The Binance initiative to support early-stage blockchain projects has yielded results, with 8 projects emerging from the programme.
Binance Labs, the venture wing of the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance supports new blockchain startups and cryptocurrency projects through technical assistance and direct investment. Binance describes the project as an initiative to incubate, invest, and empower blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs, projects, and communities.
From 500 applicants, Binance narrowed the projects down to eight, each of which received USD 500,000 in funding. The programme reports that seven projects have shipped working products and signed on users, while three of those teams have paying customers as well. The eight projects will participate in the San Francisco incubator this year.
The projects selected include SafePal, Torus, Nym and market prediction startup Deaux. Earlier this year, Binance Labs reportedly invested millions of dollars into the decentralized digital content ecosystem Contentos, a platform aiming to offer transparency and monetization of content without third-party censorship or removal of content.
The Lab’s programme is part of Binance’s commitment made earlier this year to launch a USD 1 billion “social impact fund” to aid blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. The initial concept was to contribute over USD 1 billion via 10 installments of USD 100 million each, creating both funds for further investment into blockchain related funds, and direct funding of individual projects.
The first project chosen for the funding scheme was a blockchain ride-hailing initiative co-founded by Chen Weixing, CEO of app developer Funcity. Ella Zhang, head of the exchange’s incubator programme at Binance Labs commented about the breadth of its initiative:
“We believe it’s a disruptive social experiment. Binance Labs hopes to work with more aspirational projects to explore blockchain applications and together move forward the growth of the industry,”
Zhang has also revealed that Binance Labs will launch new incubator programmes in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Lagos, Singapore, and Hong Kong from March 2019, offering the same 10-week programmes. Regarding the inclusion of Buenos Aires and Lagos into the programme Zhang commented:
“Those two emerging markets have native blockchain and crypto use cases. So we hope to find teams solving local problems like payments, the instability of local currencies, or remittance problems.”
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