We Keep Building: The Polkastarter Journey for 2024-2025

Polkastarter's Team, Vision, Past and Future Roadmap, for 2024 and Beyond


GM Polkastarter community 👋

As you may recall, Polkastarter’s native token $POLS turned three last year! From a DEX concept on Polkadot to an established early-stage fundraising platform on Ethereum and various EVM-compatible chains, Polkastarter has evolved significantly over 3.5 years through continuous development.

Some of you may be wondering: is it still the same Polkastarter as it was in 2021, during the DeFi summer that brought about the full-swing IDO craze that many still recall with nostalgia?

In this post, we explore Polkastarter’s current state, the team, the product, and the vision, linking the present with both the past and the future. 🤓

We will begin with a brief recap of Polkastarter’s past. If you are already familiar with the history, feel free to skip to the ‘Present’ or ‘Future’ section.

The Past - Q4 2020 to Q1 2024

2020: Launch of $POLS
Polkastarter’s native token $POLS premiered in late Q3 of 2020. The first version of the platform followed soon after in December 2020. An extended history of Polkastarter is available here

2021: IDO Craze, Platform v2, and IDO Process Fine-tuning
Starting from the initial 2-pool system with open access to token sales, to $POLS on the BNB Chain, tiers, and Polkastarter platform v2, we have continuously improved the IDO participation requirements. And we keep going.

The first year of $POLS operations was both exciting and rewarding for the Polkastarter team and our growing community. Many of you have been with us since those early, exhilarating days, for which we are extremely grateful and proud.

Inception of Polkastarter Gaming
2021 saw the inception of the Polkastarter Gaming Guild, which rapidly grew into the official Polkastarter Gaming division. In 2023, it spun off to form GAM3S.GG, the gaming super-app, for which we hosted an IDO and Private this April. 👾 Read more about GAM3S.GG's evolution here.

2022: Platform v3 and Major Exchange Listings
2022 brought about less favourable market conditions, and soon the crypto winter began to form. However, our team did not stop building. After releasing platform v3 in April, the $POLS token was listed on three major exchanges - Coinbase, Kraken, and KuCoin. It proved to us how trusted our brand has become in the broader web3 space.

2023: Development of Poolside
In Q4 of 2022, our efforts shifted to developing Poolside, the web3 accelerator and hub in Lisbon. The Poolside hub hosted over 50 events with brands like BNB Chain, Gnosis, PunkDao, 1inch, Metamask, ConsenSys, Marlowe, Hacken, Delphi Digital, Filecoin, and many other investors and early-stage projects. Recently, our hub celebrated its first year of operation. 

Accelerating Projects with Poolside.co
With Poolside.co, we have accelerated four projects in the first cohort, one of which, Aether Games, has already hosted an IDO and Private sale on Polkastarter. The next three projects are now enrolled in the program, out of which Cookie3 already had an IDO with us. We also use accelerated projects’ technology, integrating Cookie3 MarketingFi tools and planning to use the Portals API in our cross-chain swap features. (see below in the ‘Future’ section)

🙋 Are you a web3 founder yourself? Applications are open, so feel free to submit yours. Learn more and apply here.

Polkastarter stats for 2024

The Present - Q2, 2024

Now that we’ve reviewed the highlights of the 3-years-long $POLS history, let’s move on to explore what Polkastarter is today: our vision, product, team, and financial stability.

Our vision

We aim to catalyse healthy growth in the web3 space by establishing and maintaining a fairer financial system and levelling the playing field for retail users. Our vision is to connect web3 projects with their communities, enabling greater participation in public sales and ensuring more sustainable valuations for the long-term benefits of both projects and their active users. This vision has been with us from the start, and will now focus even more on community-based fundraising, bringing onboard Missions and a novel concept of Community-owned sales. We think it’s time to make crypto truly user-centric again.

Our goal towards our community of users is to bring high-quality projects at healthier valuations to our fundraising protocol, prioritising quality over quantity. Additionally, we focus on compliance and project due diligence to protect our users.

Our product

Polkastarter is a DeFi protocol offering a decentralised way of raising capital as part of an early-stage fundraising stack. Since the beginning of 2024, we’ve implemented updates to the IDO process prepared during the previous market cycle. All these features are now live.

