# What is the LAO?
One of the most promising applications of Ethereum is the decentralized (autonomous) organization, also known as a DAO. In 2016, the Ethereum community saw the first great experiment with DAOs with the launch of "The DAO." The DAO raised over $150 million dollars, but it ultimately failed due to legal and technical challenges.
The LAO was organized in the spirit of The DAO, as a member-directed venture capital fund organized in the United States, with an aim to be compliant with U.S. law. Like The DAO, The LAO allows Members to pool capital, invest in projects, and share in any proceeds from the investment.
The LAO is organized as a legal entity (a Delaware limited liability company) primarily administered via an online application (a "DApp") and related smart contracts.
Launched in late April 2020, the LAO has backed over 30 projects across the Ethereum and blockchain ecosystem. Unless modified by the members, funding will be provided to projects in the form of the cryptocurrency Ether under terms outlined in these FAQs.
More details about The LAO's legal structure, operation, and funding process are outlined in these FAQs. Please read them carefully before becoming a member of The LAO or seeking funding from The LAO.