Token equity management is confusing, especially for pre-token crypto startups. While established tools do a great job of tracking SAFE or equity rounds, basic equity management is still difficult for founders raising SAFTs or SAFTEs. Without a token, compensation is oversimplified and often doesn’t reflect how much time individuals have contributed to projects. Token equity management still lives off-chain within spreadsheets and lacks transparency and accountability.
At Exponent, we set out to create the standard for managing and distributing token equity natively on-chain. You can own jpegs and yield-bearing tokens on-chain, so why do we still track investor and team token equity off-chain?
We are excited to announce two products that fill in the gap between crypto startups’ pre- and post-token phases:
SAFTs are Simple Agreements for Future Tokens. Inspired by the SAFE standard, the protocol helps teams manage and distribute future tokens in a permissionless fashion. The protocol handles token vesting, exercising, holder segments (or groups), lockups, and other transfer restrictions.
We wanted a crypto-native solution, and as a result, we leveraged many existing web3 standards when creating the protocol so that it may be easily readable and extensible by the rest of the ecosystem. In addition to vesting and lockups, the protocol can also help facilitate governance mining, pre-token staking, contributor rewards, and the eventual distribution of ERC-20 tokens.
SAFTs are ERC-1155 NFTs. We already have excellent standards for representing ownership, and we saw no need to reinvent it. By leveraging 1155s, we can segment holders by events or groups while maintaining fungibility. Holders bound by the same terms can be added to the same group. For example, seed investors that signed the same SAFE or founding contributors that summoned the project.
Our user-friendly platform guides you through the setup for each round you may raise and provides a dashboard for equity management. The whole process is outlined in four steps: setup, mint, utility, and distribution.
Founders, or teams, can launch a new SAFT with their first group.
You’re set! You can launch your SAFT. If you forget one or two holders, no worries, you can add them later.
NFTs, in general, represent ownership rights, and SAFT NFTs track pre-token equity ownership rights. Like any other NFT, holders can mint their allocation as soon as they vest.
Percent ownership and vesting show up inside holder wallets next to other tokens and NFTs.
You can use SAFTs to participate in governance or stake them for more rewards. Because they are ERC-1155 NFTs, SAFTs work out of the box with Snapshot and other NFT governance strategies.
You no longer have to flash-loan non-transferable tokens from yourself to participate in governance.
Eventually, there’s a token launch, and teams typically struggle to distribute tokens to holders properly. SAFT protocol handles this.
Once you have your ERC-20 contract, the protocol can automatically help you allocate tokens across all groups and holders in a single transaction. It doesn’t matter if you raised zero or ten rounds or have a thousand contributors. SAFT protocol keeps track of everyone’s vesting and knows exactly how many tokens belong to each holder.
You can optionally delay claiming until a future date, but once claiming is enabled, holders can exchange their SAFT NFTs for vested ERC-20 tokens.
That’s it. 100% on-chain and fully permissionless. It’s also free! Just pay for gas.
We’re live on Ethereum testnets today, and we’re approving testers in batches. Approved testers also get priority access to our mainnet and L2 deployments.