[Ready] [GF: Phase 1 Proposal] Messari

Project name: Messari Protocol Services

Author name and contact info (please provide a reliable point of contact for the project):

Jack Purdy (Director of Business Development, Messari)
Telegram: @jackpurdy
Twitter: @jpurd17

I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant:

Yes

L2 recipient address:

0xd17474f5C808B7978cfbc073c256aCdE2Ab6e7Ce

Which Voting Cycle are you applying for?:

Season 2: Cycle 8

Grant category:

Tooling

Is this proposal applicable to a specific committee?

Yes, the Tooling Committee.

Project description (please explain how your project works):

We are proposing that Messari provide the Optimism community with quarterly governance, ecosystem, and financial reports while continuing to build out subgraphs for the ecosystem. This would serve to better inform existing stakeholders as well as attract new ones while building out the open-source data infrastructure for the community.

These reports would live as free resources on Messari and would be distributed through our newsletter (250k subscribers), social channels, and third-party distribution partners including Bloomberg, S&P Global, and Thomson Reuters.

Governance Services

Governance Season recaps

  • Track OP distributions across Ecosystem Funds, retroactive public goods funding, and airdrops.
  • Category breakdown of Governance Fund distributions.
  • Delegate analysis looks at how voting power distribution and delegate participation rates have changed.
  • Governance process analysis aggregates individual proposal results and provides structural analysis on process pain points, community feedback, and potential improvements

Investor Relations

Quarterly reporting

  • Present and analyze major KPIs and fundamental metrics (transactions, fees, protocol revenue)
  • Network-level stats ( contracts deployed, developer activity).
  • Distribution across Bloomberg terminal, S&P Capital IQ, Refinitiv
  • Continued subgraph development for Optimism ecosystem projects

Initiation of coverage

  • Our standard protocol deep dive that breaks down what Optimism is building and why it matters, while contextualizing it within the broader crypto landscape.
  • It will also delve into a comparative analysis and breakdown of the token economics.

Ecosystem report

  • Ecosystem report highlighting the major project’s building across various verticals such as DeFi, NFTs, gaming, etc. contextualizing why they are built on Optimism compared to other base layers.

Project links:

Website: https://messari.io/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MessariCrypto

Discord/Discourse/Community: N/A

Please include all other relevant links below:

Additional team member info (please link):

Ryan Holloway (Messari Governor Team)

Traver Normandi (Messari Governor Team)

Please link to any previous projects the team has meaningfully contributed to:

Quarterly Reporting:

Subraph Development

Governance Services

Initiation of Coverage:

Ecosystem Report:

Relevant usage metrics (TVL, transactions, volume, unique addresses, etc. Optimism metrics preferred; please link to public sources such as Dune Analytics, etc.):

N/A

Competitors, peers, or similar projects (please link):

Llama - Aave Q3 Financial Report

Steakhouse - MakerDAO September Financial Report

Is/will this project be open sourced?

Yes, all reports generated on behalf of this grant will be open-sourced on Messari.

Optimism native?:

No

Date of deployment/expected deployment on Optimism:

The release dates will vary by report.

  • Governance Services: Published prior to the beginning of each season, for the next four seasons.
  • Investor Relations:
    • Initiation of Coverage: One-time report released end of Nov/early Dec 2022.
    • Quarterly Reporting: Quarterly reporting for the next four quarters beginning Q4 2022.
    • Ecosystem Reporting will be released in Q1 2023.

Ecosystem Value Proposition:

What is the problem statement this proposal hopes to solve for the Optimism ecosystem?

There are two main problems this proposal addresses: a lack of full-spectrum reporting and standardized data infrastructure. While projects often have scattered data dashboards, analytics pages, or other resources to better understand the protocol and the economic activity around it, there remains a need for standardized reporting so that anyone can analyze it like they would a company’s annual financial statement.

The standardized reports mentioned above are arguably more important in an environment committed to ‘relentlessly iterating’ on experimentation, where iterating on the impact of past decisions is the driving force behind future decisions. Without a full view of which aspects of past experiments worked (or didn’t), the community faces an uphill battle in making the optimal decision for future iterations.

Additionally, there is no readily available data infrastructure to pull relevant metrics to assess the network as a whole and individual ecosystem projects. This makes proper analysis difficult for any developers or analysts looking to pull raw data.

How does your proposal offer a value proposition solving the above problem?

Messari’s team of Data Scientists and Research Analysts are committed to providing credibly-neutral, data-driven reports to assist the broader Optimism community in making high-impact decisions. By combining our protocol and ecosystem deep-dives along with our recurring governance and quarterly reports, the community can easily remain informed on all aspects comprising Optimism.

