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DevRev raised $20M by putting its fundraising on the blockchain

Oct 18, 2022
Illustration of many rows of pixelated coins stacked on top of each other

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

DevRev, a Palo Alto-based startup that has built a developer CRM for product-led growth, has raised $20 million — and did so by tokenizing its fundraising process.

Why it matters: By putting investments on the blockchain, DevRev believes it can open its fundraising process to customers and other advocates for its platform.

Context: DevRev was founded by former Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey, along with Nutanix tech lead Manoj Agarwal, both of whom left that company early last year to build the startup.

  • Pandey says the decision to raise additional capital in this way came partly from his experience at Nutanix, where the company raised nearly $2 billion during his tenure.
  • “We realized that we have a lot of end users who are developers and engineers on our platform that want to be investors, too,” he told Axios.
  • Last July, the company raised $50 million in seed funding from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Mayfield, among others.

How it works: The DevRev SAFE token is being offered under a Reg D filing with the SEC and represents a digital version of a typical SAFE security.

  • Each token is worth $50,000, is hosted on the ethereum blockchain and will be transferred to an investor’s wallet once their investment is closed.
  • To purchase one, Pandey says investors will need to establish an identity with their wallet, show their intent that they want to purchase a token, and then DevRev will do a back office process to prove that the purchaser is an accredited investor.
  • “Then we come back, and we ask them to wire money to us, and then we basically give them the tokens in return,” he explains.

Yes, but: It’s important to note that DevRev is not putting tokens out on the open market or allowing them to be traded or sold on a public exchange.

  • And when DevRev raises a priced round, the tokens will be converted into equity and burned.

What we’re watching: While it’s still early, DevRev is not ruling out the possibility of making tokenized fundraising a part of its product suite, potentially helping its customers to raise money from their customers.

  • “If we did a good job of this, then over time, we can productize this for others,” Pandey says.

Editor's note. This story has been updated to show that DevRev has already raised the $20 million.

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