Key Features Introduced in 2024:

  • New 50k POLS Power tier: Users with over 50k POLS Power get extra perks, including guaranteed spots in sales.
  • Private sales: Top tiers $POLS holders can now join exclusive private sales.
  • Lottery transparency: We use Chainlink VRF for transparent and fair lottery results.
  • One-time KYC: Only one KYC is needed for all IDOs, thanks to Synaps integration.
  • Guaranteed allocations: Everyone gets a chance in sales in the FCFS round, with lottery winners securing guaranteed allocation spots.
  • Polkastarter Airdrops: $POLS holders can receive tokens from our partners. Over $5M worth of tokens have already been distributed.
  • Stablecoin integration: We can now conduct sales using stablecoins on native chains.
  • Tier-based allocation: Higher POLS Power tiers now grant larger allocations.

Besides the user-facing features listed above, we have also undergone a full backend overhaul to continuously scale our user base while ensuring a seamless experience moving forward.

Our team

From an initial small team, we have expanded to nearly 30 people working for Polkastarter today, across different languages, cultures, and regions. Many joined over the past 3.5 years, but the core team has remained the same throughout.

Meet the key people behind the project 👇

With Polkastarter from inception in 2020:

  • Daniel Stockhaus, co-founder & CEO
  • Miguel Leite, co-founder & active advisor
  • Tiago Martins, co-founder & active advisor
  • João Leite, Managing Partner
  • Sven Meyer, Head of Blockchain
  • Diogo Cera, CTO
  • Miguel Almeida, Head of Engineering

Joined in 2021:

  • Catarina Cabral, Poolside Hub Manager
  • Edward Ward, COO
  • Henrique Caiano, Head of Design & Frontend
  • Beatriz Albernaz, Head of Marketing
  • Pedro Cunha, Brand & Graphic Designer
  • Jonathan Holmes, Motion & Graphic Designer

Joined in 2022:

  • Yan Ketelers, CMO
  • Karolina Korab, Content & Community Manager
Team meetup in Lisbon

While embracing a remote culture daily, we also have our space at Poolside Hub in Lisbon, Portugal. Team members can come to Lisbon to work from the office anytime they want. Approximately once a year, we host a team get-together at the Lisbon hub too.

Financial stability

In the uncertain crypto market where companies may vanish overnight, we cannot stress it enough: Polkastarter is a financially stable company. Our runway helped us to continue developing throughout the last bear market without downsizing. On the contrary, we were able to hire new talents during this unfavourable cycle, proving that our reserves reach far beyond mere survival. Rest assured, we are well prepared to keep building in any conditions that the market brings.

The Future - Q3 2024 and Beyond

It’s time for the most anticipated part of this blog: Polkastarter’s future roadmap! Get ready for new features in the renewed UI and UX, with highlights including a new staking contract, $POLS token v2 migration, a gamification layer with missions, user profiles, and more.

Roadmap for Q3, 2024

★ Integration of new chains:
We are working on adding new networks to our fundraising stack. Expect the integration of new chains including L2s. We always "keep an eye" on exciting new ecosystems.

★ User profiles:
A wallet/web2 login system enabling you to edit and customise your Polkastarter profile and experience. You will be able to change your primary wallet address, add multiple wallets, and much more. This is a step towards a more user-friendly experience, also helping to onboard less web3-savvy users more efficiently.

★ On & Off-chain analytics:
This one is our backend feature. User analytics will give us the edge to finetune user segments, guaranteeing the best match and mix for projects. 

★ Refreshed branding:
In the upcoming months, you’ll see the new look of Polkastarter unfold. We aim for a professional and vibrant feel that we think plays a part in maturing the web3 space, instilling trust and transparency while staying approachable and user-friendly. We’re keeping the same name but with a brand-new skin. (Estimated to go live at the end of Q3).

★ Missions:
The Missions feature will bring onboard a new way to earn on Polkastarter. With Missions, you will be able to directly contribute to the projects’ development and community-building by completing engaging tasks, straight from your Polkastarter dashboard. Of course, your efforts will be generously rewarded. 

