Top Israeli VC Pitango launches investment DAO, to issue token

Pitango, one of Israel’s leading venture capital firms, has launched a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to invest in web3 projects.

Sharing the news exclusively with The Block on Tuesday, Pitango said this is Israel’s first investment DAO. Specifically, Pitango’s fund — called Pitango First — has launched First Labs, which has then created a DAO called First DAO.

“We are breaking the traditional VC model and will issue a token,” Aviv Barzilay, head of First Labs at Pitango, told The Block in an interview. Barzilay declined to share a timeline for the token launch, details on tokenomics and the investment amount the DAO is launching with.

Pitango, as a VC firm, has around $3 billion in assets under management, said Barzilay.

First DAO

The main reason for Pintago to launch the DAO is to onboard Israel’s web2 startups, especially in the infrastructure and cybersecurity space, to web3, said Barzilay.

With the DAO in place, several people with crypto expertise can help those startups grow in the crypto industry, according to Barzilay.

Founding members of the DAO include Barzilay himself, other unnamed core members of the Pitango First team, Celsius project manager Tomer Weiss, play-to-earn blockchain gaming startup Kryptomon’s chief strategy officer Amit Peled, digital identity solutions company SuperCom’s external director Oren De-lange and crypto PR firm MarketAcross’s partners Nadav Dekner, Elad Mor and Itai Elizur.

First DAO plans to gradually assign management to its community over time.

As for its investment focus, the DAO will invest in early-stage startups across verticals such as DeFi, NFT, gaming and metaverse, said Barzilay.

Pintago First and First Labs have invested in several crypto startups to date, but Barzilay declined to name them because they are in stealth mode.

The DAO will also incubate projects and the first incubation program is expected to launch within the next two months.

“That’s a very big part of what we do,” said Barzilay.

Earlier this year, global VC firm Bessemer Venture Partners also launched a DAO called BessemerDAO — a tool for community engagement and product development among entrepreneurs in the web3 industry. Some of the inaugural members of BessemerDAO include Jay Chang of the Solana-based game Genopets, Josh Fried of Solana Labs and Esteban Castaño of TRM Labs.

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