Retail DAO
Collaborative Retail DAO for startup Ecosystem

Retail DAO

  • Short term/ initial use: Co-management and co-ownership of a retail location used for coworking + community uses.
  • Long-term: Creation of an infrastructure for ecosystem collaboration between startups, investors, incubators, municipal governments, bigger businesses. Co-owned ecosystem development for development of jobs and innovations.

Purpose of governance system:

  • Everything related to the running of Retail DAO
  • Mid-term objective: Use technology platform to plan and run a women’s even this summer in Paris with 9000 attendees.

Technology used

  • Communication: Fortnightly meetings with free lunch, Slack
  • Currently most decisions are made in physical space.
  • Voting: formerly Aragon, migrating to DAOstack.
  • Relationship: (in house development available to others).
  • Reputation: DAOstack.
  • Funding: The DAO is funded by

Reason we chose that technology

Tried one and wasn’t quite right for them, now trying another.

Governed objects and mechanisms

  • All decisions concerning the retail space (for example, there’s a proposal to bring in a sink)
  • Membership: 10 co-located companies and 100 other affiliated organizations.


  • Retail DAO is developing a proprietary tool for understanding human interactions, which is available to other DAO organizations. They have developed a proprietary tool as they recognized that when you don’t have a traditional organizational hierarchy, they would want a sense-making tool about the relationships and interactions among members. Also, because the idea is ecosystem and collaboration, the tool presumably gives them visibility into what collaborations are and aren’t working.
  • The actual existence of the physical space and free lunch encourages participation in a collaboration. Because they have a physical community and a budget to work with, the failure of one technology did not diminish the momentum and ability to port everyone to the next technology.
  • Professional facilitation of the lunch meetings ensures effectiveness and collaborative communication environment.
  • The systems were so hard to use that they allocated 10% of one of the staff’s time solely to onboarding and training others.
  • A major difference between Retail DAO and many of the other case studies is the willingness of the initial investor to continue investing in this as an experiment in the community. Funding has allowed them to accomplish a lot more in some ways (or maybe fail faster, as the case may be).
  • It was extremely difficult to find paid staff, like janitors, who were interested to become part co-owners (mentality shift).
  • CEO/Investor intentionally stays out of decisions as much as possible

Feedback for developers on improvement

  • Difficult usability, not accessible for average users
  • Integration is missing between the different tools (communications/ proposals/ relationships/ voting)
  • Human interaction tool is missing (but they developed their own,