Proposing a Business Development Working Group

Title: Proposing a Business Development Working Group
status: Proposed
author: @mringz @bigsky7 @metfanmike @fallow8
Reviewer: @gregdoctor
created: 2021-04- 30

Situation

We are proposing the creation and funding of a Business Development Working Group to run for a three-month period ending August 15, 2021.

What is the core problem(s) you want to solve?

  • Index Coop will benefit from an independent business development working group. Up to this point, BD has fallen under the Growth Working Group. When our community was still small, this arrangement worked. However, both working groups have grown significantly and oversee increasingly complex operations. The current arrangement makes it more difficult to:

  • Coordinate outreach efforts

  • Track and manage engagements

  • Fund key initiatives

  • On-board and manage new contributors

  • Execute enterprise-level Initiatives

Why is this worth addressing today?

Over the past six months, our structure has been continually refined and improved. The BD vertical within Growth has accomplished the following items:

  • Obtained a Singapore non-security letter from a global law firm
  • Retained a top market-maker in Karion Labs
  • Received approval for listing on KuCoin (a major global exchange)
  • Partnered with Pool Together for a campaign
  • Partnered with APY Vision for a campaign
  • Listed $DPI on top custodian Fireblocks
  • Produced professional-grade investor materials
  • Met with 15+ DeFi protocols
  • Held conversations with 15+ institutional investors/ custodians/OTC desks to generate awareness of DPI and lay the groundwork for formal two-way partnerships
  • On-boarded numerous silver and bronze owls

Today, Index Coop is experiencing explosive growth. We are on the verge of becoming a major player within both DeFi and crypto. Over the next six months, we will execute major enterprise level partnerships, on-board world class institutions, and bring our products to the world.

In order to do this, we need a business development working group with ownership and direct accountability for exchange listings, investor relations, partnerships, and integrations. Operating as an independent working group enables continued growth while ensuring the maximum level of accountability around our core KPIs.

Activities that BD will oversee:

  1. Exchange Listings // Wallet Integrations
  • Core Hypothesis: High quality exchange listings drive retail consumer adoption
  • Initiatives: Aggressively pursue Tier 1 listings and wallet partnerships
  1. DeFi Partnerships & Integrations
  1. Investor Relations

What will BD be doing in Q2?

1. Aggressively pursue exchange listings, partnerships, and investor relations to further the reach of Index Coop and grow AUM

  1. Focus and organize the BD DAO function
  2. Act as the official DAO representative for external BD engagement
  3. Develop deep relationships across all functions in the DeFi ecosystem
  4. Identify and execute partnership opportunities that bring long-term non-forkable value to the community

2. Establish battle-tested processes for executing enterprise-level initiatives

  1. Develop a framework for managing interactions with ecosystem partners
  2. Ensure that in-bound and out-bound conversations are effectively managed
  3. Build out in-bound interest pages on our website
  4. Ensure best-in class materials are maintained a collated for easy access across the DAO

3. Build a world-class Business Development team

  1. Focus on attracting and retaining the best talent across DeFi
  2. Establish a culture of winning and growth where every team member is valued and empowered to contribute in high leverage ways
  3. Develop a framework for on-boarding and developing new community members

What impact will this project have?

The BD Working Group strives to be the model for maximum accountability and ownership. BD’s impact will be measured on IC’s North Star and Core KPI.

Key Performance Indicators

This working group will be focused on the following KPIs.

  • Token Holder
  • **uTLV
  • Coop Cumulative Revenue
  • TVL

What is listed below are the initiatives that we believe will drive these outcomes.

