Aragon Nest was launched in December of 2017 as an ambitious grants program to accelerate the development of the Aragon and Ethereum communities.
Nest has been recently phased out, and now our efforts are focused on supporting core contributors working directly with users and helping them build the communities of the future.
However, we wanted to give Nest proper closure by reflecting on some of the metrics from the lifetime of the program and along with the experiences of Nest recipients.
Although the most of data has always been publicly accessible on GitHub, we have crunched the numbers here. First, the grants themselves.
Number of projects funded: 23
Total funds paid: $1,550,425
Highest grant paid: $142,400
Lowest grant paid: $7,500
Average amount of grant paid: $67,409.78
Now, the ANT rewards. These rewards were discretionary and often not part of the grant itself nor the contract, but we usually chose to grant them.
Total ANT bonuses awarded: 271,000 ANT
Average ANT bonus: 11,782.61 ANT
Finally, when Nest grants came to an end, the overwhelming majority were amicable.
Amicable grant completions: 20
Contentious wind downs: 1
Grants still ongoing: 2
Abridged was extremely fortunate to receive support from the Aragon Nest Program. Not only did the grant assist in us financially, but we had the chance to work directly with their team to gather valuable feedback as we created the first Mainnet DAO Ops system in Telegram. — Abridged
Aragon Nest was a great help for us. It was the first organisation to share our goals and bet on us, when we had nothing but a vision. Our SDK, which allows for anyone to create a DAppNode Package, was born from their support — and it is more than anything a tool for the community and not so much for ourselves or Aragon. No need to say that a community project like us can really use the money, but like any funding injection (be it through a grant or even VC investment), it is only the most basic type of help that a project can receive. Even when we got our Nest funding cut, the Aragon team continued to support us, offering time from their employees, helping us find ways to succeed. — DAppNode
Two years ago, the four of us applied and were accepted for a Nest grant as part of the Espresso team. We worked for approximately 7 months and successfully delivered our app in early 2019. Was the whole experience always easy? Of course not. Did Aragon have strict requirements for the team to meet before paying out milestones? Of course they had, like any diligent organization should have. However, Aragon has always been fair, respectful and fully transparent in its decisions throughout the whole process. And on multiple occasions, its members went out of their way to help us meet our deadlines. We are unquestionably pleased with our experience on Nest and everyone in the team have the uttermost respect for Aragon and its mission. — Espresso team
The Nest Grant program aimed to advance not only the Aragon ecosystem but Ethereum and blockchain as a whole, and led the way in the Ethereum community in defining a transparent grant application process. LevelK had a great experience with the Nest program and the Aragon team supported us with dev help, design ideas, and introductions. — LevelK
A note on Ethereum infrastructure
Aragon Nest funded basic Ethereum infrastructure, including being the second grants program after the Ethereum Foundation to fund Prystmatic Labs, working on Ethereum 2.0.
Aragon Nest was the leading Ethereum-independent grants program in terms of funds allocated to Ethereum projects, following the Ethereum Foundation and the Ethereum-focused ECF.
We identified that grants sometimes didn't provide the correct incentive structure for teams to take their product to market. Instead some of the work would stop just after building an MVP with the deliverables — missing the most important step, going to market and getting the products used. This is one the reasons why the Aragon community is also experimenting with app mining to reward developers based on the usage of their Aragon apps.
Some grantees have had great success getting their products to market, fueled by their grit and passion for their projects. With our recent changes, we want members of the Aragon community to continue helping these teams in creating their communities and DAOs.
Aragon Nest was one of the first grant programs in the space, and it paved the way for many other grant programs. It was the first one — and only one to our knowledge — to hold the whole grant process transparently on GitHub.