Open-source payments network, Celo (cGLD), announced on March 31 that it had awarded $700,000 in developer grant funding to 16 startups looking to build on the Celo network.
Cointelegraph spoke to Xochitl Cazador, the head of ecosystem growth at cLabs — the company behind Celo — to discuss what they look for from grant applicants, and Celo’s plans for 2020.
Celo provides grant funding to 16 startups
Cazador states that the most important criteria applicants are assessed on is whether they “support Celo’s mission of building an open financial system that creates conditions of prosperity for all.”
In addition to mission alignment, Xochitl cited a startup’s team background, its level of innovation, and the market opportunity that their product seeks to capitalize upon as the four most important attributes that cLabs is looking for.
Cazador notes that while most of the 41 applications received so far have come from teams “who are new to the Celo ecosystem,” two of the teams were introduced to Celo through cLabs’ blockchain-centered entrepreneurial retreat, Prosper.
Celo seeks to grow global network
Xochitl states that Celo aims to “build a diverse ecosystem with representation from around the world.” The 16 grant recipients approved so far include teams based in Canada, Hong Kong, Portugal, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.
Edmilson Rodrigues, the chief executive of Lovecrypto — a Brazilian crypto-powered micro-earning platform who has received funding from Celo — told Cointelegraph:
“The Celo grant is an awesome resource that allows us to commit full time to our startup and to bring LoveCrypto and the power of micro-earning to more people in Brazil.”
Marco Barbosa, co-founder and CEO of Portugueze charity marketplace and grant recipient eSolidar, expressed his gratitude for Celo’s support, stating:
“We have been developing decentralized UBI mechanisms for vulnerable communities, starting in Brazilian favelas. Celo network has the right specifications for this kind of approach. This grant will help us implement the initial pilots, enabling us to go further and expand to more communities.”
Celo plans to distribute at least $15.7 million in grant funding during 2020
Applications for the current round of grant funding close on May 19, with Celo planning to award 15.7 million cGLD in community grants over its first year.
Cazador states that 100 million cGLD are expected to be allocated to developers building on Celo over the lifetime of the project, with a further 100 million tokens “expected to go towards the community as a portion of on-chain epoch rewards, allocated through on-chain governance.”
Once mainnet has launched, Celo grants will be disbursed using either cGLD or the network’s stablecoin cUSD. Celo is issuing cGLD tokens via Dutch auction with a reserve price of $1.
Looking forward, Cazador states that 2020 will be “an exciting year with mainnet launch approaching [and] Celo gold and Celo dollars going live after mainnet release and all the governance actions have been completed.”
“In addition to mainnet, we expect to see teams continue to build on and integrate with the Celo Platform with the Celo Alliance for Prosperity, Ecosystem Fund and 2nd wave of the Celo Foundation Grants program,” he adds.