Exchange listings

  • Tier-1 Exchange Listings
    • Enable a global audience to access our core suite of products
    • Tier-1 Exchange is considered FTX, CoinBase, Gemini, Binance, and Huobi

DeFi Partnerships & Integrations

  • Listing collateral on borrowing & lending protocols:
    • Enables users to lend our products to earn additional yield
    • Enables users to deposit our products as collateral for loans
  • Listing on L2 scaling solutions:
    • Allows for low fee trading of our products
    • Allows for low fee acquisition of our products
  • Co-incentivising liquidity:
    • Enables users to earn additional rewards from holding our products
    • Enables users to enter into larger positions
    • Strengthen value proposition for pitches to institutional buyers and exchanges

Investor Relations

  • Maximize institutional exposure to the Index Cooperative product suite

    • Host webinars to introduce institutional investors to Index Cooperative product themes (e.g, Metaverse, Decentralized Finance).
    • Launch an Index Cooperative-hosted event series to attract an audience of both DeFi natives and TradFi industry professionals, thereby creating awareness of both the DeFi/Metaverse themes and Index as the go-to provider of ETPs. We aim to be the central node in the community.
    • Speak on third-party-hosted panels to showcase Index Cooperative as the leading asset management player in the crypto index space.
    • Create resources to educate potential investors and also keep current investors informed on performance.
    • Develop relationships with as many custodians and OTC desks as possible to improve liquidity to DPI, enhance trade execution, increase ownership, and facilitate the purchase process for institutional investors bought into the DeFi theme who do not yet have a custodial account set up. We are hopeful that this can be a revenue generating effort as well as we refer new customers to custodians.
  • On-boarding INDEX investors

    • Help coordinate and execute strategic capital raises and execute future treasury diversification rounds.

Request for funding

Proposed Budget:

We are asking the Treasury Working group to allocate $274,000 to the BD WG for 3 months. Each core contributor will be paid 146 $INDEX per month ($6000 monthly salary / $41 Index Price).

This is a conservative budget. There is a chance that we may require more funding to support further exchange listings. If that is the case, a request for more funding will be made through a public forum post.

Notes:

  • Events / Conferences / Webinars. Our Investor Relations team plans to attend an industry conference and host 1-2 DeFi events in strategic locations (e.g., NYC). This is a conservative estimate for the price of these events and may change as these plans are adapted to the changing global situation.

  • Contributor Rewards: We expect to continue to attract top-talent to the BD working group outside of the three core contributors. This allocation gives us the flexibility to reward and retain high-leverage community members as needed.

Multi-Sig

The Business Development Gnosis Multi-Sig will have 5 connected wallets and all transactions will require 3/5 signers. The connected wallets will be: BigSky, Mrignz, Fallow8, MetFanMike, Fire (or another treasury committee representative). Once funded, the multi-sig address will be published to the community for easy monitoring.

Organization - How will it work?

The BD working group will be led by BigSky, three core contributors, and advised by one member of Set Protocols. This working group will be directly accountable to the community for the execution of the goals listed above.

Other members will be welcome to participate and help out as appropriate.

Working Group Leader(s)

  • Leader: BigSky

    • Experience: Full-time community contributor & Gold-owl contributor
    • Responsibilities: Overall communication and context setting. Enable each vertical leader to execute.
    • Directly responsible to the Index Coop community for this working group
  • Core Contributor: Metfanmike

    • Experience: Silver owl contributor
    • Responsibilities: Managing and facilitating investor relations and exchange listings
  • Core Contributor: Mringz

    • Experience: Silver-owl contributor
    • Responsibilities: Managing and facilitating DeFi partnership & integrations across the DeFi ecosystem.
  • Core Contributor: Fallow8

    • Experience: Silver owl contributor
    • Responsibilities:Managing and facilitating investor relations and exchange listings

Additional Information

  • Timeline: This working group will begin operations on May 15, 2021 and run until August 15, 2021

How will you interface with the community?

  • The BD Working Group will hold weekly meetings
  • Progress will be communicated broadly to the Cooperative with a slide during weekly Context Meetings.
  • We will publish a monthly BD Progress report to the forum outlining progress on the core goals outlined above
  • All official work will be documented on Notion
  • The BD Discord Channel will be used for routine communication

Commitments

I am committed to Index Coop principles

I am committed to serving the entire Index Coop with my work.

I am committed to open, rapid communication: I know that clear, constant, public communication lifts up the entire Index Coop community. I am committed to this style of communication.

