Ethereum-based NFT marketplace OpenSea has launched a grants program under its new Ventures division, with the aim of supporting community-driven projects and crypto startups focused on building Web3 applications.
In line with the launch of its new investment arm, OpenSea’s new grants program is slated to provide funding, advice, technical advisory, and strategic connections to the investment arm’s company portfolio. This venture capital initiative will be helmed by OpenSea’s co-founder, Alex Attalah. OpenSea currently has active partnerships with Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) and Animoca Brands, as well as Katie Haun (general partner at A16z), and EDM artist 3LAU.
OpenSea recently closed a $300 million Series C funding round led by Paradigm and Coatue. As a result, OpenSea’s valuation has sprung up to over $13.3 billion, compounded by the rise in adoption and mainstream attention for NFTs, effectively catapulting the platform to being among the leading NFT marketplaces in the crypto industry.
According to OpenSea, the investment arm will be focusing on four key areas of NFT and Web3 development, inspired by a “shift to a multi-chain world” that intersperses with protocols that support both fungible and non-fungible tokens. This vision also incorporates strategies for gaming, social, and analytics services. Such a positioning will enable OpenSea to integrate with other platforms such as NFT aggregators that are tasked to collate data on NFT markets.
Dubbed as OpenSea’s “Ecosystem Grants initiative” the community-oriented grants program will be supporting projects that involve development for user accessibility and developer tooling for NFT functionalities. The grants program will also provide support for the creation of educational resources that promote user inclusivity and general accessibility for the platform.
In addition to OpenSea Ventures, the firm aims to support projects emerging from the Web3 community with its Ecosystem Grants initiative. OpenSea aims to support projects that improve user accessibility and developer tooling around NFTs, create educational resources, and promote inclusivity and accessibility.
According to OpenSea, on the outset, their organization is looking to support short-term projects with a viability timeline of at least two quarters upon receipt of the grant. OpenSea will assess and evolve its criteria for sifting through applications as it develops the program further. A review committee for the first batch of grantees is yet to be established and the initial qualifications for application has not been disclosed at the time of writing.
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