20.01.2021

Data Provider Messari Closes $4 Million Funding Round

In a statement, Messari co-founder and CEO Ryan Selkis described “one of the industry’s toughest problems” as being the “coordination challenges of self-regulating an emerging asset class and providing accurate, timely data to investors with diverse compliance requirements.”

Data provider Messari has closed a $4 million funding round led by Uncork Capital with new participation from Coinbase Ventures and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, according to a statement from the New York-based firm. As part of the deal, Uncork’s founder Jeff Clavier was named to Messari’s board of directors.

Uncork joins existing Messari investors including Blockchain Capital, CoinFund, Danhua Capital, Fabric Ventures, Semantic Ventures and Underscore VC, among others.

In a Telegram conversation with CoinDesk, Selkis described Messari’s relationship with Uncork:

“Clavier is a straight shooter that hasn’t bought the crypto hype, but likes picks and shovels businesses building infrastructure in the space.”

The additional funding will help Messari automate on-boarding data and registry participants along with offering new products for subscribers in its self-described effort to sift out “bad actors” from the crypto space. Messari’s funding round began last May, closing six months later. The “broader macro challenges in the industry this year” slowed securing funding quickly, Selkis said.

Founded in 2018, Messari offers investment products such as a Bloomberg Terminal–styled registry and data analytics via its Messari Pro interface, an API service. The firm says it has some 60 projects and several exchanges utilizing its data.

Decentralized Employment Ecosystem Opolis to Integrate MakerDAO’s Dai Cryptocurrency

Opolis received a development grant from MakerDAO to integrate its Dai cryptocurrency into its decentralized employer ecosystem for payroll and benefits, the company said.

A blockchain-based answer to the gig-economy’s rise, Opolis is a professional employment organization (PEO) that, in part, plans to facilitate seamless cross-border payments with Dai.

“Opolis is offering the best solution we’ve seen yet that can provide the security and benefits usually restricted to traditional workplaces,” Head of Community Development for MakerDAO Richard Brown said in a statement announcing the partnership. “Maker is looking forward to seeing how Dai can help de-risk this emerging workforce,” Brown said.

In an interview with CoinDesk, John Paller, Opolis founder, explained how the broader efficiency gains are also supported by lower transaction costs for gig workers who work across borders.

“We’re partnering up to create a more streamlined system for [international] payroll remittance,” Paller said. “This would eliminate lots of different burdens and wait times and expensive fees in the traditional banking system.”

Guild members will use the stablecoin to stake their membership, unlock heath insurance, pay into retirement plans and automate tax compliance, among other benefits. They may choose to receive payment in Dai or in fiat.

MakerDAO’s grant supports the company’s plan to build a Decentralized Employment Organization (DEO), a web of employment services targeted at non-traditional employees.

Opolis caters to full-time workers whose gig-style employment lacks conventional health and insurance benefit packages. Ride-share drivers, freelance writers and graphic designers seldom receive health care through their contracted employers, but can pay into Opolis to unlock those same benefits, for example.

“What we’re really doing is democratizing and creating sustainable benevolence in these ecosystems,” Paller said.“The goal is to become an infrastructure service utility that average people use.”

Guild membership applications will open on Nov. 1, Opolis announced today.

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