Shared learnings: I will share my progress, learnings with the entire community. I will ensure that anything I create is accessible beyond my own tenure for future generations of Indexers to access & build on.

Intellectual honesty: I am committed to growth and improvement. I am open to feedback and will use feedback to improve my work for the benefit of the entire Coop community.

I am committed to making Index Coop a welcoming, fun, and engaging community to work in!

  • Yes - Establish a Business Development Working Group
  • No - Do not establish a Business Development Working Group

0 voters

10 Likes

Great team, that will do great things for the Coop. Happily voting yes and encourage others to do so as well.

3 Likes

I can only support this. From my experience it is very important to stay flexible in case of organisational structure. We have to adapt, discuss and try things out.
Some of you also know about the Creative & Design Work Group which I am part of. Have the same feeling of need to form new org structure.
Even with onboarding more and more motivated coop members we really have to keep things organised without getting into bureaucracy.
And with this constellation of individuals I have not a single doubt to go for it.
Great weekend to you all.
M.

3 Likes

Dope to see this. Dope indeed.

FOR.

About time; well written and framed; couldn’t think of better Owls; excited to see it happen.

Keep up the great work BDz!!!

Great work @BigSky7 - and @Mringz @Metfanmike @fallow8.

:flight_departure:

5 Likes

Definitely in favor of this. Excited to see you guys absolutely kill it in this space!

5 Likes

Agree with this! 80/20 Principle applied on this proposal. Let’s make it work

2 Likes

The tasks described are best done now and the team is geared to do them. Delivering for the coop will be huge and worth the investment.

Which parts of the budget will fall within the multi-sig and will the treasury committee be consulted on all spends? Just seems a potential bottleneck. However, I am in favour of the multi-sig approach in general.

Make sure to send any one-pagers and pitch decks over to #language-ops so they can be ready when needed!

1 Like

Fully support guys - tonnes of potential here. Have hit the ‘vote for’ button!

2 Likes

hey @BigSky7, thanks everyone for putting this together.

some concerns on my end in regards to the budget and the structure of compensation.

  1. Proposed compensation structure differs from all the other WGs, where the lead (maybe co-lead as well) have fixed compensation in $ terms, not INDEX, with the remaining contributors being compensated from the Treasury. I would prefer that we maintain consistency across WGs. Whether we adjust compensation for all other WGs to bring them in line with this proposal or the other way around is up to the community.

  2. The overall budget is pretty vague. You budget $120k for tier 1 exchange listing. Is that realistic? What are the fees for FTX, CoinBase, Gemini, Binance, and Huobi? Shouldn’t we know that? Do we need $30k for conferences? Do we have any data that institutions are ready to buy on-chain products? I feel like other WG proposals had a more comprehensive plan for their initiatives and associated costs. Basically, I think you are asking too little to move the dial and too much for things that won’t do so.

Voted no for the above reasons. I absolutely support the formation of the BDWG but the financials need more work in my opinion.

2 Likes

Awesome proposal - I voted Yes and am strongly in favour of creating this group as I think it can really move the dial for Index Coop. Great level of thought and detail has gone into this post.

Fantastic budget, @BigSky7 the first WG lead to integrate this template without being asked! We just levelled up and now the bar is set :fire:

I would like to make a few little comments. Can we get a bit more detail around the list of exchanges we are targeting, respective budget for each one and then similar for the other listed items. Maybe the costs don’t lend themselves very well this way, so maybe one-off costs are listed by name. Also, I am going to assume once an exchange listing are in the mix, then like KuCoin those larger one-off costs are not listed here. But will emerge in time ?

Don’t hesitate to list out the details for what you know and then add a miscellaneous item for things not yet flushed out enough to have a budget but you have a feel will come. (Travel/Conference may fall into this category)

I do agree with this from AG. I think we will need to revisit this next funding round and look at changing the format. For now, let’s keep everything USD and then pay contributors in INDEX like other groups. Just so every group is the same for this cycle. Nothing against the idea, just the timing in the implementation is all.

