[Withdrawn] Sushi Phantom Troupe - Strategic Raise

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.

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None of these funds asides Lightspeed, Multicoin, and possibly Dragonfly should get a decent check size or even be strongly considered.

Maybe 5-6 others are decent, and that’s about it. There’s less than 10 total proposed investors here that will actually provide the value asked for value given.

Half of the funds here aren’t even close to providing the value offer that warrants the discount.
You don’t have to take my word for it, go reach out to their portfolio companies and ask them to rank their top 2-3 value-add investors based on their current cap table, and most of these guys hardly make the list on their own current investments. VC’s are professional over-promisers and under-deliverers that are very good at selling themselves (it’s the entire premise of their job).

Just take 3-4 big anchor check investors based on the value they can actually provide (and will fight for you till the very end). Fill out the rest of the round with strong angels and you’re done.

Also adjust the vesting schedule. 1 year cliff + 24 Month Linear Vesting.

Ps: Pantera evaluating for a 50% discount is the case and point being made here, from their perspective Sushi’s evaluation for this round should be priced at that 50% discount, but they forget to consider that if the discount is directly priced to the amount of value the VC brings in, they’d get a 10% discount at best. “We make intro’s” value offer in a space where everyone is 1 degree removed from talking to another party shouldn’t even be considered a value offer anymore.

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Totally agree.
You’d better use that money to fund a giant R&D department instead of an army of well-paid SUSHI shills

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Let’s not fall for the same charade that we all fell for in 2018. Are VCs evil? No. Can they provide value to protocols? For new protocols, of course, with capital and an initial PR launch, although your design is what’s most important so even this effect is limited. Can they provide value to a protocol like Sushiswap? I argue no, unless your fund’s partners are 10x engineers, geniuses in financial/mathematical design, or somehow have mastered the art of attracting true talent.

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Arguing that VCs are evil and overall bad is both anachronistic and incorrect.
Unless these VCs in the list can provide some serious R&D help I don’t see how they could “add value”.

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Beautiful to see so much activity here.

Let’s have some polls based on all the feedback we have so far :

Vesting

  • 6 mo cliff + 18 months linear
  • 12 mo cliff + 12 months linear
  • 12 mo cliff + 18 months linear
  • 4 years

0 voters

Discount

  • 15%
  • 20%
  • 25%
  • 30%

0 voters

Size of the Strategic Raise

  • 10M
  • 20M
  • 25M
  • 30M
  • 50M

0 voters

Number of Strategic Partners

  • 5
  • 10
  • 15

0 voters

Overall Sentiment towards this proposal

  • Positive
  • Negative

0 voters

Something that isn’t talked about enough in my opinion is how some of these partners even if not involved in the day to day will act as advocates towards their own portfolio investment and bring them to launch on Miso if they don’t have a token and basically integrate with our ecosystem which isn’t something we should consider lightly.

All of the numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt and based on the overall reaction by everyone will significantly be toned down from up to 60m$ to something in the order of 15-20m$.

The discount was -30% (which isn’t usual btw if you look into all the other protocols that have been listed!) we could probably easily justify -15% to -20%, adding Range tokens might be complicating the whole process but still open to see how we could proceed with that if this is positively received.

Sidenote for me this is the last treasury proposal I would put for the next 2-3 years in conjunction with Kampai I am confident we don’t need to dabble with it anymore and wanted us to derisk this aspect of our operations.

I am personally way more excited about what we are about to release on the 20th and start the discussion on things like our referral product for dev. that should bring more volume to Sushi or how we should start thinking of building a borrowing aggregator for DeFi power users that tap into Kashi, Cream, Aave, Fuse, Compound, etc. to bolster the demand of this product.

Really appreciate @amywu @SBF @Franklin-Pantera @kevin @zafalijadev @mhdempsey & everyone else goes a long way into showcasing you are part of the community by joining the conversation. You rarely see this level of interaction between institution and community gouvernance and a crucial moment in how theses funds will have to interact in the future with DAOs by opening up the discussion.

