DeFi Partnerships & Integrations Strategy

Special thanks to posts from:
@BigSky7 - Business Development & Partnerships Strategy
@gregdocter - [Notes] “DeFi Citadels” by Ryan Watkins
@Metfanmike - DPI Institutional Sales Strategy
@puniaviision - A Proposed Product Philosophy
@LemonadeAlpha - Proposing a Growth Working Group (Pt. II)
@DevOnDeFi - Accounting for client Life Time Value (LTV) in growth experiements
@Martin - Rebranding Index Coop - Sequencing our DNA
@setoshi - An Expanded Vision of Index Coop
@DarkForestCapital - Index Coop’s Guiding Principles

Additional thanks to:
@reganbozman - Growth strategy insights


With the second iteration of the Growth Working Group (GWG) in the pipeline. I believe it is important to create a DeFi Partnerships & Integrations Strategy to increase the likelihood of success with our GWG activities. This strategy relates to both inbound and outbound partnerships & integrations.


“To create privileged partnerships & integrations with unforkable utility”


Privileged partnerships & integrations - These are partnerships & integrations with platforms & protocols that are industry leaders. Measured by: users; community size; TVL; protocol volume & level of innovation.

Unforkable utility - These are partnerships or integrations that generate so much value for both parties that it would be irrational not to pursue the partnership or integration.


To establish 20 unforkable partnerships & integrations in 2021.

Guiding Principles:

Being first - In order to develop a competitive advantage and keep with our broader principle of being innovative we need to be first in establishing relationships with the most innovative DeFi projects in the industry.

Thinking long-term - Besides thinking of short-term value creation, we need to consider the long-term potential benefits of our partnerships & integrations. DeFi projects are constantly evolving and innovating, we need to be perfectly positioned to benefit from new developments in the industry.

Mutual value-creation - In order to create unforkable utility it is crucial that value creation is mutual. We should strive to grow alongside our partners.

Measurable Metrics:

  • No. of DeFi partnerships & integrations
  • TVL of established partnerships & integrations


Engineering - For the time being we have access to limited engineering resources.

Financial - We are bound by the GWG budget granted by treasury.

Industry Cycle - We are operating in an extremely innovative industry therefore we will be hindered by the fact that industry participants are still in the process of refining their products and innovations.

Regulation/Legal - Regulatory requirements coupled with a changing regulatory environment have the potential to hinder partnership & integration opportunities.

Human Resources - For the time being we are in the process of creating a framework to retain and acquire human capital so capacity to succeed will be limited.

Time - We have set a timeframe of nine months to complete the objective.

Internal Stakeholders:

  1. GWG community members
  2. GWG leaders
  3. Index Coop community members

External Stakeholders:

  1. Product methodologists
  2. Set Labs
  3. Index Coop products holders
  4. Treasury committee
  5. DeFi community
  6. Ethereum community

Key Resources:

  1. Defi Pulse
  2. Debank - DeFi Rankings
  3. Analytics working group
  4. Treasury working group
  5. Index Coop - Partnerships List
  6. Community network & insights
  7. Methodologists’ network & insights

Actionable Processes:

:white_check_mark: 1. Create a list of potential partnerships & integrations
:negative_squared_cross_mark: 2. Create a framework to identify privileged partnerships & integrations
:negative_squared_cross_mark: 3. Create a model to measure the effectiveness of a partnership or integration

Closing Remarks:

  • This strategy is subject to change. I will take the feedback that I receive on this post and include it in the strategy going forward.
  • A detailed timeframe for the processes will be completed once more information is gathered.
  • Inbound and outbound partnerships & integrations have been on-going.
  • I used the SMART criteria for creating the main objective. I learnt how to apply the criteria during a workshop with a leading global management consulting firm.
  • I used these Objective Framework Guidelines and this Objective Framework Template as the foundation of this strategy. I created these resources while working for another start-up. The resources are free to use for anyone who would like to use them.