3 Likes

Been a long time (in DeFi at least) coming, glad to see this spin out as a working group. I have a couple of specific points to raise:

  1. As identified by Verto and Matthew above the exchanges listings budget is a little vague, but for me the question is how does it fit with the $100k going to GWG for the same thing. Have you and Lemonade put your heads together to flesh out exactly what needs funding and who is responsible/how it’s split between the groups? As with the original $100k for Regan to pursue listings, I’m fully in support of this but think we can tighten up the execution a little. This sort of leads me on to…

  2. I heard you say on a call the other day that really we just need one tier 1 exchange, i.e Coinbase and that focused partnerships are much more impactful. Are you able at this point to nail down what the roadmap is for BD for the next 3 months, or is the nature of the work naturally quite scattergun?

I guess what I’m saying is can you lay out a plan that says 'attend Consensys 2021, target DPI on Coinbase, hold conference in Decentraland etc etc. Be specific rather than having the team just see what sticks. Perhaps this isn’t the best approach for BD work I don’t know, but keen to hear your thoughts.

  1. With the $6k flat salary do we lose the ability to reward the most impactful work? Is that intentional?
2 Likes

This was raised by @verto0912 and echoed by @Matthew_Graham. The idea was to lock in an Index price and allow leaders to participate in value accrual to Index for their efforts and was something with precedent in the Coop (See GWGI). I think that’s well understood and both of you are coming from a place of wanting consistency for each cluster of Working Groups. From that perspective, totally understood and we’re ok to revert to USD for Leaders.

However, we’d like to propose that’s how we compensate Leaders going forward. It makes sense for them to participate in upside/downside of price variation if they’re driving initiatives that will affect that. The Treasury is currently perfectly hedged to handle that because it’s denominated in INDEX (and that will still largely be the case, even after the OTC sale to partially diversify).

These points are well taken. We were trying to strike a balance between a) requesting a large amount now that would likely generate sticker shock and hold us up on leaner short-term operations and b) reducing the frequency with which we come back requesting funds. Two categories you both discuss above are Exchange Listings and Conferences/Webinars/Hosted Events.

  1. Exchange Listings

This has generated some concern lately from the community so I will lay out what makes it complicated to budget, our current thinking as a group, and why we landed on our (admittedly imperfect) number.

Budgeting Difficulty

These partnerships produce some ballooning and variable costs that are tough to estimate. I’m pulling a few bullets directly from an older post by @reganbozman that help illustrate that point.

  • Legal fees for non-security letters (ranges from ~$5K for Singapore to ~$80K for US)
  • Payments to market makers to provide liquidity for DPI (~$10-$20K per month)
  • Listing fees (~$20K-$400K)
  • Marketing budgets for marketing promotions associated with a listing (~$5K-$10K)

Based on Regan’s estimates, a given listing can vary from ~$40k to ~$500k. A greater complication is that these costs can be incurred at different stages along a months-long process.

Current Status and Strategy

As everyone knows, we’re currently deep into the KuCoin listing process. We started there because of the relative ease and cost of a Singapore letter and it’s a significant signal to the market. The next step is to tier up and out (geographically). Our options will be made much clearer by the results of the first week or two of liquidity. This is because many exchanges won’t give a token a look unless/until it has consistent trailing liquidity of $6MM/day, based on our discussion last week with Kairon Labs. Our DEX volume alone is fairly close to that, but the thinking is that DEX volume + anything other than a disastrous KuCoin launch will put us in a much better spot to be prioritized for listing elsewhere. We will approach or continue conversations with all of the names listed, but which one emerges as the top priority remains TBD.

Basis for Estimate

Legal ($10k-$80k) - We intend to begin legal work on the “next” jurisdictions (Europe and the US) to open up more business. Speaking only for myself, I think it’s worth going full bore on a US security letter but generally accept the pushback that that isn’t worth doing unless we have more clarity on a US exchange listing that requires that.

Market making costs ($10k per month) - We’ve set this aside in case this group’s funds need to support this for Kucoin and also prospectively for the next listing, but would agree with the feedback that firmer coordination with GWGII to clarify would be helpful.

