Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal raises $50 million in Web3 fund to support early-stage Web3 companies through Symbolic Capital, a venture capital fund built by and for Web3 founders.
Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal, alongside Cere Network co-founder Kenzi Wang, has raised $50 million in Web3 fund through Symbolic Capital. Polygon, previously known as Matic Network, is an Ethereum layer-2 interoperability and scaling platform for launching Ethereum-compatible blockchains. On the other hand, Wang’s Cere Network is a decentralized data cloud platform.
In May, the duo launched Symbolic Capital, a Web3-centric venture capital fund focusing on supporting companies building consumer-facing decentralized apps (dApps). The pair says that Symbolic would be much different from other venture capital firms because crypto founders are at its helm.
In an announcement, the firm said, “We’re one of the first VC firms led exclusively by web3 founders, allowing us to provide unparalleled support to the builders in our portfolio.”
And while the firm has been around for some time, Nailwal and Wang announced just this Thursday that, despite the crypto market’s crash, they have raised $50 million in Web3 funds for early-stage Web3 companies.
Earlier this year, Polygon already raised $450 million in its first major financing round. This time, the $50 million Web3 fund raised through Symbolic Capital came from the joint efforts of other venture capital firms, cryptocurrency exchanges, family offices, and institutions. However, Nailwal and Wang preferred not to share the specific names of the investors.
Purpose of $50M Web3 Fund
In a recent interview, Nailwal said Symbolic Capital primarily plans to support companies building consumer-facing dApps. Nailwal also noted that this move aligned with his company’s own objective of speeding up the development of Web3 apps.
“My core mission is to bring mass adoption to web3, and that mass adoption is only going to happen via apps. It’s not like I’m going to build a blockchain, and people will come and use the blockchain—nobody uses blockchain directly. They always use it via some app,” Nailwal said in the interview.
According to Nailwal, the Web3 fund has already made approximately 15 investments. These include investments in e-sports platform Community Gaming, Web3 gaming studio BlinkMoon, and Polygon-based Metaverse Planet Mojo.
Through Symbolic Capital, Nailwal plans to allocate 80 to 90% of the Web3 fund to business founders like him who come from emerging markets. Being Indian, the Polygon founder said the market might be a tad unreceptive, especially to those “coming out of the Indian subcontinent.”
“It’s not closed for anybody who’s building in Silicon Valley, of course not. But being from India, like, technically, I would be an angel investor or an advisor to 95% of all the good projects that you would see coming out of the Indian subcontinent—they would come to me some way or the other, for help or guidance,” Nailwal said.
Nailwal looks at founders in emerging markets as generally more practical owing to the limitations they face compared to their better-resourced counterparts in Silicon Valley.
“Because they are all pushed against the wall for their survival, they need to build something that will generate some revenue, and they can survive on that,” Nailwal said.
He added that he applied the same approach in growing Polygon. He said he would first test new technology one at a time and wait until it had acquired a certain number of users before moving on to the next idea. This background is why Nailwal is bullish that Symbolic Capital is in the best position to assist emerging market founders.
“Many of them have the capability that they are able to build businesses which eventually acquire users, but you need to help them to keep reinventing themselves and upping their bar so that once they have a proven model at a smaller scale, they keep growing at a much bigger scale and reinvent their ideas and business model,” Nailwal said.
Nailwal and Wang are already prolific angel investors in startups, having co-invested in over 40 companies since meeting at Binance Labs in 2019. They will use the $50 million Web3 fund to formally support companies that are already within their range, focusing on startups that fall under the “creator economy” subsector. An example of this is fantasy sports companies.
“In Web3 fantasy, you can have NFTs, and you can put those NFTs on rent when you are not playing, so you can get some passive income, plus you can earn the tokens on the platform and become part of the platform from a very early stage,” Nailwal said.
He added that such incentives are more meaningful to users in emerging markets. He cited the examples of StepN, a Chinese “move-to-earn” app that has recently seen an influx of users, and Axie Infinity, a play-to-earn video game that has become a supplemental income source for low-income workers in developing countries.
Get more news updates
Get more NFT news updates at Omnimint News. For more information on Omnimint, and details on how to join our community, please follow our Twitter, or subscribe to our Telegram channel for more updates, and please feel free to submit your article.