MetaWeb Ventures, a global venture capital firm focused on pre-seed and seed investments in crypto start-ups, announced Thursday the launch of its first fund (Fund I), with total capital commitments of $30 million.
Limited partners (LPs) in the fund include NEAR Foundation, Sequoia Capital, Dragonfly Capital, GSR Markets, Octopus Network, SevenX, Mentha Partners, as well as notable entrepreneurs such as NEAR’s co-founder Illia Polosukhin, Matrix China’s co-founder Bo Shao, Alchemy Pay’s founder Shawn Shi, Dodo’s co-founder Mark Wang, and more, MetaWeb said in a statement.
MetaWeb aims to create outsized returns by investing in highly innovative projects and builders who can unlock the mainstream adoption of blockchain for billions of users.
“We founded MetaWeb to back the future Web3 leaders who will disrupt the world through blockchain. As former entrepreneurs, we will work side by side with the founders throughout their journey,” said Amos Zhang, Managing Partner at MetaWeb Ventures.
The entire MetaWeb team is deeply embedded into the blockchain developer ecosystem and is able to support founders in the earliest stages. The Fund will primarily invest in the decentralized social media, DeFi, gaming, infrastructure, and DAO verticals. A Second Fund (Fund II) will follow in 2023.
MetaWeb is focused on supporting developers and researchers building the future of Web3.
The Fund has been operating in stealth mode over the past few months and has already invested in 33 start-ups. Most notably, MetaWeb invested in Orderly, Niche, CornerstoneDAO, Sender Wallet, Kino, and Play3.
The firm is led by crypto veterans Zhang and Dani Osorio. Zhang is a serial entrepreneur who has run start-ups in blockchain and software as a service (SaaS) with multiple successful exits.
Before joining MetaWeb, he ran Global Marketing and was the Genera Manager for Asia at NEAR Protocol.
Osorio has spent over 15 years at high growth start-ups; before joining MetaWeb she co-founded an non-fungible token (NFT) Infrastructure start-up, led Developer Ecosystem at NEAR Protocol, and was a Director at Infura/Consensys.
She volunteers as Head of Content at crypto festival EthDenver, as well as sits on the boards of SporkDAO and the CypherPunk Guild.
“At the core, MetaWeb is unique in that we’re all builders who also invest– we have direct access to early projects as we can provide a very special kind of support to our founders,” said Osorio.
With deep domain expertise in both blockchain technology and NEAR Protocol, MetaWeb was created as NEAR’s first ecosystem fund. That vision was aligned with that of a multi-chain future, so MetaWeb began investing in the best platforms and applications across additional protocols including Ethereum, Aurora, Cosmos, and more.
Today, MetaWeb Ventures has a team of 9 across New York, Denver, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Lisbon. This is its first venture fund.