• The fund will have a closing of $50 million and will have a target of $100 million
  • Caerus and NEAR Foundation's new fund will cover seed to series A investments
  • NEAR Foundation recently struck a deal to establish a regional hub in Kenya

NEAR Foundation, a Switzerland-based non-profit responsible for the development of the NEAR Protocol (NEAR), has announced that it has launched a $100 million venture capital fund and venture lab in partnership with VC firm Caerus Ventures known for investing in early-stage firms.

According to a Tuesday report, the fund will support engineers, developers and projects focused on the development of Web3. It will have an initial closing of around $50 million which will then be expanded to $100 million for seed to series A investments.

"Our cultural passions for live sport, film or music have historically been leveraged to on-ramp billions of consumers to new technologies. The creators, talent, and franchises with reach and influence spearheaded that growth and will now drive the adoption of blockchain at scale. But this time, they and their fans will have greater access to the value created," said Marieke Flament, the CEO of the NEAR Foundation.

According to Flament, the NEAR Foundation has decided to back Caerus because it believes that the venture capital has a "robust investment thesis predicated on the tokenization of entertainment and decentralization of rights and licensing."

Caerus, founded by Nathan Pillai, will help the NEAR Foundation in supporting the leading Web3 developers, engineers, and venture builders who aim to create "category-defining products around iconic talent and IP." The fund will also present cross-functional support to portfolio projects.

"We're yet to imagine many use cases for how Web3 technologies will change how culture is experienced, entertainment is consumed, and value is distributed," Pillai said.

NEAR protocol was founded by Alexander Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin as a layer one blockchain and supports a variety of Dapps and NFT marketplaces, among other things. The Foundation recently struck a deal with the Kenyan blockchain community Sankore to facilitate the creation of a regional hub.

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