Hedera Hashgraph is eyeing the metaverse with its latest venture fund, putting $250 million in HBAR tokens towards its development.
The Thursday announcement, made by the HBAR Foundation, comes just a week after the network launched a $155 million “Crypto Economy Fund” focused on decentralized finance (DeFi).
The metaverse fund targets business-to-consumer and business-to-business-to-consumer projects that Hedera hopes will onboard users into Web 3 and its ecosystem, with a focus on “gaming and virtual worlds, consumer brands and collectibles, sports and fan engagement and enterprise metaverse,” according to a press release.
Hedera is known for its blockchain-esque distributed ledger technology (DLT), which was recently made Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible. With a package of large token incentives, the network’s backers are looking to attract applications that have clicked on other chains.
Read more: Hedera, Newly EVM-Compatible, Woos DeFi With $155M HBAR Fund
“We see this whole metaverse area as a bit of a catch-all for the apps bringing in new users into Web 3,” Alex Russman, a VP at the HBAR Foundation, told CoinDesk in an interview. “I see 2021 as the year of NFTs, and 2022 as the year of their enterprise applications.”
The first grant from the newly announced fund has been given to Sayl, a company that helps brands use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a commercial context, currently partnered with over 300 companies, according to a press release.
Russman told CoinDesk two areas of particular interest for Hedera are virtual fashion and gaming, two sectors the company already feels well-connected with.
One of the 39 companies on Hedera’s “Governance Council,” a group assembled to oversee the network’s operations and strategy, is gaming giant Ubisoft, which joined the council a little over a month after its own NFT debacle last December.