It is part of tech companies DNA to grow through merger and acquisitions. The majority of large and medium size tech companies today do several acquisitions per year, small ones, in a form of acqui-hire, or larger ones, in a form of strategic acquisition. Let’s focus on the ‘acqui-hire’ as its close to what could be happening with Dune Network and Free TON.
All over the world, countless small great product and engineering teams raises early financial rounds, develop their product, fail to reach mass market adoption and therefore their business goals. Still, these teams have some notable assets/qualities :
- Strong product & engineering skills
- Knowledge & experience in their field as they spent years trying to crack it
- Existing dynamics and the ability to work faster together as a team (which is extremely valuable)
It is in these cases that acqui-hiring takes place, as larger companies sees great opportunity and value integrating small/talented/experienced team. It’s more or less the Dune’s position today. Dune network is built by Origin Lab, a strong and senior team of researchers and engineers, with a deep understanding of the space, several years of experience in protocol core developments and blockchain tooling, and the ability to work together as a team and produce high quality code in short amount of time due to team cohesion.
Yet, the crypto-space is still a very young ecosystem, it will need events like M&As to grow and evolve. Currently, many team are currently working on 1st layer protocols, with various approach and specificities, but trying to achieve the same goal. Very few will win mass adoption and establish themselves as standards, and the rest of the pack will either die, or join other larger projects. This is why we might see many coalition & team alliances in the futur. As of today, Dune network and Free TON would be one of the first, if not the first, fully decentralized M&A.
The interesting part with M&A in the crypto space is that this type of aqui-hire does not concern only teams, but its entire ecosystem & community. By doing this deal, Free TON don’t only get an A+ team ready to work, but also users, community members, dApps, established validators, ambassadors, token holders, and people which believed in the Dune network project in the first place.
Note: usual acqui-hire of a 8–10 people team by another tech company goes around $10-$15m, most of the time in the company stocks. In the DUNE/TON case, as these network are listed, they have public token prices, which makes the “valuation” side easier. If you do the maths here, the price to be paid by Free TON would be around 9millions TON crystal token.
As Free TON has +5billions token fully diluted, 9millions token for a deal like this would cost less than 0.20% of its tokens supply. With a TON Crystal token priced around $0,40 per token, it’s virtually a $4m deal, paid in token. Ido think the 9m TON Crystals is a very fair price in this current case, and overall that these “coalitions” will be key to accelerate growth in the space over time.
I’m convinced that with communication between teams and smart organization, the Dune Network team & its community joining Free TON will creates important value for Free TON over time and that we’ll see more and more merger like this one over the next few years.