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Very well put and that is my main argument. If VC is committing to being strategic then they need to have a mile stone/ roadmap attached to it and that should be linked to monetary incentive. You deliver value you get benefit!!

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I’m not sure that this would provide better ROI than simply offering SUSHI incentives for Miso campaigns directly in some way.

Most teams find VCs trying to dictate where they launch coercive and controlling; they don’t take kindly to it.

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Just a heads up for everyone a whole bunch of people will be attending the Sushi Forum today(in 30 minutes from time of post) to discuss this proposal in more detail. SushiSwap Community Should have multiple representatives out of the VC corner + UMA representatives to advocate for the range token solution.
:sushi: #AMA-Stage channel

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“Coming off the back of Sushi’s greatest month to date (insane volume across ETH and Polygon), Sushiswap boasts extremely resilient fundamentals with an attractive pipeline of upcoming releases.”

why sell at a discount then? surely this success is reflected in current token price? why discount the work that has been done to get the protocol to this point?

what are the goals of this proposal? does sushi need this much operating capital? miso launchpad traction? if a goal is to bring more launches to miso then bake that into their deal and optimize for that.

what if sushi put up strategic grants for large problems it needs solved by institutional-level players, giving those truly interested in both financial gain and the future of the protocol a chance to contribute and actually earn ownership in the protocol alongside everyone else that contributes? a proposal could be passed to create a schedule of decaying tokens rewards for miso referrals. tie the incentive directly to the goal.

selling treasury tokens at a discount has been historically acceptable. simultaneously, it’s not unfair to be curious about what the value add of these strategic deals has actually been. ‘well its been done before’ is not sufficient reasoning without exploring the results as well.

as a counterpoint, yearn doesn’t cater to market makers, exchanges, venture, never sold discounted tokens, etc. yet has a thriving group of institutional level partners doing real work. having partners willing to put skin in the game alongside everyone else actually increases alignment.

early sushi whales farmed or purchased alongside everyone else. now some of them are dumping while asking for a discounted buyback for them and their friends. sushi has an opportunity to innovate and lead rather than perpetuate predatory practices. this ain’t it

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On a sidenote: Sushi launched MISO and Kashi/Bentobox in the past weeks.
Both are doing their thing and working as expected, but I think both of them would be 1000x better with a token.
Tokens are a great way to bootstrap liquidity + capital.
I’m not gonna say Kashi is a failure but in a market where absolute scams get 500M in TVL overnight just because they’re running a LM program…you’d expect at least 1B in liquidity on a functioning and somewhat less risky lending solution as Kashi is.

In my opinion if both MISO and Kashi had their tokens you would have seen tens of new pairs created daily on Kashi and thousands of tokens launched on MISO.
But this is just a humble farmer’s opinion - I’m by no means a crypto professional.

From a value-first VC I expect this kind of expertise, this kind of suggestion such as “You’ve got a great product.You should maximise its launch with a separate token”.
(All of this backed by some actual evidence ofc)

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5% discount is more than enough;
I’m not even sure why a discount is needed, our P/E ratio is the lowest (THE LOWEST) in the market right now;
Anyone who wants to make money (yes, make money, forget any type of philosophy or values or whatever) is buying SUSHI because the earnings are gargantuan compared to the capitalization;
Get real

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:astonished: :scream: :triumph:
1.Based on our (we the people, who LP’d from the beginning and didn’t sell at $20) valuation model, there is nothing Pantera Capital can offer to justify 60% discount from current market level. I know that’s annoying / kinda shitty that we’re not sharing the specific valuation model we use to evaluate the fairness of this fine specimen of vulture capital’s audacity to justify the money grab (c), but we are also fairly confident, that anyone making similar approach would get a similar evaluation, and certainly believe, that any $sushi hodler disagreeing with our evaluation is either on a payroll of a VC, or has a weird fascination with seeing his fortune dwindle at the behest of entities, who certainly aren’t lacking in monetary department. At the end of the day, it’s just one tool we use to help us hold on to our papers naïve ideas about fairness within a hopefully egalitarian community of like minded people. And if your moral compass tells you something different, then more power to the karma debt it creates. Unfortunately, the vote will be decided by the money bags.

