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May 1, 2024


By Sam Rosenblum

Today, I’m proud to announce that Haun Ventures has led the $5M Seed round for Agora, with participation from Seed Club, Coinbase Ventures, Sina Habibian, Balaji Srinivasan, Credibly Neutral, Packy McCormick, Tim Beiko, Dan Romero, Eva Beylin, Will Price, Liam Horne, Hasu, and more.

At Haun Ventures, we believe effective decentralized coordination will be a key differentiator of the winning protocol ecosystems. In a period of rapid protocol evolution, significant onchain treasuries, and large cohorts of new users, it’s time to unlock at-scale participation in protocol governance through focused software that improves and tracks critical workflows.

Unlike in prior eras of the web, we’re now working with and building upon globally open, composable, and economically empowered protocols. The super power of this model—the self-improving and self-perpetuating nature of the protocols—comes directly from the community ownership and governance that protocol-native tokens enable. Whereas traditional internet protocols like HTTP and SMTP tended to be developed and maintained by small groups of academics or hobbyists, token-backed protocols can catalyze ongoing participation from a broad set of ecosystem participants.

Decentralized protocol governance allows stakeholders of a given ecosystem (i.e., holders of the token) to participate in decision making around software upgrades, resource allocation, and more, resulting in economic alignment among ecosystem developers and users. For example, we’ve recently seen a decentralized group of token-holders empowered to vote in a grants committee and administer tens of millions of dollars in public goods funding.

And yet, despite its importance and inherent advantages, protocol governance tooling has largely remained an underserved market. Like the days of CRM before Salesforce, token governance solutions today often consist of a cobbled together set of various third-party open source and internal tools that don’t effectively serve the nuances of productively coordinating a decentralized community.

Enter Agora.

Agora is a full stack protocol governance solution—including frontend application, smart contract platform, and native treasury—already used today by leading protocols such as Optimism, Uniswap, ENS, and Lyra

Agora was founded in 2022 by Yitong Zhang, Charlie Feng, and Kent Fenwick, who initially started working on governance tooling together through their involvement in Nouns, one of the most active onchain governance communities. But the trio has a long shared history prior to that. 

Yitong is a crypto-native designer and community builder, having been a staff product designer at Coinbase and co-creator of VectorDAO. Yitong and Charlie previously cofounded Hemingly. Charlie then went on to cofound Clearco, where he was the business and finance mind behind what became a multibillion dollar fintech. Kent is a rare engineer with deep knowledge across growth and product, who tapped into the 2014 crypto scene before going on to work with Charlie as VP of Growth, then VP of Product at Clearco.

We’re proud to be partnering with them to tackle this opportunity. If you’re passionate about token-powered protocol governance and are interested in teaming up, check out their open roles

This post is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities or to pursue any particular investment strategy. This post should not be relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment or any particular investment strategy. You should consult your own advisers as to business, financial, tax, legal, and all other related matters concerning any investment. The views expressed in this post reflect the current opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Haun Ventures Management LP or its affiliates. Certain information in this post may have been obtained from third-party sources, including portfolio companies of Haun Ventures. While taken from sources that the authors believe to be reliable, Haun Ventures has not independently verified the accuracy of such information. Content is as of the date posted and subject to change without notice. Haun Ventures makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of information or its appropriateness for any given situation. Please see for additional important information.