Toku Inc, a global solution for token payroll and tax compliance, has announced it has raised $20 million from a consortium led by Blockchain Capital with Protocol Labs, GMJP, OrangeDAO, Orrick, Reverie, Quantstamp, Next Web Capital and angel investors including Protocol Labs founder Juan Benet and Alchemy co-founders Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau.
Amidst an environment of increasing regulatory scrutiny in web3, Toku provides their customers peace of mind with 100% tax compliance on all token-based compensation in over 100 countries globally. Toku’s growing list of customers includes Aragon, Astar, Filecoin Foundation, Gitcoin, Gnosis, Hedera Hashgraph, PleasrDAO, Protocol Labs, Teller, Safe, Storyverse, and others.
“Crypto is fundamentally shifting how talent coordinates and works together. As people are paid in tokens, the need for Toku’s services is clear. Co-founders Ken O’Friel and Dominika Stobiecka’s vision at Toku is setting the bar for what it means to offer compliant and employment services to all Web3 contributors and employees alike,” says Kinjal Shah, general partner at Blockchain Capital.
Toku’s suite of services include: Token-based payroll, token-based grant administration, employment and tax compliance, and WorkDAO a set of employment and compensation services tailored for the needs of decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).
Christoph Simmchen, co-founder of Gnosis Safe, says, “Toku is on the front lines of solving operational challenges of hiring and compensating contributors. We needed a partner that understands token payroll and token grant administration in different countries. Toku’s services allow each contributor to focus on their tasks while knowing their compensation is handled compliantly. They are a partner to us and the broader ecosystem.”
Toku has emerged as a provider in token compensation. “Since the beginning, we have brought on board stakeholders who share our vision of the future and understand the problem space from different perspectives,” says co-founder and CEO Ken O’Friel.
Toku was founded in 2021 after co-founders O’Friel and Stobiecka were working in Japan, and met Michael Carter (StartX, Playco) who incubated the company and agreed to join as chairman of the board. Toku further evolved through the team’s conviction that nearly all tokens, irrespective of their many and varied real-world applications, can and are being used to compensate employees. For this reason, token-based compensation and tax compliance is a problem that affects the entire crypto ecosystem. Toku brought in senior legal partners from Goodwin Craig Schmitz and Orrick Clem Roberts and Joseph Perkins who invested and played an instrumental role in the legal infrastructure and product design. Founding investors Walter Kortschak (Summit Partners, Firestreak Ventures) and Josh Buckley (Buckley Ventures) also joined Toku’s board of directors.
“This investment will accelerate Toku’s global expansion and scale its platform to support the entire crypto ecosystem. There are clear laws and regulations around how people get employed and compensated that have been around for hundreds of years. These laws aren’t going away, and organisations need to follow them for the industry to grow. Our vision is to make it simple for organisations, from traditional companies to DAOs, to compensate their employees and contractors with tokens globally,” adds O’Friel.
Additional investors in the round include Justin Waldron (Zynga), Peter Bell (Amity), Matt Ocko (DCVC), Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Richard Ma (Quantstamp), Lee Wittlinger (Silverlake), Harry Stebbings (20vc), Cameron Teitelman (StartX), Tashi Nakanishi (Dreamers & Hartbeat), Eiji Araki (GREE), Batara Eto (East VC), Joi Ito, Michael Gruen, Jesse Clayburgh (Protocol Labs), Phil Karl (Protocol Labs), Ryan Berkun (Teller), TJ Kawamura (Everyrealm), Marshall Sandman (Animal Capital), Paul Veradittakit (Pantera), Teddy Cross (Instaco), and Griffin Johnson (Animal Capital).
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