So don’t take our word for it that 60% should not be the discount - that’s not the point. The point here is this: our process isn’t just waking up one morning and saying “How eager to depose the bourgeois are we feeling today”? That’s a shitty human thing to do (as a history of century of bloodbaths of communism clearly demonstrates). Our goal is to assess a merit-adjusted list of partners, based on perceived shared values; and it’s likely not perfect, but it’s one of the more humane we’ve come up with so far, and it served us well from the very beginning. Ultimately, we (the eclectic mess of misshapen minority share holders) own the consequences, if we give up our fortunes easily to the entities that think of us very little, for the sake of unenforceable vague promises and illusory assistance. It’s also only one of our many concerns. Valuation is an intuitive journey. And this was the ‘guts’ part.

2.-This raise immediately provides sushi’s treasury with up to $60m in the proceeds that yield 0% income, and quite possible will incur negative interest (either if they remain in a legacy bank account, or in a form of USD->stablecoin deposit fee). For now, let’s set aside the topic of whether $60m is the right number (which we should definitely see the detailed rider from Sushi team on why do they need such a lump some now). So another way to look at the discount is: Why on this climate-scorching Earth, would the treasury be sold in one transaction over an AMM that can be front-run by MEV-bots, instead of calling upon the short line to boy-wonder SBF, who will gladly facilitate our sale OTC with less than 5% slippage? The sushi in this scenario will be available to any interest party, vs the outrageous 20%+ discounts to an entity that will gladly dump the token the moment they can.

3.- Funding rounds, being some kind of an auction at their core - are an intricate multi-stage dance of ‘which party shafts their counterparty through obscuring the perceived value they want to extract from this exchange’.

There’s two reasons, why an auction could be deemed unfair, given the context:

  1. if the bid price is artificially suppressed through a gang up of big bagholders abusing the voting by share process to secure the allocation of the auction to themselves, discarding the rest of the community.
  2. if hidden (depending on the audacity of abovementioned big bagholders) externalities affect the bidding process (e.g. the abovementioned big bagholders decide to collude to extract maximum profit for them).

On 1) we clearly see the credible signs of bid suppression, seeing how the outrageous discount is reserved to the vultures, instead of any other trader/holder. We are more than sure, that Yearn team or any other vault-based team, would be more than happy to gobble up all the sushi at the discounts offered, and lock them up cryptographically, so that we didn’t have another ‘defi education fund’ situation your lovely legacy finance colleagues pulled. Eventually, there’s a point where spending more team time on fundraising isn’t worth it, especially since we have had community approved ways of dealing with the treasury. Or could just plainly stick it into a yearn vault and live off the interest alone for quite some time, without sacrificing a single sushi to the vultures.

This thread is also a remarkable showing of what makes a vulture fund vulture, and how little they care of the community they claim to ‘align interest’ with. Publicizing this thread might be their ‘jump the shark’ moment. Surely, they have more than enough voting rights to steamroll this atrocity in record time. But somehow, they decided to act like they care for the unfortunate populace they plan to dump their allocation upon.
There is indeed a better bid out there for the sushi treasury, and we should return to the means of employing the treasury that does not humiliate the community, and does not strip away the control of the protocol towards the suits that have fiduciary duty to their shareholders only.

On 2), it would be too naïve of us to believe, that vultures are incapable of team-play against the less organized actors, especially if such team play ensure they each get their cut off the skin that is not theirs.
The only way to combat such externality would be employing the publicity up to the extent they care about their public image. Ideally we’d have to reform the voting process to make the capital size matter less (but it’s another pipe dream, unfortunately).
We can’t attest to the specific arrangement details of any possible collusion, but if it comes to the choice between ‘all of vultures make some money’ vs ‘no money’, we are pretty sure your flock is capable of win-win solution at the cost born by other species. It sounds kinda classicist, we digress, but pretty easy to state, taking all the above in consideration.

tl;dr Dixi.

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Can we as a community evaluate if oSushi would already cover the discount the VCs are looking for? Locked oSushi will trade at a discount because they are locked. So if they seek a vested investment they could just buy the discounted oSushi.

