1000 True Chains — Why We Invested in Saga
The concept of “the blockchain’’ is already outdated today. When someone says they are building in Web3 or on blockchain, you might ask: “which one?” Sure, pockets of tribalism or “chain maximalism” exist, where people claim the supremacy of their favourite blockchain. But it is clear that a tapestry of blockchains have sprung up in recent years, with priorities like greater speed (e.g. Solana, Avalanche), modular functionality (e.g. Celestia), or specialised purpose (e.g. Filecoin, Arweave).
At the same time, applications themselves are starting to set up blockchains of their own: Axie Infinity with Ronin chain, Compound with Compound Chain, and GnosisDAO acquired xDAI to become Gnosis Chain. These applications and communities are looking for dedicated blockspace to scale, experiment, and control their own economics.
But the concept of a multi-chain ecosystem is not new. Years ago, infrastructure players Polkadot and Cosmos were already building frameworks and tools to enable projects to easily launch blockchains, like Substrate and Cosmos SDK. These appeal to developers who want maximum flexibility, but with that comes a bit more complexity in setting up collators/ validators.
Saga brings a step change to that experience. Developers can set up “chainlets” with dedicated blockspace, just as easily as deploying smart contracts, with no upfront cost. A typical blockchain is akin to public trains where people bid or squeeze to get in for the ride, whereas chainlets are like reserved coach seats, with a predictable, smooth experience.
The setup of a chainlet can be subsidised by Saga itself, or a partner blockchain looking to scale up. After that, developers can “pay as you go” with Saga tokens depending on resource requirements. From a user’s point of view, the experience can be preserved 100% from another blockchain (including gas tokens), or simplified/ subsidised like a Web2 app where users do not pay for every single interaction. This flexibility makes Saga suitable for mainstream applications like gaming, social, and music.
Our story with the team behind Saga interestingly began in 2017, when Rebecca (CEO) encouraged a longtime friend and early member of LongHash to get into Web3. She went on to work with Zaki, one of the inventors of Cosmos. There Zaki introduced her to Jin Kwon, who joined Tendermint in 2018 and became managing director of Tendermint Ventures, and is now the CSO of Saga. Together with experienced builders Jacob McDorman (from Purdue), and Bogdan Alexandrescu (from Apple, Twitter), the Saga team combines strong technical expertise with Web3 familiarity. Saga was incubated by Ignite (formerly Tendermint) in 2021, and came out of stealth in 2022, for their first fundraising round which we joined.
Of course, the journey towards mainnet is marked with challenges, that’s where strategic investors come in. For example, scaling chainlets requires validator orchestration, which industry leaders in proof of stake infrastructure like Figment and ChorusOne can help refine. Driving adoption requires inroads to ecosystems and communities, where infrastructure players like Polygon Studios and Merit Circle can help greatly. We will also channel our experience and resources in supporting >50 early-stage entrepreneurs through our accelerator, to solidify good teams building on Saga. Alongside our co-investors Maven11, Hypersphere, Samsung Next, and more, we are confident that an inclusive, multichain future is within our collective reach. Let a thousand chains bloom.