We envision a future in which establishing a company is as easy as a few clicks. A world where the intricacies of legal structures do not impede creativity and entrepreneurship, but instead facilitate them, allowing the “under-entrepreneured” to become active economic agents in the new economy, the same way FinTech empowers the under-banked.
Blockchains as the enabling tech: from dvd.com to Netflix
We believe blockchains are the enabling technology for this digital transformation of entrepreneurship.
Using blockchains as the ledger of truth and the rails for transfer of value enables OtoCo to engineer the next vehicle for human ingenuity, and will let anybody entrepreneur from anywhere by simply connecting their wallet.
In March 2017, Ville had written a piece on his LinkedIn sharing details of the "Etherprise" he had engineered, which provided the spark for OtoCo.
OtoCo wanted to take up this challenge.
In early 2020, it was incubated by Otonomos’ CEO, who wanted to prove that smart contracts could help remove the analog friction Otonomos experiences every day in forming entities in the jurisdictions in which it operates.
The early project had 2 goals in mind:
- We wanted to compress the time and cost of forming a new legal entity;
- Whilst maintaining legal validity.
From the early research, two things quickly became apparent:
- The legal engineering would be as heavy (and with hindsight turned out to be heavier!) than the actual smart contract authoring;
- There are only a handful of jurisdictions where instant formation of legal entities would be possible.
On the legal side, we used the early part of 2020 to complete our legal research, focusing on Series LLCs in both Delaware and Wyoming. After extensive back and forth with US layers who Otonomos had drawn into the project, we finalized the Master and Series LLC Operating Agreements and formed the Master LLCs in Delaware and Wyoming, resp. on 10 July and 11 August 2020.
On the development side, after a number of intense months in the midst of Covid, our LLC assembler was ready and the world’s first onchain LLCs were spun up natively on blockchain:
After encouraging early traction, OtoCo was spun off of Otonomos and its governance handed over to the community.
In a May "introspective" on OtoCo in Otonomos’ The Otonomist monthly newsletter, the issuance of the OTOCO governance token was announced together with an outline of OtoCo’s proposed governance structure, followed by the setup of the OtoCo Foundation in October 2022.
On 21 September 2021, reservations for the OTOCO token opened by way of a purpose-built, audited launch pool smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain which set the price of the token with total transparency using a bonding curve.
The launch pool closed in March 2022 with over US$ 1.1MM raised from OtoCo users and its wider community.
In 2022, OtoCo started to move from product to platform by adding a number of smart contract extensions and dApps for its users:
- Feb 2022: Integration of (Gnosis)SAFE multi-sig wallet.
- In March we announced a document signing plugin that lets OtoCo users sign documents on behalf of their onchain entity from their Ethereum wallet.
- In April we refactored our smart contracts and added NFTs to the company creation flow, together with a batch of changes to our user interface.
- Mid-2022 OtoCo formed two further Master LLCs to let users spawn Series LLCs on the Polygon mainnet, in addition to Ethereum.
- Over summer we made several governance announcements and by September we pushed the multi-Member Series LLC into production, allowing users to instantly form and govern a Multi-Member LLC onchain, using mirror tokens to represent Members' ownership rights
- In October 2022, OtoCo’s development team commenced a multi-month development sprint which resulted in the January 2023 release of a new governance console, improved navigation within the dashboard, and refactored multi-sig wallets for its user base, which had reached over 1,000
- The remainder of Q12023 was all about essential maintenance of OtoCo’s codebase towards the launch end March of a new entity creation workflow including a one-step community-owned DAO and revised LLC pricing
- In April 2023, we announced the world’s first onchain Swiss association, based on a multi-sig signing event by the Association’s first members. This meant that OtoCo users, in addition to US LLCs, could now instantly create a Swiss Association natively on blockchain and decentralize its governance.
- May to August was majorly spent upgrading OtoCo’s infrastructure and planning for the road ahead, including the hiring of OtoCo’s first U.S. employee, the addition of a next jurisdiction, and the articulation of a growth plan to turn OtoCo from “most-loved, least known” Web3 solution into a go-to name in Web3.
Updated 29 days ago