Solana Ventures and Solana Foundation, the Switzerland-based entity that promotes the growth of the network, have jointly announced a new $100 million (roughly Rs. 777 crore) fund specifically for South Korean crypto startups as it looks to penetrate a developer market still reeling from last month’s Terra ecosystem collapse. While the fund will seed investments and grants “across all web 3 verticals,” the public blockchain platform’s emphasis will be on startups in the gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralised finance (DeFi) sectors.
General Manager at the Solana Foundation, Johnny B. Lee, has stated in a TechCrunch report that the funds are primarily for Solana-based projects in the country. Consequently, the fund will be available for Korean Web 3 startups. Also, he noted that it will also support projects that were previously based on Terra. Lee believes the firm has been working long enough with Korean developers in the ecosystem to understand what the country’s market looks like.
“Korea is at the forefront of Web 3 game design and development and we are focused on helping even more builders in Korea bring their ideas to reality.” Thus, the funds will focus on gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralised finance projects.
Regarding how the firm will disburse the funds, Lee said, “There’s a wide range of project sizes, team sizes, so some of [our investments] will be venture-sized checks.”
In addition, Solana will also serve in a technical and advisory role for the Korean developers, helping with product and engineering.
While Solana has launched different funds in the past, this is the first one with a unique geographical focus. In November 2021, the firm set up a $100 million (roughly Rs. Rs. 777 crore) gaming fund together with FTX and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Later in December 2021, it launched a $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,165 crore) fund with Forte and Griffin Gaming Partners.
Compared to the first two funds focused on gaming, the focus of this investment seems broader. This is obvious when you consider it is coming weeks after the Terra ecosystem collapsed, and left the Korean crypto market reeling.