Blockchain Supporter, NEAR Foundation, Gives $100M to Web3 Developers

September 14, 2022

NEAR Foundation, the Swiss non-profit that manages the development and growth of the NEAR Protocol, partnered with VC firm Caerus Ventures to fund a $100m project. In support of engineers, builders, and developers, they will create development within the Web3 sector. 

In the first quarter of the year, NEAR Foundation expanded its presence in Africa and teamed up with a Kenyan blockchain community called Sankore. In the consensus between the two, both parties planned to establish a blockchain unit within the Kenyan region to focus on cryptocurrency innovations, education, and talent development within Africa. 

Who is NEAR Foundation?

The high-performance blockchain NEAR was created without constraints. NEAR enables anyone to build at scale and deploy quickly since it is made to be incredibly quick, incredibly secure, and infinitely scalable. The goal of NEAR is to build a network that enables individuals to reinvent community, creativity, and finance in fresh and inclusive ways. 

The founders at Bitcode Method stated that blockchain mainstream adoption is now conceivable thanks to NEAR.

The NEAR Foundation was constructed by an award-winning set of engineers and entrepreneurs to create a space for simple to use, inclusive, and benefits the environment with their technology. They are backed by several reputable organizations, including A16Z, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Coinbase Ventures,, and Baidu Ventures.

Why Did NEAR Foundation Partner with Caerus Ventures?

The Swiss non-profit supported the governance and development of the NEAR protocol and announced its strategic partnership with Caerus Ventures to launch a $100m venture lab and venture capital fund.  

The CEO of NEAR Foundation, Marieke Flament, said that “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.” 

The money granted by the NEAR Foundation will be used to further Web3 opportunities as it reimagines culture and entertainment, starting with how it is funded, handled, and delivered and moving on to how it is consumed, owned, and monetized.

When asked about the reason for backing Caerus, Flament remarked that “we’re backing Caerus because they have a uniquely differentiated proposition and robust investment thesis predicated on the tokenization of entertainment and decentralization of rights and licensing. In this new economy, we believe that new incentive structures, native business, and funding models will empower creators with more control of what they produce and the rewards that come.”

Why is the Venture Lab a Significant Project? 

The top engineers, developers, and venture builders from Web3 will flock to the Venture Lab to construct products with iconic talent and intellectual property that will define their category. By the end of this year, Caerus will have advisory partners who will be named. 

Venture Lab is the first project that will be funded, which according to a news statement, will collaborate with artists, talent, and franchise owners to develop, verify, test, and build the following generation of platforms.

Caerus Ventures is a relatively new investment firm run by IMG executive Nathan Pillai. Caerus is a Web3 innovation catalyst that focuses on sports, music, movies, fashion, and the arts.

Pillai mentioned in an interview with CoinDesk that “we want to focus on how to deepen engagement and reward the people who spend a lot of time and money consuming entertainment. I believe talent and intellectual property (IP) creators need to have a more equitable share of the value that is created, and for this, to be then shared amongst consumers and fans.”

Despite the fund’s initial closing of $50m, it targets a $100m seed for Series A investments. This hub is the next step in realizing the shared aim of the NEAR Foundation, which is empowering the most prominent developers of the future to create customized solutions with scalability, security, and transparency using the Near Protocol.

By: Hannah Parker 


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