We have just announced a seed financing round for our project, Moonbeam: $1.4 million from many of the most prominent venture capital firms in the blockchain industry. It’s a big milestone for us, but I’d like to take a moment to pause and explain how this fits into our overall vision for the project.
We have learned a lot since the beginning of the year, when we started the project in earnest. And we have been able to self-finance many efforts related to Moonbeam. In particular, we have made a lot of progress on development, including our collaboration with Parity on the Ethereum compatibility features in Frontier based on a grant from the Web3 Foundation. But now we have a clearer idea of what is needed for us to launch the network.
How We’ll Use the Funds
We need additional resources in a number of areas, including engineering, ecosystem development, marketing, and other crypto specialized skills. We will use the raised funds to hire additional Substrate, Rust, and Solidity engineers to help us deliver on the vision of Moonbeam.
We will also hire additional resources that can help us grow the Moonbeam project community and ecosystem. And we shouldn’t forget the legal council, security audits, and other services we need from a practical perspective to actually launch our network safely.
How We Chose Our Investment Partners
I talked to a lot of investors since the beginning of the year, when we started the project. The common thread for our investment partners is that we had a connection and engagement early on, combined with good knowledge of (and interest in) Polkadot. These investors believed in us and our vision, even before the Polkadot launch brought extra attention to the ecosystem.
Alignment around a long term vision versus a short term one was extremely important to us. We did not want to work with anyone that wasn’t willing to commit to longer time frames, or that wanted the ability to exit quickly.
Strategic alignment within the Polkadot ecosystem was also very important, which is why Hypersphere, a Polkadot-focused fund who led our round, was a natural partner. This — combined with support from Arrington XRP, Hashkey, KR1, Du Capital, and Bitcoin.com Exchange — gives us a strong set of strategic investors that can help us drive the project forward.
Our Anchor Partners
In addition to investors, I’ve also been talking to a lot of projects in the last couple months: both existing Ethereum-based projects, and net-new projects that are building in the Polkadot ecosystem.
We announced two initial partnerships along with our funding — Bet Protocol and Linear Finance — that will be building and deploying to Moonbeam. But we are engaged with many more projects that are exploring Moonbeam based deployments.
Based on the conversations I have had, there is no question that Moonbeam fills an important need and strategic space within the Polkadot ecosystem. There is a lot of interest in building on Polkadot. And, for some teams, building a Substrate-based parachain is the right answer. But for many other teams, Moonbeam based DApps represent an easier path that minimizes the change necessary to their existing codebases, while at the same time giving them access to the users and assets on Polkadot.
Looking Forward: Building the Moonbeam Community
We have been overwhelmed by the size and speed with which our community has grown. I know there are many people in our community that want to buy Glimmer (GLMR) tokens. We are working on ways that we can get tokens into the hands of our community members and achieve a broad token distribution, starting with our Kusama network deployment.
Our most immediate priority is to expand the team, particularly the Moonbeam engineering team, so we can deliver on the vision we have laid out. But we will also be working hard to figure out our token distribution plans for our Kusama and Polkadot deployments.
This seed funding event is an important milestone for the project, and we couldn’t have accomplished it alone. We are grateful for the support from our investors, partners, the Web3 Foundation, Parity, the Polkadot ecosystem, and everyone in our community that helped us get to this point. We will use the funds to continue to drive Moonbeam forward on a steady march to our Kusama deployment, our Polkadot deployment, and beyond.