DoraHacks became China's largest hackathon organizer in 2017. In 2018, DoraHacks went global, visiting 8 countries and 31 cities worldwide, hosting 31 large-scale hackathons in 15 cities. Due to blockchain technology being the most open-sourced among cutting-edge technologies and the favorite technology of the DoraHacks community, DoraHacks started focusing on the web3 technology stack in the same year.
Many startups consider DoraHacks as an information dissemination platform. Some can participate in management programs of other public chain ecosystems through the DoraHacks platform, while others recruit team members and release project information on the platform. At the same time, DoraHacks is a developer community, with over 500,000 developers participating in or assisting in organizing hackathons organized by DoraHacks.
DoraHacks Aims to Connect Web3 Native Builders Worldwide
DoraHacks is currently the world's largest multi-chain developer incentive platform, having provided over $40 million in funding equivalent to more than 4,000 projects over the past few years. The current platform, DoraHacks, is now hosting hackathons and community funding programs for high-quality web3 projects worldwide.
Rather than being an open platform and organization, DoraHacks is more like an infrastructure. Although the number of activities organized by the platform has decreased compared to before, more industry enterprises now use the DoraHacks platform to host their own events. DoraHacks has no obvious preference in grant allocation; anyone can apply for a grant. Each organization and ecosystem that publishes grants on the platform operates within an open ecosystem, each having its own preferences and tastes. Therefore, any organization has the opportunity to receive self-help on DoraHacks. However, compared to other VC institutions, DoraHacks has its own characteristics. It primarily provides early-stage development team funding, connects with specific ecosystem funding resources, and serves as a direct funding provider. Thus, DoraHacks can be called an incentive platform for web3 developers, where project teams can start their entrepreneurial journey on DoraHacks, receiving their initial funding and funding opportunities.
DoraHacks Boasts an Exceptional Team of Talent
DoraHacks established the Owl Laboratory at Tsinghua University in 2014, making it China's first hacker community. It brought together skilled individuals who were willing to solve urgent and important global issues, including many developers but not limited to them.
The DoraHacks team currently consists of 40 members, with over half responsible for technical products and the remaining members handling operations, business development, and marketing. The team members are distributed both domestically and internationally, with key locations including Singapore, San Francisco, New York, Australia, Barcelona, and Jakarta. CEO and founder Zhang Jiannan graduated from the University of Oxford in 2013 and worked at the European Organization for Nuclear Research for a period before returning to China to establish DoraHacks. CEO Penny holds a master's degree in finance from the University of Leicester in the UK and has been with DoraHacks for 8 years since 2015. Penny is the person who has organized the most hackathons worldwide, having organized hundreds of them. He mainly oversees developer growth, operations, and internal management at DoraHacks. Partner Steve joined the team as an intern while studying at Tsinghua University. He primarily handles external cooperation, revenue generation, and investment and financing for DoraHacks.
No Clear Preference in Project Selection
DoraHacks has no obvious preference when it comes to grant allocation. Anyone can apply for a grant on the platform. However, DoraHacks pays attention to several key points when screening projects:
The project's originality in solving a problem rather than duplicating existing solutions.
As a developer community, DoraHacks focuses on the team's technical skills, code quality, and technical background.
DoraHacks also considers the intentions of the developers, whether they genuinely aim to build a successful project or solely focus on monetary gains.
Based on these dimensions, DoraHacks provides an overall evaluation of projects and offers funding or investment opportunities to teams with good evaluations. For projects with excellent evaluations that align with DoraHacks' investment criteria, such as infrastructure-related projects or tools for developer fundraising, asset management, and community management, DoraHacks pays particular attention and invests in them. The ratio of funding to investment is approximately 10% to 1%. For example, if there are 100 new projects on DoraHacks, the platform might independently fund 10 of them and invest in 1. However, if all 10 projects are impressive, DoraHacks will recommend them to other well-connected investors and institutions within the DoraHacks community for further investment.
High-Quality Projects Emerge from DoraHacks' 8 Years of Development
In 2018, Polygon participated in a DoraHacks hackathon and is currently the highest-valued project among all projects that have participated in DoraHacks' hackathons. Apart from Polygon, many high-quality Polkadot projects emerged from the DoraHacks community in 2019. For instance, Manta Network was a small project when it participated in a DoraHacks hackathon, but now it has a market value of $500 million.
Unique Node Co-building Business Model
In 2021, DoraHacks received $8 million in Series A equity financing from Binance Labs, and in 2022, it secured nearly $20 million in equity financing from Liberty, City Ventures, Circle, and other institutions. Recently, many strategic equity investors have also invested in DoraHacks, and announcements will be made at the appropriate time.
However, DoraHacks' funding comes not from its own financing, but from revenue generated through its unique business model.
DoraHacks' innovative business model is called "public goods staking" or "public goods nodes." It involves supporting the operation of cooperative ecosystem nodes and receiving node rewards, with 70% of the rewards used to fund developers.
DoraHacks' business model is groundbreaking. It does not focus solely on profit-making, nor is profit the team's primary goal. Instead, it aligns with decentralized values, using its capabilities to assist outstanding projects. By generating returns through these exceptional projects, DoraHacks can further support more initiatives, allowing these remarkable projects to shine in the industry. This process is akin to a benevolent seed growing into a towering tree through co-creation. The team's ultimate goal is to help more developers succeed in entrepreneurship and address important issues with the assistance of DoraHacks. Every team member bears this mission in their work.
Upcoming Launch of the Industry's First Venture Capital Fund
DoraHacks' plan for this year is to expand its business model to more ecosystems, enabling more developers to access high-quality funding resources within different ecosystems and providing more funding opportunities. The first phase of DoraHacks' self-help program, called "Up to Screen Door," received 140 applications from startups, and 18 of them received funding. The second phase is currently underway. Additionally, by the end of Q1 or Q2 this year, DoraHacks will launch a venture capital fund, which will serve as its first fundraising campaign.
DoraHacks believes that its biggest future challenge lies in operating more efficiently and making more people aware of DoraHacks and the help it provides.
Currently, DoraHacks has gained considerable global brand recognition, but it hopes to enter more countries and regions in the future, with multilingual functionality, to enable more people to easily utilize DoraHacks, receive assistance, and secure funding. This will be the focus of DoraHacks' next steps.
Moving forward, DoraHacks will further expand its community, actively support developer activities worldwide, delve into cutting-edge technology fields, participate in conferences related to quantum technology and space exploration, and share relevant research. It will also actively support the development of open-source software and explore and invest in space-related research and exploration.
Official website: https://dorahacks.io/
PGS Introduction: dorafactory.org