, whereas DAO Maker does not enforce any wait time. Moreover, DAO Maker handles the KYC and registration process for all projects, whereas this is generally handled independently by each project launching on Polkastarter (at least for now).
Polkastarter also primarily hosts a small final raise for VC-backed projects, whereas DAO Maker typically handles a larger public raise for its projects — ensuring that participants get their tokens at comparable rates to earlier-stage investors.
Both platforms currently support projects building on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) but have plans to support projects launching on other blockchains soon. Finally, both platforms generally produce a positive ROI for investments, but the average ROI of DAO Maker projects is currently almost double that on Polkastarter ones.