Additionally we’ll be improving the tooling available to facilitate a more robust developer community through the creation and maintenance of subgraphs that bootstrap the open-source infrastructure for anyone to create powerful tools. While we recently became core subgraph developers we’ve already seen this in action with third-party developers using our subgraphs to build dashboards to track liquidations across top lending platforms.

Why will this solution be a source of growth for the Optimism ecosystem?

This proposal is designed to grow the Optimism ecosystem by attracting new stakeholders through better surfacing of fundamental data, governance initiatives, and core developments. Without adequate investor relations services and standardized reporting, it can be difficult for new entrants to find reliable data with the necessary context to make sense of it in order to make informed decisions. We aim to create the 10Q equivalent in the same way anyone can go to Apple’s financial statements to learn more about the company and its performance, anyone can publicly see Optimism’s reports to learn more about the protocol and observe it’s performance. Over time, this will bring more stakeholders into the ecosystem who will be more likely to contribute value to the DAO, allocating their time and money to grow the network.

Not only are we creating these reports but we’re ensuring they get sent out to a wide audience that can consume them. This is done through Messari’s channels of over a quarter million crypto-natives, which reach most of the active professionals in the industry as well as through our distribution relationships with Bloomberg, S&P, and Refinitiv. This goes a long way to further professionalize Optimism to the vast majority of major funds, banks, financial service companies, and large corporates in the world that will better grasp the magnitude of economic activity generated by the protocol. There are trillions of dollars in AUM represented by these platforms so even a small percentage of users consuming this information and acting on it can drive meaningful volume to Optimism and its ecosystem projects.

Has your project previously applied for an OP grant? If successful, please link to your previous grant proposal and provide a brief update on milestones achieved with the grant.

No.

Number of OP tokens requested:

365,000 OP (updated from 420,000k to reflect 30-day TWAP)

Did the project apply for or receive OP tokens through the Foundation Partner Fund?:

No

If OP tokens were requested from the Foundation Partner Fund, what was the amount?:

N/A

How much will your project match in co-incentives? (not required but recommended, when applicable):

N/A

Proposal for token distribution:

How will the OP tokens be distributed? (please include % allocated to different initiatives such as user rewards/marketing/liquidity mining.)

The OP tokens will be used to fund internal resources. Which include:

  • Research - Our analysts spend several weeks each report along with an extensive internal editing and review process by the broader team. We also have protocol specialists working with engineering to create the schema for subgraphs (ex: standardizing what protocol revenue look like for different sectors on Optimism ecosystem projects)
  • Data science - Each report will have its own dedicated data scientist tasked with providing all the relevant raw data
  • Marketing - We have several members of the team working on distribution for these reports across all of Messari’s channels along with the third-party partners

Over what period of time will the tokens be distributed for each initiative? Shorter timelines are preferable to longer timelines. Shorter timelines (on the order of weeks) allow teams to quickly demonstrate achievement of milestones, better facilitating additional grants via subsequent proposals.

N/A

Please list the milestones/KPIs you expect to achieve for each initiative, considering how each relates to incentivizing sustainable usage and liquidity on Optimism. Please keep in mind that progress towards these milestones/KPIs should be trackable.

Each milestone will be trackable by the timely release of each report, as outlined above.

Why will incentivized users and liquidity on Optimism remain after incentives dry up?

N/A

Please provide any additional information that will facilitate accountability:(smart contracts addresses relevant to the proposal, relevant organizational wallet addresses, etc.)

N/A

9 Likes

Really happy to see you all here.

Just to get facts right, if I understand this correctly, the deliverables are the following:

And I see four types of roles working on these: research analysts, protocol specialists/engineering, data science, and marketing.

What i’m generally asking here is: is there a way you can connect the 420k OP ask directly to the resources required to generate the intended work product?

And is the idea that in effect what Optimism is ‘buying’ is Messari following through on these deliverables, i.e., that they would not generate them at all otherwise? Or only offer them to paying subscribers? Or would this have all happened regardless?

7 Likes

Thank you this proposal.

Echoing what jack has mentioned above.

This would be helpful but who is the audience, only 15-20 members are active on this forum and other projects are doing their own analytics. On top of that, foundation is working on preparing the report from their side.

1 Like

Hi, I really like Messari’s work. I have some questions.

Could you give more details about the use of the 420k OP. Such as how much is paid to internal resources and the time frame this grant covers.

And another question, will the Optimism reports be available to all the public, will there be information that is only available to Messari subscription?

