Funding for crypto startups has slowed globally following a series of crypto blowups that culminated in the downfall of FTX that shook investor sentiment. Bucking the global crypto bear market, the Middle East and Northern African (MENA) region is driving digital asset markets, crypto, Web3, and DeFi.
Now blockchain firm Venom Foundation and Abu Dhabi-based investment manager Iceberg Capital launched a $1 billion crypto venture fund. It is leading a $20 million funding round in the virtual world platform Nümi Metaverse.
The Venom Ventures fund will be run by investment company Iceberg Capital, which Abu Dhabi Global Market governs—the emirate’s international financial center—and is chaired by former BlackRock chief investment officer Peter Knez.
The Venom Ventures Fund (VVF) will invest in early-stage firms focusing on payments, asset management, financial services, and gaming on Web3, a much-hyped vision of a future internet built on blockchain.
According to a report by Chainalysis, users in the Middle East and North Africa region transacted $566 billion in cryptocurrency between July 2021 and June 2022, up 48% from a year earlier, the report found.
The report said that in MENA, Turkey remains the largest cryptocurrency market — its citizens used $192 billion of crypto in the period.
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