Australia’s esteemed Web3 founders launch Upside DAO with $5m funding

Kyall Walker, Co-Founder and GM of Upside DAO

Upside, a Web3 focused Investment Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO), has raised $5m in capital to deploy in support of the best Web3 startups, with a focus on Australia. Upside DAO is also announcing the first recipients of its investment funding.

Upside DAO is comprised of some of Australia’s most celebrated Web3 contributors, including firms like Apollo Capital, Banxa, Caleb & Brown, FTX Australia, Ren Protocol, Synthetix, Chainflip, and ZedRun (Virtually Human Studios). The DAO also includes industry specialists like Mike Bacina (Piper Alderman), Luke Bortoli (Afterpay) and Chloe White (Genesis Block).

What is the mission behind Upside DAO?

The group highlights Australia’s strong track record in the Web3 and digital assets industry. The DAO was created to leverage this position of strength by reinvesting the collective capital, capabilities and connections of its members back into the Australian ecosystem.

Upside launches publicly with an impressive portfolio of early investments under its belt across DeFi, Web3 tools, infrastructure, Metaverse and GameFi. Cryptocurrency along with the technology sector more broadly has seen a lot of value wiped out in recent months.

Though these conditions might affect the appetite of retailers to invest, it usually creates the right conditions for finding and backing founders building the next great companies. Upside is not a traditional investment fund. It has been established as a DAO, which means investment decisions and advisory for portfolio teams are coordinated by the members.

Upside’s initial investments include:

  • Reservoir – a developer platform that enables next-generation NFT products to be delivered to market.
  • PrePO – a decentralised synthetic assets exchange allowing anyone, anywhere to gain exposure to any pre-IPO company or pre-token crypto project
  • Mirror Planet – a rich metaverse world overlayed onto real streets and buildings using Google Maps
  • Astro Lab (France) – next generation yield farming using automated, multi-chain strategies

What were the executives’ thoughts on Upside DAO?

“The unification of Australia’s best Web3 expats is a great starting point. To truly capitalise on this generational opportunity broad collaboration will be required. The show of unity from our most seasoned industry participants is a strong signal of the collective’s intention to re-invest into the Australian ecosystem,” said Kyall Walker, Co-Founder and GM of Upside DAO.

“Many of our members have had to go abroad to scale their companies and protocols. We want the next wave of Australian Web3 founders to build global companies from right here.”

“Our investment into local infrastructure such as a Community Hub will go a long way to engaging other sectors. We are in the process of building out a 700m2 co-working, digital gallery and activation space in Cremorne Melbourne. This will act as a melting pot for the likes of Financial Information Services, Gaming and the Arts to come together and support Web3 founders who are building innovative products for consumers,” Kyall Walker further said.

As Apollo Capital Chief Investment Officer Henrik Andersson points out, “A bear market is a perfect time to launch the investment DAO as capital dries up and teams need to look at institutional capital to fund their business ambitions. We are excited to join Upside DAO and work with other like-minded Australian cryptocurrency natives to find, back and support the next generation of remarkable Web3 founders to build great products for users.”

“There is no shortage of great founders right now building the essential tools and emerging products that will grow the Web3 industry. The teams we’ve backed are all exceptional, driven and resourceful. We believe they’ll uplift many Web3 users in their domains.”