There is a reason Andre considers the oToken model the best there is in the Defi ecosystem for now, and it seems like it fits well to cover this scenario as well.

1 Like

Nailed it. Read this

Can community members (whales/dolphins) also participate and get access to the 20-30% discount?

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Hey guys, I gave this some thought and one way to frame the conversation is to quantify the cost.

Since we are probably just getting stables in return for the sushi (which can be diversified into BTC or ETH),

the cost of VC “strategic help” is essentially = [amount raised * discount]

One way to refine the parameters is to ask “how much value can we create otherwise by spending the same amount of $?”

This will help ensure the cost is not out of hand. For example, diversifying $30m with a 25% discount is as good as spending $7.5m, which feels high and could be better spent elsewhere.

Of course, if we go with something closer to 5% discount @ $30m, the cost is ~$1.5m which is much more reasonable and I can see value created by VCs being worth more than that, making the raise worth it.

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Hey multiple great points raised in this discussion - I’m not a VC, just an individual bagholder like the vast silent majority of sushi holders.

@Franklin-Pantera - I think that’s not a fair model to use to model the liquidity discount - you replicate that by approximating the european prices of a synthetic SUSHI option but that is expensive because of implied vol. I think its disingenuous at best and insulting at worst to the community. i.e you think we are all idiots. You raised a couple of good points but im afraid a lot of attention has been taken away from that and just drawn to the lightning rod in justifying the discount.

@ponz raised a good point, the cost of this “strategic advice” and “value add” that the VCs are bringing is equivalent to the notional * discount. Let me push this one step further - In normal world, VCs take a leap of faith in investing in teams with unproven businesses or under-scaled businesses - SUSHI has already found a product market fit and i don’t think there’s too much value add that these VCs can bring to the table at this point frankly.

In terms of maximizing value to SUSHI holders - If the treasury really needs to raise money - why not lets open the sale up to the public - everyone gets a chance to participate besides the “VCs with connections” - this way, we probably sell at a much lower discount and you create even more supporters who are vested in this together with you.

Why did i bother typing this out? Very simple, im a retail pleb with over 50% of my portfolio in SUSHI. Do you want 1000 of me or to be 0.01% of a VC’s port and correspondingly attention who has limited time ?

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I disagree with the % discount asked or offered. Sushi is not an early-stage platform trying to find its product-market-fit. It is rather a proven platform and, surprise, successful. So what risks are these funds taking, and what potential risks must they be compensated for?
The cost for providing their talent and insights should be covered by the gains they receive (like all of us) from a steadily increasing token price. That assumes their participation adds value (that increases the token price), which is so far also not 100% proven. Has anyone got some data that shows the above funds contributed significantly to the success of a DeFi project? What % value increase did they manage to contribute?
History has shown that the majority of funds will sell or exit their position as soon as they can. After all, they need to return the cash (+nice gains) to their LPs.

Sushi managed to get where it is without them. Why cave in now and give them a steep discount?

This looks really more like a year-end sale to me! I want to participate too.

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I think great VCs deliver great value, and if Sushi needed cash it would be a no-brainer.

It doesn’t though, and there are other ways to diversify the treasury too.

In terms of “adding value”… rather than effectively spending millions (and potentially forfeiting the good faith of the community) on a VC discount, I’d prefer to see Sushi spend aggressively on recruiting world-class talent that can commit full-time whether that’s engineering, design, legal, marketing etc. We already have a great team, but I’m sure there are missing pieces and it can improve and grow further.

Even the best VC still has to juggle Sushi with other portfolio companies vs. a team member who is ALL in.

And I think the value-add of a great VC is still less in DeFi than in other domains, since DeFi is so open and connected which facilitates recruiting + business dev.

Future Fund demonstrates how if a fund has truly high conviction in Sushi and the capacity to add value in a meaningful way, it could already be doing so. There are exceptions to this, but I think something like Future Fund is a better match for the ethos of Sushi anyways.

So the traditional playbook would dictate a raise from VCs at a discount. But does Sushi follow the traditional playbook? Does it need to?

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