Abu Dhabi-based Venom Foundation and Iceberg Capital Ltd. partnered up today to invest $1 billion into the Web3 and metaverse industry with the Venom Ventures Fund.

The Venom Foundation is the developer of the first Layer-1 blockchain regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Market and is licensed to issue cryptocurrency tokens. Iceberg Capital is a regulated asset management company licensed under the ADGM that offers traditional and virtual asset management services as well as venture capital.

Together, the two companies are forming what they call a “blockchain-agnostic fund” that will be used to invest in Web3 decentralized applications and focus on what the companies believe are long-term trends in the industry such as payments, asset management, decentralized finance, banking services and GameFi.

Joining the fund’s leadership team will be seasoned traditional finance and blockchain professionals including former chief information officer of BlackRock Peter Knez and Mustafa Kheriba, an investor well known in the Middle Eastern and North African region.

This investment comes at a rough time for the cryptocurrency industry after markets tumbled during an extended “crypto winter” and the recent bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. has caused them to fall even further. Crypto markets such as Bitcoin have fallen approximately 60% from their value in January 2022 to their current prices today. Crypto companies have suffered layoffs recently including the exchanges Coinbase Inc., Huobi Global, Kraken, crypto lender Genesis and crypto bank Silvergate Capital Corp.

“Even though the blockchain industry is witnessing a steep correction in prices, we believe that builders will continue to build and innovate,” Mustafa Kheriba, executive chairman of Iceberg Capital, said. “With Venom Ventures, we will be providing financial, technical, and marketing support to the most promising teams and projects in Web3 space to help them bring their visions to life.”

The fund will be operated by Iceberg Capital and aims to invest in projects and teams with an eye for early-stage funding such as pre-seed to Series A. The objective will be to accelerate the adoption of Web3 and metaverse apps across blockchain, DeFi and Web3 with an eye toward long-term value for investors. It will do so by leaning on the expertise of Iceberg’s network, expertise and capabilities to offer incubation and acceleration programs and assist in the marketing, exchange listing, technical, regulatory and legal assistance needed to get projects off the ground.

The fund has already made its first investment in the Web3 sector by leading the $20 million round for the Nümi Metaverse, a universal platform for creators. The platform is designed to allow members to create immersive, 3D virtual worlds where users can entertain themselves and interact socially, otherwise known as the “metaverse.” The platform is expected to release its “Visual Novel” experience soon, which is a mini-game with a range of special prizes for players.

Nümi has also announced plans to release a full virtual reality metaverse by the end of the year, followed by a full PC and mobile version in 2024.

“We are ready to allocate strategic investments in the most innovative Web3 start-ups that are poised for mass adoption,” Peter Knez, chairman of Venom Ventures, said. “Our mission is to transform digital asset management and make a lasting impact on the industry. Venom is the ideal platform for us to achieve this goal.”

The Venom Ventures Fund is already accepting applications from Web3 projects, people and creative ideas on its website where people can apply today.

Image: geralt/Pixabay

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