David Angliss, an analyst with Australia’s leading cryptocurrency investment firm, Apollo Capital, shares the fund’s regular take on what’s happening in the fast-changing and volatile cryptocurrency space.

One of Apollo Capital’s recent collaborations has caught a fair bit of press just lately – partly because of its unique premise with a local angle and partly because it’s managed to secure $5 million of capital in quick time.

It’s called Upside DAO. Beyond giving us Stranger Things vibes with that name, it’s essentially a collective of high-profile Australian crypto investors who’ve formed an investment-focused decentralised autonomous organisation.

And that investment focus happens to be on supporting Aussie founders building Web3 projects.

David Angliss tells us more…


Basic premise, and who’s involved?

“So the premise is to invest in, incubate and consult and advise the best up and coming Web3 projects in Australia,” Angliss explained.

“For me, the main story here is really the significance of getting an investment DAO up and running with some of the most successful crypto founders in Australia, and also the potential of the projects it’s investing in.”

Apollo Capital is one of a handful of founding members that also includes crypto brokerage Caleb & Brown; crypto payments operator Banxa, digital horse racing game Zed Run and general manager Kyall Walker – the only paid member of the organisation.

There are several other prominent DAO members, including policy adviser Genesis Block’s managing director Chloe White, founder of decentralised trading platform prePO Xavier Ekkel, and more. You can view the full list here.

Angliss pointed us to a recent article written by Apollo Capital Chief Investment Officer and DAO member Henrik Andersson, which confirms Upside DAO has so far raised $5 million into a unit trust from its founders and members, including Apollo.

The unit trust setup means each unit holder can vote on the decisions of the group in proportion to the amount of their holding.


What are the investments so far?

As for the initial investments, UpsideDAO has already made five, into early-stage Web3 projects. These include:

prePO – a decentralised trading platform with a mission to democratise pre-public equity. (We covered this one in Apollo’s Alpha in September.)

Reservoir – a project focused on the democratisation of NFT liquidity through “open-source, on-chain NFT order aggregation”.

Mirror Planet – the world’s first “explore to earn” GameFi project, which we also covered with Angliss, back in July.

Swell Network – a decentralised liquid staking protocol that, according to Angliss is a “bit like the popular Ethereum staking services Lido DAO and Rocket Pool rolled into one”.

Astrolab – an “omnichain”, lower-risk DeFi yield-aggregation protocol that Angliss pointed us to in this column last month.


More about the DAO

Per Andersson’s article, by forming as a DAO, “Upside DAO can manage its community of DAO members to organise, pool and unambiguously deploy capital to investments using a blockchain. Unlike a traditional corporation, Upside DAO avoids centralised leadership and uses tokens to represent member voting rights.”

According to Angliss, Upside DAO has already formed a pretty tight community. So much so, that a floor of a co-working space in Melbourne’s Cremorne is now a dedicated workspace for the DAO, which is “humming with DAO members and Web3 businesses” sharing expertise and resources.

Apollo Capital has presence in the space, as do Mirror Planet, ZedRun, Helix Collective, Possible Ventures and others.

And the DAO’s members have formed specific work groups relating to their areas of expertise within Web3 – for example DeFi, NFT and GameFi.


‘Only investing in the strongest new projects’

“It feels like the start of a really exciting Australian crypto community, with a Melbourne epicentre,” enthused Angliss, adding that the DAO is “only investing in the strongest up and coming projects being developed in Australia with a global mindset.”

“We’re talking DeFi, DAO, GameFi, Metaverse, Web3 infrastructure protocols – so that’s where the alpha mainly lies here for retail investors,” he noted, adding:

“And if a project’s received investment from Upside DAO, it means it’s gone through a pretty rigorous process of screening and fundamental analysis.”

Speaking of alpha, he strongly advises following the DAO’s general manager, Kyall Walker on Twitter.

Can retail investors take part in the DAO? 

“The way it’s structured, is like a private, invite-only investment model,” explained Angliss. Applications can be made through a form on the website, however.

“There’s definitely an appetite to raise more money, but there’s no retail investment focus at this stage,” said the Apollo analyst.


Doubling down on next-gen Aussie Web3 startups

We’ll give the final word to Apollo Capital’s Henrik Andersson, who noted that by becoming a founding member of Upside DAO, Apollo Capital is “doubling down” on the future success of crypto startups in Australia. And is doing so “through active involvement in governance and a physical presence on the incubator floor”.

“Apollo Capital will be working alongside, consulting to and investing in all of the next-generation Australian projects soon to shape the Web3 world.”


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