Disclaimer: This strategy is based on interactions, experience and activities within the GWG, the broader community and the DeFi Industry in general.


Great work @Mringz - this is a huge step forward for us to get this process set in stone.

An important concept that you highlight is the emphasis on unforkable value. This is what will separate us from our competitors. By making our products sticky and deeply integrated into both protocols and fund strategies we will be building long-term and hard to replicate value.

While many of our current partnerships are one-offs or limited in scope, I envision future partnerships as incorporating deep and lasting value that cannot be easily replicated.

Thank you for the hard work putting this together! This will serve as a valuable reference for us moving forward.


@Mringz digging where your head is at with this!

If I’m understanding this right, this is a strategy to guide work within the GWG II, specifically focused on partnerships & integrations. Please correct me if I’m parroting this back incorrectly.

Looking at Actionable Processes one piece you might want to considering add as a new step #3 is “Build the execution playbook while executing.”

One outcome that would be incredible is to have a clear understanding of something like, “these are the N steps to take to close a privileged partnership.”

To me, that ^ looks like steps & scripts/templates.

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@Mringz This is absolute fire.

Measurable Metrics:

  • No. of DeFi partnerships & integrations
  • TVL of established partnerships & integrations

I especially like this because its goal-oriented with directly measurable impact. But you also have the qualitative measures of being first, but long-term oriented and mutually value accretive.

Lastly, the concept sounds so awesome, curious to hear how you define unforkable value! WIth this in mind, curious to hear how you’re thinking about prioritizing the opportunities as well!


This is great @Mringz. I think we’re already making meaningful progress here, with initiatives like the Zerion deal coming together and exchange listings trucking along.

I think the biggest things we need to do to make this successful are

1/ Being really organized and running everything through a single CRM, with clear owners for each relationship

2/ Building a playbook to make this scalable - what works for one community will likely work for others

Excited to keep up momentum here!


Hey @Mringz just requested access to the partnerships list, keen to have a nose through! I’m looking to understand a little more about what defines a partnership vs what is just a thing we did with another project, especially if as Regan says, there is a playbook to ensure we make these one-off events into something longer term and unforkable.

Side note - This is one of the most well laid out posts I think I’ve ever seen on our forum lol. Will be using it as a template where possible, definitely guilty of too much waffle.


You are correct this is a strategy that exists inside GWG II. It serves to increase the chances of success for GWG II and GWG activities going forward.

I would like to build a bottom-up framework around this, based off my current and on-going experiences. I do believe that partnerships operate differently in DeFi so I would like to experiment to see what processes work. It starts by measuring the metrics, then documenting the partnership process, reviewing the results, iterating then repeating the process. I will definitely, be documenting the steps that takes to create a unforkable partnership.

Thanks for the kind words. My goal is to create a model that helps us value potential partnerships then from there we can define what “unforkable value” looks like based on the model.

@BigSky7 @DarkForestCapital @reganbozman Thank you for the comments. I am really curious and excited to see where this process leads. Will definitely take all your points, advice and guidance while trying to execute this strategy.

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To expose to the light of day my own thinking, I strongly disagree here :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I have high-conviction that they are fundamentally similar to how partnerships work in other sectors, and we’d do well to look to “normal” partnership playbooks to guide our own.

I understand that perhaps the specifics are different, but would be shocked if the playbook were fundamentally different.

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I understand where you are coming from and will use existing playbooks as guidance for establishing a framework.

Additionally, I do not want to be so rigid when approaching partnerships and integrations for the following reasons:

  1. Restricts us from exploring potential opportunities
  2. Conflicts with our guiding principle of being innovative
  3. We are operating in a fundamentally new sector so no industry standards have been set for optimal operations

Hi I’m new and amazed by the project and community. Love this game plan!!


welcome @bellost :wave: come join us in Discord if you haven’t already:

#business-development might be a good channel to focus on for starters.