F1, much like the crypto community, is truly global. In fact, 471M people watched the 2021 season 🤯
For 71 years, generations of fans have watched racing legends risk their lives for a chance to stand atop the podium.
Behind these drivers are organizations that include hundreds of unsung heroes – mechanics, engineers, pit crew, team principals, owners and maybe someday, even you.
F1 DAO is launching a platform for super fans to rally around a singular mission:
LET’S BUY A TEAM! And have as much fun as Daniel Ricciardo along the way.
We published our original roadmap in early January and we’ve learned a lot since then that is reflected in this update. We’ve already connected with four F1 teams, several retired drivers, other investment DAOs, and top flight attorneys. Based on those learnings, F1 DAO will proceed in three phases to maximize the likelihood of success.
Our core mission is to buy a stake in a Formula 1 team and that’s going to cost much more than any NFT sale could raise.
We initially planned on an NFT sale to raise operating funds for legal bills and events. After doing our research, we don’t think that is necessary or appropriate. The legal costs won’t be very high and members of the community are organically planning events anyway.
Over the past 60 days, our key learning has been that plenty of other people want to invest in F1 too. The imposition of strict budget caps this season has created a path for many teams to become profitable, thereby increasing valuations. Our job is to convince teams what F1 DAO can bring to the table that other investment groups cannot. Teams are looking for new ways to engage with more fans, and that’s what we’re here to deliver.
In Phase 1, F1 DAO will focus on building the strongest community of racing super fans around the world. We’re releasing a membership token in several waves throughout this F1 season. Instead of asking you for money, we’re asking you for something much more valuable - your contribution to making our community the place to be.
What does that mean?
Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it can’t be great.
F1 DAO Membership Token benefits:
First, the artwork is amazing. We spent the last two months working with artists and designers to create a unique set of hand drawn images. The collection is inspired by race cars from the 50s, 80s, and 2020s and every iteration is unique. We can’t wait to see these out in public.
Second, you’ll get access to exclusive virtual events. You can expect AMAs and events with F1 experts, drivers, and mechanics for behind-the-scenes commentary on the sport. Early members include two retired F1 and Le Mans drivers and two NASCAR drivers eager to meet more members of our community.
We’re also hosting F1 Fantasy leagues and virtual watch parties on race day with key figures from the F1 community. In fact, we’ll host our first AMA with a retired F1 driver in the next several weeks. Join our Discord or follow us on Twitter for more announcements.
Third, you’ll get access to a token-gated Discord. Current members of our community range from someone attempting to set the world land speed record to retired drivers and sports investors.
Community members are constantly bringing up incredible ideas for how F1 DAO can get more involved with the sport. In the past two weeks, they have proposed supporting up-and-coming carting racers through our treasury. F1 is an incredibly expensive sport and some of the best drivers never make it to feeder leagues. We could provide financial support to the next five Lewis Hamiltons!
We’re humbled by how the community has come together and can’t wait for more of you to join us. We’d love to hear from the community (YOU) and what benefits you’d like to see - hop in the discord and let us know.
Important Caveat: this membership token does not represent a share in a Formula 1 team, now or ever.
Our objective is to find a path forward that meets two objectives:
We’ve discussed the requirements of investing in a team with experts, and that’s going to require the following for anyone who ultimately invests:
We will NOT raise a single dollar towards investing in a team until the legal structure is airtight. For legal reasons, the membership token does not entitle you to a share of the future fund. We wish it were simpler.
There are three work streams in this phase:
By the end of 2022, we hope to finalize negotiations and complete the takeover or large minority investment in one of the current F1 teams.
What if I don’t or can’t participate in phase 2? You’ll still be a part of the F1 DAO community!
2023 and Beyond - we’ll own a stake in an F1 team! Whether we make a minority or majority investment, we intend to keep the management team and key personnel in place while recruiting great talent from other teams.
Our goal is to have the DAO advise on as many key decisions for a team as possible while getting exclusive social perks.
It isn’t going to be easy, and we still have a lot to figure out, but together, we can achieve something great.
Let’s buy a Formula 1 team!
There is little publicly available information on team values, though Forbes published a set of estimates in November 2019. Forbes has not updated these figures in two years, but we’ve done our best to revise them in this section. Over the last month, we have run our estimated team values by several executives at Formula 1 teams and they generally agree with our analysis.
Forbes’ Estimated F1 Team Values in November 2019
In 2019, Forbes ranked Ferrari as the most valuable team at $1.35B and Alfa Romeo the least valuable at $105M.
Since this was published, we have two data points that should drive up team values.
Caveat: we also know, from Bloomberg, that Williams sold to Dorilton Capital for ~$200M in August 2020. This is half of the value that Forbes assigned to the franchise in 2019. We are choosing not to haircut the other team values using this data point because: a) Williams was in a distressed financial state, and b) we believe the franchise is likely worth much more with the new budget caps in place.
… which brings us to 👇
Caveat: these are our estimates 3 days into this project, based on whatever public data we can find. There are rumors that Andretti Racing attempted to purchase Alfa Romeo for ~$500M last year. If true, then our estimated value for Alfa Romeo may be far too low. As mentioned earlier, Williams sold in 2020 for ~$200M, so it may be worth less than this analysis suggests. Everything is an estimate at this point. This chart below accounts for ranges where public data contradicts our analysis.
These numbers are just a start for our community to understand the ballpark figures we need to achieve our mission. If you have more accurate estimates, please hop into our Discord and let us know. We’ve run these figures by multiple people at different F1 teams and they believe we are quite close.
So, there you have it! We should be able to buy a 15% stake of Haas for $25M. Want to aim higher? How about buying a 51% stake of Aston Martin for $95M? These figures may be large, but for less than the cost of a single Beeple NFT, we have a shot at owning a material portion of a Formula 1 team!
After talking to several teams, we believe the most likely path is to acquire a minority stake in an existing team.
Since we wrote the first roadmap, Mario Andretti has applied for a new spot for the 2024 season! We are working diligently to learn more and find ways to collaborate.
Realistically, we believe the path forward is to attempt acquiring a team like Alfa Romeo, Haas, or Aston Martin OR acquiring a minority stake in any team that would be a good partner (fingers crossed for McLaren).
The core team writing this launch paper has over a decade of fintech experience. We’ve launched venture-backed startups, graduated from Duke, Berkeley, and Harvard, and really just love racing 🏎
We are also currently recruiting retired team principals, drivers, and other experts to the team. If this sounds like you, join us in Discord!
Our initial goal was to pool funds through a DAO and try to buy a stake in a team. After doing our homework, the path forward is more complicated. Over the last month, we’ve spoken to several top flight securities lawyers and closely followed the operations of other sports and investment DAOs like Links and Krause House. We’re in uncharted territory and our priority is doing this the right way.
We will NOT solicit funding from anyone without an airtight legal structure in place. We aim to make investment in a F1 team possible for as many fans as possible, but regional restrictions such as accreditation in the United States may pose challenges.