Crypto builders using the Flow blockchain will soon have a wealth of additional resources at their disposal. On Tuesday, the project announced the formation of a $725 million ecosystem fund that will be used to support everything from FLOW token grants to development resources such as office space and incubator programs.
The backers of the new fund, which will also make contributions to projects already in development, include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coatue, Greenfield One, Liberty City Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and Dapper Ventures.
Dapper Labs is the original creator of Flow, the blockchain ecosystem that powers its NBA Top Shot, NFL All Day, and UFC Strike NFT collectibles platforms. However, Flow also plays host to a variety of other projects—ranging from avatar platform Genies to kid-centric NFTs from Zigazoo—and has evolved into an open, decentralized platform for Web3 apps.
Mik Naayem, co-founder and chief business officer at Dapper Labs, told Decrypt that the fund started via a conversation with Greenfield One, and grew to encompass contributions from more than 15 total backers.
It also won’t be centrally operated, he said. Rather, each backer will offer its own support to selected projects—whether it’s investment, token grants, and/or other benefits—and make its own decisions, although the Dapper team will help make connections.
“It's a pool of resources that are dedicated to the Flow ecosystem, with each investor individually deploying their support,” said Naayem. “We think that's important, because rather than having one person making decisions, you're having groups of people individually making decisions based on their expertise.”
Some participants will offer unique benefits as part of the fund. For example, Greenfield One will offer office space in Berlin while the AppWorks Accelerator program will do the same in Asia, and Liberty City Ventures will provide a pair of college scholarships for students to work on Flow-based projects.
Overall, Naayem said that the fund’s biggest priorities are supporting projects based around Flow infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi), and gaming, as well as entertainment projects. He added that grants from the fund will be tailored to a project’s specific needs, whether it’s product development, user acquisition, scaling, and more.
Flow has seen a surge in activity in recent months, tripling in monthly transaction volume from 3.9 million in September to an all-time high of over 11.8 million in February, per data from Flowscan—and April wasn’t far off from that peak at 11.4 million transactions. The platform has also recently hit peaks in daily Flow accounts created and daily transacting users.
Naayem also pointed out that a pair of startups building on Flow have recently become crypto “unicorns” with a valuation of at least $1 billion. Genies raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation in April, while soccer media firm OneFootball raised $300 million amid plans to launch NFTs. OneFootball’s valuation was not announced, but Dapper Labs has backed both firms.
“These last two months have been pretty incredible,” said Naayem. “We think [the fund will] create an incredibly strong amount of support for the current Flow ecosystem, but also help it grow in a big way.”