5 Likes

Our general cost breakdown is as follows:

  • Quarterly reports x4: $25k/per
  • Governance season recaps x4: $25k/per
  • Initiation of coverage: $30k
  • Ecosystem report: $50k

This brings the total to $280k to cover the various roles involved as outlined above. Add on a 5% premium we use when accepting native tokens to account for added costs to do so and we back into the 420k OP

The idea is Optimism is paying for an investor relations service with these deliverables. We only produce these types of freely available reports with DAOs where we’re able to receive funding since they’re not monetized behind any paywall (like Messari Enterprise which is totally separate; ie. more subjective, thematic research compared to this objective reporting)

3 Likes

This covers a 12-month period with the cost breakdown noted above.

And all of these reports will live as free resources on our site, distributed through our newsletter, social channels, and third-party distribution partners (Bloomberg, S&P, etc.)

2 Likes

It’s a hefty amount coming to around $23k per month but Messari provides high-quality service and looking at the internal resources mentioned & channels included (Bloomberg, S&P etc.) it makes sense for the cost.

Looking at the previous work done for Optimism, such as the gov fund by the named gov analysts, I believe that these types of reports will bring much-needed transparency to Optimism.

Messari also provides quarterly reports to Balancer (we are delegates in Balancer), which are always of high quality. I’d expect to see a similar outcome here.

3 Likes

Given that this is around $360k, can you provide some references that have been happy with a comparable package, as well as the materials produced and price they paid?

If Optimism feels like it needs to bring in outside consultants to create quarterly reports, it seems like it should put out a Request For Proposals. If Optimism governance decided it wanted quarterly reports published and that it was unable to have an internal affiliate create them, then it seems prudent to get multiple offers to shop around.

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing this proposal. I think that each of the reports you listed would provide useful information for the ecosystem and from what I’ve seen with past work, it seems that Messari puts out high-quality content. My only feedback is it seems the pricing is steep ($357k at the time of my post). Are you open to a reduced amount? I would also imagine that once the initial infra is set up for some of the reports (e.g. pulling in metrics, network stats, etc) that future reports might require less time.

4 Likes

Hey Messari team, big fans of everything you do! These reports sound useful overall but the prices seems pretty steep. It sounds like you are asking for 420,000 OP for 5 quarters total of reporting, is that accurate? Would it be possible to share what you have charged other projects for similar reports in the past?

2 Likes

To share pricing we’ve provided other projects, you can see our proposals for Balancer and Venus to fund similar quarterly reporting.

In terms of the governance recaps, the first one we did was OP Season 1 so this is the first time we’re looking to fund it on an ongoing basis. The resources going into it are on par with the quarterly reporting which is why they are priced the same.

Since we posted the proposal the OP price has increased fairly substantially so we’d be okay using a 30-day TWAP which would bring the total to 365,000 $OP.

1 Like

@katie @linda @Bobbay_StableNode Thank you so much everyone for the feedback! With the deadline approaching, we’re curious if the revised OP amount (365,000 OP) warrants a move to the next step. If so, can two delegates with >0.5% of votable OP please state their approval?

It looks like the amount requested still needs to be updated.

1 Like

I’ve updated the amount in the original post!

2 Likes

I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #18 by katie] with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.

3 Likes

I am one of the Synthetix Ambassadors, and a member of the Defi Shadow Committee.

I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #65 by mastermojo ] with sufficient voting power, and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.

2 Likes

From DefiLlama I’d like to extend a counter-offer: we’ll provide reports on the same topics for half the price, and on top of that we’ll open source all the dashboards and tools that we develop for these reports and maintain them

7 Likes

now we’re talking. @GFXlabs this follows your lead here, I think – seeming more and more like a vendor proposal and less an ecosystem one

Seems to me that one way or another we probably would need to do some shopping around, and we don’t have a week to sort that out. I think we might want to table discussion of this proposal and maybe even get some sort of single-purpose team together to look through some offers? Could put the creation of this team in this voting round. If people signal interest in this thought, we can draft something more formal.

Messari’s reputation is certainly very strong, but I don’t think this is one we rush into.

2 Likes

Would you be able to draft a counter-proposal to at least have something to compare to when reviewing this proposal? As it seems that this proposal did make it in this cycle and as such needs to be reviewed.

1 Like

We’re excited to see alternate proposals as it showcases other builders looking to solve a pressing DAO need. We’re big fans of Defi Llama over at Messari and have used it to inform much of our research.

However, DL’s experience remains in the raw data ingestion and dashboard building I’m not sure adequate time was spent thinking through the full extent of the resources that go into this type of longer form reporting and building out a platform to ensure it reaches a wide audience. (We left additional thoughts in the comments on the counter-proposal)

Lastly, while it seems the goal was to undercut us on price DL is requesting 300k OP to build the underlying data infra and then 182k OP to write the reports. Our proposal is less than that to do both.

3 Likes