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Solana launches $100 million investment and grant fund for South Korean web3 startups – TechCrunch


The crypto market has been quite volatile over the past few months, but users are still holding their ground and investors are not backing down.

Solana is the latest to bring money into the system. Solana Ventures and Solana Foundation have set up a $100 million investment and grant fund to deploy capital into South Korean web3 startups, Johnny Lee, general manager of games at Solana Labs, told TechCrunch . The fund will focus on game studios, GameFi, NFT and DeFi in South Korea.

According to Austin Federa, head of communications at Solana Labs, the fund is backed by capital from Solana’s community treasury in addition to the pool of capital from the venture capital arm.

“Much of the Korean gaming industry is moving to Web3,” Lee said. “We want to be flexible; there is a wide range of project sizes, team sizes, so some [our investments] will be company-sized cheques.

In general, games and NFTs account for the majority of activity Solana sees in South Korea, making those sectors a natural fit for Web3, Lee said.

There has been a lot of criticism in the past about gambling games like Axie Infinity which only exist for users to earn money, and not actually enjoying the game. However, a number of game studios over the past six months have focused on improving gameplay in hopes of expanding their reach beyond crypto-native gamers.

Lee predicts that there will be more “high quality and fun games” launched on the Solana blockchain in the second half of 2022. These games will have the potential to change the current perception that games to win are not fun, he said.

“We are confident that is about to change.”

In the long term, Lee believes Web3 games will be adopted just as much as free-to-play games on mobile devices. “There’s been a lot of rejection from gamers and developers on web3,” he said.

But given the prolific growth of the web3 industry, the timelines are drastically reduced, he added.

“Adoption of free-to-play probably took eight years, so if we say it will take four years for Web3 games to become the mainstream revenue model, I’m pretty comfortable with that.”

Tech

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