You know a new iteration of the Web is ready to take off when the gamers get on board. Web3 just picked up serious mojo with a $100M fundraising deal designed to build out the next generation of gaming apps and ventures.
Solana Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Solana Labs, has joined forces with Lightspeed Ventures and FTX to finance a studio for games that will live on Web3, the rapidly expanding home for decentralized apps powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
The firms plan to create games, technology, and projects “at the intersection of blockchain and gaming,” they said in a joint statement released today.
“In the last few months we’ve seen talented game builders leave their jobs at Riot, EA, Scopely, and other established gaming firms to build web3 games on Solana,” said Anatoly Yakovenko, CEO of Solana Labs. “We are excited to collaborate with Lightspeed and FTX to support and accelerate this new wave of builders.”
The initiative is already funding one project: Faraway Games, a Web3 gaming studio founded by Alex Paley and Dennis Zdonov focused on creating hyper-social games with player-driven and decentralized economies. In December, Faraway, plans to launch a browser-based flagship title Mini Royale: Nations, a competitive shooter meets strategy game. It will be the first live multiplayer game on Solana, the investment firms said in their statement.
The initiative is hitting a global gaming market that is on course to generate more than $200B in sales by 2023, according to Newzoo. The metaverse is projected to play a vital part in the growth of the market. Earlier this week, Marc Andreessen and the Winklevoss twins led a $100M fundraising round in Sfermion, an investment firm that specializes in metaverse NFTs.
Solana, an open source blockchain ecosystem that’s been challenging Ethereum itself for decentralized supremacy, has been one of the standout stories in DeFi this year. It’s total value locked (TVL) has soared 822% since Aug 1, to $14.1B, according to DeFi Llama data.
Solana and FTX, the popular crypto exchange handling $2B in trading volume per day, have already connected. In September, FTX started letting customers deploy NFTs on the Solana blockchain. Lightspeed, a stalwart of the traditional venture capital community in Silicon Valley, was an early backer of FTX.