Flow Blockchain Announces $725 Million Ecosystem Fund to Spur Innovation

The web3 development platform Flow announced yesterday that it had created a $725 million ecosystem fund to invest in companies creating innovations on the open source blockchain. Flow was developed initially by Dapper Labs “to create more efficient, secure and scalable proof-of-stake blockchain experiences.” Today, it is used by the NBA, NFL, UFC, Animoca Brands, Genies and Dr. Seuss. Dapper Labs wants to drive faster and broader innovation on the platform and corralled some big-name partners to help create the ecosystem fund.

Venture capital leaders a16z, AppWorks, Cadenza Ventures, Coatue, Coinfund, Digital Currency Group (DCG), Dispersion Capital, Fabric Ventures, Greenfield One, Union Square Ventures, Dapper Ventures, and several others all contributed to the fund. Developers on the Flow platform will be eligible for “support in building applications…through investments, FLOW token grants and in-kind support.” The company claims it is the largest fund of its kind in the web3 space.

What it Means

  • The blockchain wars are well underway and the key battleground today is for developers. Leading blockchains understand their long-term strength will be driven by the quality and quantity of developers on their platforms today. Dapper Labs is not waiting around for organic growth. It has $725 million to invest to help accelerate the work of developers and incentivize them to build on Flow.
  • The fund’s size is notable because it will enable investment in a wide variety of different developers and potentially doubling up on bets in various categories by making multiple investments. Just as significant are the partner investors in the fund. These partners include some of the biggest names in web3 venture capital and infrastructure. That means connections beyond Dapper Labs that can be used for future funding needs and introductions to partners and customers.
  • Dapper Labs already has a premium pedigree with top-flight sports and entertainment franchises using the platform. It was widely assumed they would be replicating early success by going after similar brands. The fund shows that the ambitions for Flow include market adoption that is broader and goes beyond cookie cutter solutions.
  • This move will likely put pressure on other chains to follow suit. Let the developer wars commence!

What’s Next

  • Look for Flow to start deploying some of the funds this quarter. It will be looking to move quickly to meet aggressive growth goals as well as signal the market, and particularly developers, that Flow is a place where they will receive support.
  • You should expect a focus on applications and content in the funded projects. The Flow architecture is a departure from other new and established blockchains in order to better support application requirements. In addition, the team understands that great applications will not attract end-users and make those developers successful without great content and experiences.
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