Grants Stack TL;DR
Grants Stack is an app built on the Allo Protocol that Gitcoin publicly launched in June. Our purpose is to help grants managers easily launch, manage, and grow their grants programs. The product was internally trialed in an Alpha/Beta process in H1 23 to run Gitcoin Grants rounds. Our focus has now shifted to external adoption and growth.
We’re still early in our growth curve but gaining momentum and adoption. Our focus in S20 and S21 will be accelerating that adoption by leveraging our Quadratic Funding and Direct Grants features, and introducing paid pricing to reinvest in our product development efforts. Our product will be successful when the grants managers who use it achieve community involvement and builder engagement that makes their programs successful.
- Status: Achieved, 27/13 rounds completed
- More info: This goal was an absolute blowout thanks to the awesome efforts of the PGF team. It’s been great to see the growth in grants management skills among the round managers in GG18, and I’m looking forward to many of them running their own community-led rounds during GG19! As we scale down the number of rounds that Gitcoin is directly managing, we will likely not have service-oriented goals in the future.
- Status: Predicted to achieve 3 or 4 out of 5 rounds. The feature launched in production on 10/2. As of 10/3, we have 1 round live from Powerpool and commitments for rounds from the Uniswap/Arbitrum grants team, Starknet, DIMO, and SPACE ID.
- More info: We built a direct grants feature in S18 through a partnership with Bootnode. Though this was a painful development process, we learned a lot and I’m thrilled by the early interest and adoption of this feature. We have rapidly built momentum over the previous few weeks and we will be leaning into this in S20.
- Status: On track, 7/8 rounds launched (Metacamp, Green Pill, Citizens, Geo Web, Fantom, Arbitrum, Citizens 2.) Additional commitments to run in October from Polygon, Avalanche, and SheFi.
- More info: Though QF adoption has been slower to build vs direct grants, I’m excited by the momentum we’re gaining here as well. We have finally broken out of the “Gitcoin & Friends” bubble over the last month with external and independent operators. We will continue to focus on adoption and education of this feature and weight needs of QF operators against DG operators.
This is roughly quadruple our previous goal (13) as we aggressively build adoption. These rounds can be run across any mechanism (QF or DG.)
This includes both repeat quadratic funding rounds and direct grants rounds that span multiple months. This will prove that our product has staying power and can generate loyalty. In this small, enterprise-style grants market, return rate will be key to building a sustainable business line. This excludes Gitcoin-affiliated operators (eg Citizens Round, Green Pill)
Launching the product as a paid offering will allow us to truly gauge PMF and orient our product, marketing, and sales efforts around sources of value or revenue. We will likely delay a paid offering until after the modular architecture and Allo v2 adoption is complete as that would be disruptive to newly paying customers. Otherwise, I think the quadratic funding feature offering is nearly ready for paid adoption and we have tested & identified a MVP revenue model for (10% fee on matching pool for rounds >$5k.)
You can read more about our vision for Grants Stack, the investments we’re making to achieve our goals, and what’s on our roadmap at the links below.
2-Year Product Vision: Gitcoin Grants Stack – Product Vision
S20 Strategy: S20 GS Strategy
Roadmap: Grants Stack Roadmap
The next two seasons’ budget requests ($496,090 for S20 and $541,090 for S21) are nearly flat with S19 ($498,097), and we anticipate that it will stay this way for the foreseeable future. We will continue to invest in the core Grants Stack team but do not anticipate growing headcount substantially or bringing any other major costs in-house. We believe that in order to successfully and sustainably scale, we will need to figure out how to harness the power of external or community-based development. We anticipate funding that development through GCPs in order to better solicit buy-in and engagement on this work, rather than the Grants Stack workstream.
One caveat: in order to empower external developers to work on our core app, we will need to make some changes to the architecture and development environment for our current product. We anticipate planning and kicking this work off in S20. In the event this is not successful or completed on time, I do not want to starve the current team of resources during a crucial adoption period and have budgeted for an additional engineering hire (could also be an external/short-term contractor) in S21. I’ll plan to provide an update on this at the end of S20 and will revise the request if it’s not needed at that time.
Grants Stack is requesting $345,868 for S20, excluding reserves and rolled over amounts. Our requested spend is lower than our budgeted spend due to carryover from the previous season. We have an estimated $315k in carryover, of which $182k is carryover reserves, $87k is due to GTC/USDC swaps, and $47k is due to actuals being lower than budget. GTC/USDC swaps are done on a regular basis for payroll and other expenses and are not carried out with the goal of increasing treasury balance.
|Budget 2023.11||Budget 2023.12||Budget 2024.01||Total S20|
|Total GS Budgeted Spend||165,363||165,363||165,363||496,090|
|Past Season Treasury Balance||315,585|
|Total S20 Request||345,868|
|S18 (actuals)||S19 (projected actuals)||S20 (requested)||S21 (requested)|
|Grants Stack Budget||$884,238||$498,097||$496,090||$541,090|
Grants Stack is staffed by the following team:
Core contributors (8):
- Engineering lead (1)
- Engineers (4)
- Engineer (TBH. Salary budgeted for S21 only, will evaluate need before hiring.)
- Product designer (1)
- Product manager (1)
- Product/workstream lead (1)
Part-time or shared contributors (3):
- Support (2)
- Operations (1)
Our cost breakdown is as follows:
|S18 (Actual Spend)||S19 (Projected Actuals)||S20 (Requested)||S21 (Requested)|
|Contracting (Dev Ops, GTM incentives, design)||$228,618||$57,000||$48,000||$48,000|
|OpEx (Software subscriptions, gas, audits, travel, professional development)||$53,089||$66,086||$61,766||$61,766|
The past two seasons have been a great learning experience for the team. We’re emerging as a stronger team and are building the consistency, speed, and rigor that are hallmarks of a high-performing team – plus embracing all of the craziness that is building in crypto.
We have a product vision and strategy that we’re excited about and confident in. We are moving from beta to adoption to revenue generation and have a forecasted path to breakeven in ~2 years (will be shared publicly as pricing is firmed up.) None of it is easy, but it’s all winnable. LFG.