Since early 2022, all of web3 has been operating on a simple hypothesis. No matter the downmarket, builders in blockchain are busy experimenting and creating new use cases for their technology. As the community spends more time building and innovating, it is a matter of time that the businesses thus created will grow into the world’s unicorns in a few years from now.
To support tomorrow’s web3 superstars, ConsenSys embarked on an exciting journey in early 2022. ConsenSys’ partnership team created two new partner programs: The first for venture capital firms (VCs) to work more closely with this capital-providing ecosystem; and the second, a 12-months Startup Program to support these VC’s portfolio startups.
The ConsenSys Startup Program is a bundle of proprietary software products such as Infura and Diligence Fuzzing, technical consulting, learning & enablement services as well as access to investment opportunities and ecosystem benefits. “We offer some of the most promising early stage ventures out there the whole world of ConsenSys in one package,” say Alex Greinacher and Ben Lavergne, creators and directors of the Startup Program.
Both the Startup Program and the VC Partner Program have been really well received so far. We launched both programs in “stealth mode” in 2022 and have already onboarded 30 startups and 80 VCs, respectively.
In this post, we will talk about Astra Protocol, a venture currently in the Startup Program that is pioneering consumer protection in web3.
Astra Protocol is the only globally patented decentralized KYC (Know Your Customer) solution active across 155+ countries. Astra’s vision is to onboard the next one billion users to web3 by bringing sound regulatory standards to blockchain and helping to make the ecosystem safer for everyone.
Astra’s traction, especially in 2022 and 2023 has been remarkable. With the fall of FTX, the imperative for safety has grown. Astra is backed by several top-tier legal and audit firms including KPMG, and has signed advisors such as Mick Mulvaney, ex-White House chief of staff, Young Sohn, former corporate president of Samsung and Kirstjen Nielsen, former head of Homeland Security. The company is ready to tackle their vision to bring the financial regulatory standards for 155+ countries and over 300+ sanctions and watchlists to the crypto industry without sacrificing anonymisation.
Astra joined the Startup Program to work closely with ConsenSys. In particular, Astra relies on Infura as their blockchain node service to access different networks such as Ethereum or Polygon. Infura, which also powers wallets like MetaMask, helps to automate the backend of “speaking” to various blockchains and lets Astra focus on serving their customers.
Jez Ali, Co-Founder of Astra Protocol, says, “We are delighted to have partnered with ConsenSys, we believe Astra Protocol will play a crucial role in bringing more trust to Defi and crypto as a whole. We will continue to converge regulation and decentralization and bring greater possibilities to the crypto industry. Working with ConsenSys is an example of the major partnership developments at Astra as we drive more recognition to our sector and company”
Great ventures, even in early stages, usually have VC firms behind them to fund their growth plans, says Greinacher. This is why working with VCs and startups in parallel is a winning recipe.
Portugal-based Masterblox is an innovative web3 investor / accelerator & marketing partner with a focus on emerging technology. The company is an early investor in Astra Protocol. “A partnership with Consensys has been a no-brainer for us because we want to get our investments the best possible support out there. We focus on the financial picture as well as marketing and growth hacking but rely on partners who are experts in the software space as well, so our investments have the best infrastructure setup possible,” says Carlos Prada, Founder and CEO of Masterblox.
ConsenSys, Astra Protocol and Masterblox together are a great example of the strong collaboration potential in the blockchain community. We all care for the evolution of this amazing industry and want to see the space grow and flourish. Establishing strong partnerships and programs like the above put rails under this mission, it makes the whole industry more reliable. Where software, business and capital meet, great things start to happen and it does not matter if we have to endure a crypto winter, we are building on a strong foundation.
If you are a high performing & funded early stage venture , get in touch via [email protected] to learn more about the participation process.