Solana Ventures Launches $100M Fund for Web3 Startups in South Korea

Solana, a blockchain operator, unveiled its latest $100 million fund for South Korean web3 startups. The new fund is meant to foster the expansion of NFT, gaming, and DeFi initiatives on Solana, as well as to assist former Terra developers in finding work after Terra’s demise.

$100M Fund to Boost GameFi and DeFi 

Blockchain operator Solana announced on Wednesday the launch of a new $100 million fund dedicated to supporting South Korean web3 startups.

The funds have been contributed jointly by Solana Ventures and the Solana Foundation, a Swiss-based entity that promotes the network’s growth. They will be used to make investments and grants in a variety of Korean crypto companies, with a focus on gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and DeFi.

“We have been working with Korean developers and actively investing in the ecosystem for some time now, which helped us build a deeper understanding of the Korean market,” said Johnny B. Lee, general manager of games at Solana Foundation, in a statement. “Korea is at the forefront of web3 game design and development, and we are focused on helping even more builders in Korea bring their ideas to reality.”

Solana Ventures Fund to Aid Terra-Based Projects

It is the first Solana Ventures fund with a sharp geographic focus. It comes just a few weeks after the catastrophic failure of Terra and UST, a blockchain and its stablecoin on which many Korean crypto startups had relied. Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, is currently being prosecuted in South Korea.

In addition to backing Solana (SOL)-based initiatives, the fund will help keep Terra-based projects viable following the ecosystem’s collapse last month.

The Solana Foundation believes Terra’s developers should not be held accountable for what occurred on the blockchain network. Johnny B. Lee, general manager for games at the Solana Foundation, stated:

“The developers did nothing really wrong, but they’re left in the lurch.”

The new fund contributes to Solana’s goal of becoming the ultimate blockchain for gaming. Last November, Solana Ventures and crypto exchange FTX established a similar $100 million gaming fund with Lightspeed Ventures. In addition, the company has a $150 million fund alongside game-focused firms Forte and Griffin Gaming Partners.

South Korea Emerges as Metaverse Hub

The government of South Korea has pledged $187 million to construct its own metaverse ecosystem, projecting that the country will become a hub of NFT and Metaverse development in the next decade. The Korean metaverse will be essentially focused on the expansion of digital content and digital enterprises within the country.

The Solana Foundation expects interest in gaming finance (GameFi) and decentralized finance (DeFi) to rise in the country as startups compete for grant funding.

Competition to establish the finest platforms swiftly is heating up, with some South Korean platforms, such as the Klaytn layer-1 blockchain and Upbit exchange, already delivering NFTs or access to DeFi.

By contributing financing for ecosystem development, Solana may also be able to alleviate the intermittent network instability that has disrupted network operations since last year.

SOL price is currently up by 3.8% over the past 24 hours, trading at $39.39, according to data from CoinGecko.

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