Listing Fee ($40k) - Realistically, we know if we have a meaningful listing fee to pay, that the community would fund it, but wanted some room to cover the lower end without a separate ask.

Marketing Fees ($10k) - Similar thinking to listing fees.

Verto and Fire, I think this was the right call-out and appreciate your demand for a little more here. It’s a challenge to strike a balance for something that is 1) so needed for our products 2) so difficult to budget for and 3) will require some level of opacity because there are negotiations with an entity involved. I can say that I’m getting much more involved in this personally and so in some respects am getting up to speed but will commit to conversations, iteration, and improvement for communication around the project.

  1. Events/Conferences/Webinars/Coop-Hosted Events

To @Matthew_Graham ’s point about listing what we know.

Bitcoin Miami - We think we should have representation here. Custodians and investors have asked if we will have a presence and it will be the first major crypto conference after many are coming off of lockdown. Travel/lodging/tickets for up to three will run ~ $5-$7k

Coop-Hosted Events - We’re already working on an NYC-based speaker series and hoping to squeeze two in during the WG period. Given we have boots on the ground in Singapore we’re also discussing doing something there. ~$10k

The remaining $15k is to allow for geographic expansion of hosted events, hosting/creation/sponsorship costs for webinars, and allow for the possibility of attending another conference.

Can you provide more detail here? We reviewed all other working group proposals. In many ways, GWGII is the only comparable one. Analytics, Treasury, and Design all request for contributor rewards, leader stipends, and either licenses or gas costs but no specific project requests. GWGI used the “experiment” format that was ultimately abandoned by the GWG leaders for GWGII. In GWGII, there’s a line item of $100k for Exchange Listings with little other explanation. I agree that the bar should be raised, but don’t see what you’re suggesting about greater detail from other working group proposals.

4 Likes

This is a great point and good feedback. The idea is for BD to assume Exchange Listings going forward from GWG. We can circle up with Lemonade to more precisely disaggregate what’s already been granted and what we’re requesting.

I’ll refer you to my reply to @Matthew_Graham and @verto0912. I gave more specifics, but with Exchange Listings especially there is more strategy to hash out and it is optimal to approach several at once. We’re definitely open to sharing more of the roadmap (though I actually don’t want to publicly post Exchange Listing strategies by name), but also were matching the format and detail of previous WG posts. Also…adding “host a conference in Decentraland” to that roadmap =)

We were largely matching the format of other WG proposals. One thing that is under consideration is scaling compensation, but that does broach some regulatory concerns. In my view, the compensation for leaders is intended to cover leading efforts and building infrastructure. One output could be a structure for that kind of compensation but a lot of what we’re going to be doing is building out the capacity and process as we go. Curious for @BigSky7’s thoughts on this.

3 Likes

This is a really good line of questioning and something we need to talk about. Here are my thoughts about working groups and the role of core contributors -

  1. Each working group in the Coop should have one clear leader and 2-3 core contributors. This keeps the groups small, focused, and efficient. Too often we see big working groups lose focus and accountability. We want small groups that come together and aggressively drive things forward for 3-4 months.

  2. Working groups should be led by established members of the Coop with a long track record and a history of meaningful contributions. If someone doesn’t have time to make weekly meetings, organize and execute on projects, or is spread thin across multiple roles, they should not be in charge of working groups.

  3. The 2-3 core contributors should be established community members. The core contributors within working groups should be clearly identified and known to the community. If you are a core contributor in a working group the expectation is that you are visible to the community and driving outcomes. I consider this is one of the most important leadership positions within the Coop.

  4. The DAO is open to all and community members are encouraged to help out with different working groups. However, the WG Leader and the core contributors will always be the ones directly responsible to the community.

With that laid out - here is how I think about compensation

  1. WG are expected to be either full-time contributors or Golden Owls. Ideally they will have done a cycle as a Core Contributor for an existing WG (In much the same way that I spent a WG cycle working in Growth Working Group under @reganbozman and @LemonadeAlpha ). $8k a month or the full-time compensation package is a good place to start when thinking about this.

