Grants Round 12 Results

TLDR

  • Grants Round 12 ran from Dec 1-16, 2021.
  • GR12 was Gitcoin Grants’ largest round ever with $6.1M raised for public goods, representing 135% round-over-round growth vs. GR11’s $2.6M. Of the $6.1M raised in GR12, $3M came from the matching pool and $3.1M came from the community.
  • GR12 featured ten rounds: 
    • The main round 
    • Six ecosystem rounds: Uniswap, Synthetix, ZKTech, Polygon, Forefront, Gitcoin Building Gitcoin (on dGrants)
    • Three cause rounds: Climate, Advocacy, Longevity
  • In GR12, we ran an experiment in the main round – having a single pool, rather than a category-based approach. Broadly speaking, this experiment was a success and the Public Goods Funding workstream plans to propose running more single pool rounds in the future.
  • In addition, GR12 saw a marked increase in side rounds – both ‘ecosystem rounds’ and ‘cause rounds’ – with side round matching funds accounting for double those of the main pool ($2M side rounds + $1M main pool). We’re excited about continuing on the momentum of these ecosystem & cause rounds in GR13.

Grants Round 12

Our mission at Gitcoin is to empower communities to build and fund the open web. We do that by giving builders opportunities to earn in a number of ways, including sponsored hackathons, ongoing bounties, and quarterly grants rounds. In particular, grants rounds are among our most significant economic vehicles. And because of the Quadratic Funding mechanism, they offer the community extraordinary involvement in deciding the allocation of public funds.

Thanks to the generosity of the Funders League and the Ethereum community, the main pool matching multisig has over 3,000 ETH (~$12M), ~$4.5M in stables and ERC-20’s (notably $2M $ENS) for a sum of $16.5M in total assets destined to bolster digital public goods as of December 22. This amount excludes illiquid AKITA tokens and includes about ~$2.7M that will be used to pay out the main and cause rounds in GR12, leaving approximately $13.8M in funding for future rounds. As was agreed when the multisig was formed, the social contract is that funds are to be used for public goods distributed through Gitcoin Grants. The first grants round (GR1) concluded in Feb 2019 with $44K funded.

In this twelfth grants round (GR12) we raised approximately $6.1M, achieving over 5x year-over-year growth (vs. GR8). There were over 473K crowdfunding contributions (+48K from GR11). These contributions were made by 27K unique users (+9k from GR11), both all-time highs.

GR12 featured ten rounds:

  • The main round, advancing projects in the Ethereum ecosystem & beyond
  • Six ecosystem rounds, catering to specific Web3 ecosystems who create their own matching pools to use quadratic funding to advance projects within their ecosystems
  • Three cause rounds, a new concept in GR12, dedicated pools assigned to specific social causes

Here are the top 10 grants, as based on total CLR matching – across all sub-rounds – in GR12:



Main Round Results

The GR12 main round saw the introduction of the single pool experiment, which was a deviation from our typical approach of having a category-based main pool.

Rather than having categories accounting for specific percentages of the pool, we had one unified main pool, in an attempt to test whether broad-based quadratic funding is as effective at allocating funds as categorization.

Aside from an implementation error on the matching cap element of this experiment, which was fixed mid-round, we view this experiment as having been generally successful. In the GR12 Finale Event, Vitalik commented on the experiment, suggesting “in some ways, it might even be accelerating Gitcoin finding its product-market fit”

The no-categories approach left more room for grants of all types across the pool to be allocated funding purely dependent on the QF mechanism, and the 2.5% cap turned out to have been a reasonable threshold, at least directionally, with 20 out of 944 grants (~2%) hitting the main round $25,000 cap.

Ecosystem Round Results

Grants Round 12 marked significant growth in ecosystem rounds, which allow more ecosystems within Web3 to participate in Grants by creating their own matching pools. Participating projects continue to support the main pool, thereby supporting both their individual ecosystem and the larger ecosystem simultaneously.

After having run one successful ecosystem round in GR11 – a $50K round sponsored by Uniswap – we ran five ecosystem rounds in GR12, in addition to the Gitcoin Building Gitcoin ecosystem round of our own. 

The Gitcoin Building Gitcoin round, notably, was the first round ever to be run using Gitcoin’s decentralized grants (dGrants) protocol. 

We continue to see significant interest in ecosystem round participation and plan to continue ecosystem rounds in GR13.

Cause Round Results

GR12 marked the genesis of ‘Cause Rounds’, dedicated pools to fund specific social causes, extending Gitcoin grants’ scope beyond just digital public goods and into the off-chain realm.

In GR12 we ran three cause rounds: Climate, Advocacy, and Longevity.

These rounds were successful experiments, attracting large sums of funding from our generous partners – both before the round began and throughout the round itself.

We were very excited to test the use of quadratic funding in environments that extend beyond open source software in crypto, and we were blown away by the community’s interest in these rounds. We plan to continue with cause rounds in GR13. 


Conclusion

We are immensely thankful to all of our GR12 funding partners, grantees, and the community for their record-breaking contributions to this round. In GR12, we continued to push the envelope and test new approaches to Quadratic Funding, and we have concrete learnings we can bring along with us for future grants rounds.

We’re closing out the round and the year with so much gratitude for this incredible community – on behalf of the whole GitcoinDAO, happy holidays, and we look forward to building upon this progress together in 2022.

Note: The results in this post are final results as of January 5, 2022. These have been updated for fraud & dispute removals.

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