Roadmap for Q4, 2024

★ $POLS token v2 migration: 
Starting from Q4 2024, we will be gradually replacing the current $POLS token with the new, upgraded $POLS v2 over an extended period.

About $POLS v2:

  • The token will be exchanged on a 1:1 ratio, so you will have exactly the same amount of $POLS and POLS Power. The total supply of $POLS remains unchanged. 
  • The migration portal will be integrated directly into our website.
  • The migration tool will allow for both ERC20 and BEP20 $POLS to be swapped to v2.
  • This action will finally solve the issues with the Multichain Bridge, allowing $POLS to move across chains again.
  • At the same time, the upgraded $POLS v2 token will have new utility and economic possibilities related to POLS Power and the new staking contract. 

★ Upgraded $POLS staking contract:
A new staking contract to allow longer lockups and bigger rewards is already built and waiting for the right time to be deployed.

★ Cross-chain asset bridge/swap:
A dedicated page for swapping and bridging tokens on multiple networks will be added to our protocol and platform. 

★ Fiat onramp:
This dedicated widget to buy $POLS and other cryptocurrencies directly on Polkastarter via different payment systems will make it much easier for new users to get their hands on $POLS without leaving the platform.

★ Solana native integration:
We are finalising the integration of the Solana network, marking our first non-EVM chain in our fundraising stack. Soon, we will be able to host Public and Private Sales on this rapidly developing chain. The IDO contract has been fully developed and audited over the last few months, and we are working on integrating it into our platform. 

Disclaimer: Please note that certain features on our roadmap, such as the staking, $POLS v2 migration, and Solana integration may take longer to implement due to their highly sensitive and technically complex nature. Additionally, dependencies on third-party services, such as exchanges and other external platforms, may also contribute to potential delays. While we aim to deliver these updates promptly, the reasons mentioned above could extend the timeline.

Roadmap for 2025

★ Community-owned fundraising protocol:
A user voting mechanism for the next IDO and LPB projects where the fee/revenue is shared among the voters and stakers. This approach encourages stakers and holders to participate in public decision-making. Introducing this system would bring a new type of sale, “by community,” alongside curated sales. This vision also involves governance proposals.

★ New types of token sales:
Introduction of new types of public and private sales like silent auctions and bonding curve offerings. Next to the above discussed “by community” voted sales.

★ Cross-chain token sales:
A feature enabling us to conduct cross-chain sales for the smoothest UX in the space, allowing swapping and withdrawing from any chain.

★ Buyback feature:
We are implementing a refund feature called “Buyback.” It will give you the option to have your allocation bought back before being withdrawn, within a specific time window.

★ The POLS Network:
We will onboard leaders of the crypto industry into a network of innovation in web3. This network will connect VCs, service providers, builders, investors, platforms, and protocol designers in a private community platform, providing value to early-stage projects.

★ Gamification layer:
In addition to Missions, we will have a broader gamification layer where users are incentivized and rewarded for in-app and external-app actions. You’ll be earning spendable points to add value and drive meaningful progress in the web3 space. 

We keep building

We promise to keep making public sales accessible to everyone by providing the best tools and opportunities for our $POLS community. Our values of long-term thinking, sustainable building, and overall web3 ecosystem welfare guide us in offering continuous support to promising web3 projects, from acceleration to IDO marketing, through the post-Token Generation Event (TGE), and beyond. Our focus will remain on shaping better tokenomics, effective marketing strategies, and strong ecosystem connections to ensure sustainable valuations and accurate price discovery. 

We are still here, and we keep building. This is the Polkastarter journey—a continuous effort to innovate, support, and lead in the web3 space.

📥 It’s been a big chunk of updates and we understand you may have questions. For this occasion, we conducted the text AMA with the Managing Partner, Joao Leite! Review the AMA starting here.

In case of any questions, feel welcome to ask them directly on our Telegram or Discord.


About Polkastarter

Polkastarter is the leading early-stage fundraising protocol enabling web3’s most innovative projects to kick-start their journey and grow their communities. Polkastarter allows its users to make research-based decisions to participate in high-potential public and private sales.

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