  2. Core Contributors should be established community members who are a known quantity to the Coop. Ideally they will have contributed for several months and know the structure of the Coop. These community members are the key drivers for the success or failure of each working groups. They are leaders within the community and have demonstrated a high level of ownership.

  1. $5000 - $7000 paid in Index a month is the appropriate range for this level of commitment - they should be paid in Index at a locked in price at the start of the working group. These community members are directly accountable for the performance of the working groups. We want to design a maximally efficient incentive structure that empowers this level of contributor to drive results.

As we designed this working group - the word accountability came up over and over again. DAO’s succeed when community members are accountable to themselves and the community. The most important part of accountability is ownership - taking charge of a problem an committing to solving it.

Small, highly accountable working groups work best. I chose @Mringz @Metfanmike and @fallow8 to be the core contributors for this group because I have worked closely with them over the past several months and I trust them. Working group Core Contributor are some of the best within our community. This is a position of real responsibility in the Coop - their compensation should be in line with the level of performance expected by the community. If we want top performance - we need to ensure core contributors are exposed to the upside of their hard work.

We are all more or less aligned on this. We do need to spend some time as a community hashing out the perfect model for WG compensation - what we have laid out above for compensation is a very good iteration. This conversation will need to continue to evolve as we continue to attract world class talent.

6 Likes

Voted FOR, makes sense to separate the functions.

I’m just reading the “webinars and conferences” bit as miscellaneous…

I am happy to rep the treasury on the multi sig if needed.

The INDEX/$ debate is something that has come up before. Maybe upon the imminent diversification of the treasury we can re-visit the reward destribution methods sooner than envisaged.

Finally, congrats to those nominated. Fully deserved. Fully send it! :wink:

1 Like

Just noticing I was listed as a “reviewer” on this post – thus far, I reviewed an earlier version of this proposal that was in Google Doc form.

I have not reviewed this actual proposal yet.

I will do so and provide feedback as usual before voting on the forum poll.

1 Like

Supportive of this group. One point I’ll caution is that in GWG I we focused too much on metrics too broadly and outside of our direct control (such as these).

I would focus on more narrow and directly attributable goals such as:

  • One(+) Tier 1 Extrinsic Productivity Integration (Aave, Compound, Maker)
  • One(+) Tier 1 CEX (Coinbase, Binance, etc)
  • $6m in institutitional sales ($1m month 1, $2m month 2, $3m month 3)
7 Likes

Distibution is key! Let’s get it!

3 Likes

This is awesome – I’ve been impressed by the BD crew during my brief time working with the product WG and am excited to see it evolve.

My two cents from restructures in the corporate world: It can often be helpful to also define what a group is not doing, in addition to what they are doing/current purview. Since BD has been traditionally part of the Growth WG, this might be a helpful exercise for the two WGs to collab on.

6 Likes

I am completely in support of this working group being initiated. With the vast experience of these Owls forming this working group, there is no doubt that this is going to be a successful one. I have worked directly and indirectly with @Mringz @BigSky7 @Metfanmike and @fallow8 and they definitely know what they are doing, i mean take a look at what @Metfanmike contributed to the Coop in just a few weeks of joining, not going to talk much about Simon and Mike, they are beast Owls, rhetorically speaking! :joy:

I vote Yes!

One thing I am a bit disturbed about though and a small feedback is @BigSky7 i know BD has a lot of confidential stuff flying around and yes, as a DAO, almost everything is made transparent for all to see, but based on my experience, wouldn’t it hurt the chances of getting listed on Kucoin by mentioning that in an open channel like this? It is known that when a project gets to let the community know about a possible major CEX listing, exchanges frown at it for good reasons like allowing whales dump on the market if it gets listed eventually. I may be wrong anyway, but just curious.

In all guys, great work so far you all have been doing and I am excited to be working with you, will be more excited to see this WG come to fruition in the long run which I have absolutely no doubt about.

Cheers!

1 Like