My thoughts here differ slightly from much of what is shared above.
In my view, a significant discount being offered to onboard strategic partners that can help create protocol value retention is not an unreasonable thing. Unfortunately, it does not seem to me like any of the funds listed can provide any of the value that is of use to a protocol like Sushiswap to warrant that kind of a discount.
It’s worth looking at the kinds of strategic partners that competing protocols, like Uniswap, have worked with to continue to make strides and impact in the industry. Their main investor is Paradigm, and partners from the firm arguably add serious firepower to all of the companies in their portfolio. Whether through R&D help from Georgios, financial mechanism design from Dan, Dave, or Charlie as well as the other partners, they exemplify in my opinion what true value-add from a fund to a protocol is (also, I have zero affiliation or interest in Paradigm, this is an objective take).
Some of the funds are listing off offers of providing capital as part of their value-add, which is misguided. The point is not for a protocol to invest in direct business development to acquire liquidity, but to design its protocol in a way that maximizes network effects and attracts liquidity capitalistically. The same goes for BD help, relationships, etc. These may be worthwhile in TradFi; for instance, gaining the backing of a large and reputable fund could elevate the sales pitch and increase the likelihood of a banking provider or regulator looking at you in better light, but for a protocol, it doesn’t work.
Gaining vested interest from crypto funds in your ecosystem by selling them vested tokens has not really worked in the past in and of itself. You will still be a small portion of their total portfolio holdings, and eventually they’ll lose interest. The only areas in which these funds can add value to a protocol is by being more vocal about mentioning Sushi (psyops?) & boosting social media marketing efforts. Also, literally every fund since 2017 that has invested in every private sale says they’ll be able to provide PR assistance and help expand your audience, but again, as explained above, not only is that misguided & eventually these funds lose interest, but that also tends to never pan out as their PR functions are simply not focused enough nor attuned to the climate enough to do good work.
Sushi also doesn’t need much help in the marketing/PR domain. Nor does it need capital, which is the main reason why you would do a fundraise with the firms listed.
What strategic partners could provide value in for a protocol like Sushi is:
- Recruiting & talent acquisition, to bring the best engineers and researchers onboard to boost it’s innovation cycle as it competes with protocols like Uniswap
- R&D help/insights. I don’t think many of the funds listed can provide critical value in that domain.
I think Sushi should instead to a strategic round with founders/builders/angels in the ecosystem that can potentially help in that area. Also, put a ton of resources into a grants program to build out the ecosystem.