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Common, a cross-functional governance and community management platform for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), yesterday announced it raised $20 million in a new funding round. Officially known as Commonwealth, Common offers its users an all-inclusive platform to create, manage and govern on-chain communities. Members of these communities have access to the tools needed to discuss, vote and make funding decisions collaboratively.

The effective management of internet-native communities without a centralized leadership or management team is becoming a growing need in the tech space. This is why Commonwealth Labs created Commonwealth to address the demand for a community management platform that would not only decentralize the orthodox procedures that guide the affairs of a corporate body, but also guarantee trust and transparency. The founders used blockchain technology to build a digital ecosystem that allows anyone to create a community, integrate their governance methodology, have critical discussions about growth and even run crowdfunding campaigns. 

Dillon Chen, founder and CEO at Common, revealed that keeping track of governance discussions has become an emerging problem for token holders because of how divided the crypto space is between multiple blockchains. In emphasizing the need to create a cross-network governance platform designed to curb this problem, he said Common is already meeting this need.

“With so many proposals happening at this point, it’s crucial to have one cross-network governance dashboard. We work to reduce this pain point for the token communities, becoming the one place where they can discuss, vote on and fund projects together in a seamless way,” said Chen in the company’s press release.

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DAOs and managing token communities

Traditional organizational structures have been experiencing significant levels of disruption since the dawn of DAOs. In a Gartner report on the emerging technologies to watch out for in 2019, the rise of DAOs in the digital ecosystem was predicted. According to the report, this technology will function independently of humans and will be completely reliant on smart contracts. Fast forward to 2021, Decrypt revealed in its Ethereal Summit that funds managed by DAOs have exceeded $1 billion and this rise was attributed to the growing popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as the legalization of DAOs in states like Wyoming. This points to an emerging trend set to revolutionize corporate governance by removing structural barriers and uniting people, their capital and their cultures. According to Foundation Labs, the transparency, efficiency and autonomy DAOs promise have made them a top choice for managing projects and assets of varying sizes.  

One of DAOs’ key offerings is a transparent and decentralized voting system for core community members. This would, however, be impossible without DAO tokens. By owning these tokens (which are native to the project), Gartner says users can participate in voting decisions as project shareholders.

“On governance platforms like Common, varying DAO tokens like Uniswap, Aave, Dash, Curve DAO, among others, are used to control protocol but this new funding is designed to change that,” said Chen in an interview with Venturebeat.

Future plans and a new token

Common plans to leverage this additional capital in expanding the end-to-end functionality of the platform, as well as executing its decentralization plan. In the coming months, the decentralization plan will take off with the launch of the company’s token, $CMN. This governance token will allow the project stakeholders to control protocol, drive relevant conversations, make funding decisions and moderate the platform effectively. Following its launch, this token is expected to take over governance on the Common DAO and Common platform.

In fleshing out its end-to-end functionality, the company will develop its platform to create a seamless, no-coding experience for users interested in creating DAOs and utilizing governance contracts. These users will also have access to forums native to the blockchain’s digital currency; this will allow them to associate with a like-minded network and deliberate on new ideas. 

Common will also be launching its optimized crowdfunding functionality on June 1. This tool is designed to help users launch and participate in crowdfunding campaigns on the Common platform. To guarantee that users are successfully raising more money than traditional crowdfunding routes, Common is leveraging dominant assurance contracts. These dominant assurance contracts allow users to pledge $CMN to crowdfunding campaigns in hope that they reach the target. However, if they fail to reach the threshold, Common’s pledged $CMN will be distributed to the backers along with their original contributions. Common claims that this upgrade will make it the first crypto crowdfunding platform to announce its governance decentralization.

The platform will also support a complete Snapshot integration, allowing it to deploy both on-chain and off-chain governance. Also included in Common’s upgrade plans is an application store that enables the full composability of DAO tools. 

More on the funding

This capital comes on the heels of Common’s latest $3.2M funding round led by Dragon Capital and ParaFi Capital, as well as Balaji Srinivasan, Framework Ventures, IDEO, Hashed, and Nascent in May of 2021.

Common was cofounded by Dillon Chen, Drew Stone and Raymond Zhong in 2018. The company claims its platform currently houses over 60,000 active users participating in 500 active communities, some of which are crypto projects like BitDAO, dYdX, NEAR, Polygon, Juno, Redacted Cartel, Axie Infinity, PhantomDAO and Solana.

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