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Solana Secures $60M Fund to Drive Growth in Emerging Markets

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The Solana Foundation has secured $60 million across three funds to boost the Solana ecosystem in emerging markets. 

According to the Wednesday announcement, the funds will focus on four separate markets: Brazil, Russia, India and Ukraine. Hacken, Gate.io, Coin DCX and BRZ are partnering with the foundation and providing the investments in the actual funds, which will be used to support the development of blockchain applications, including decentralized finance (DeFi) projects, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces and cybersecurity, the statement said. The Solana Foundation will not be directly benefiting from the investments; the funds will go directly to different initiatives within the Solana ecosystem.

Earlier this month, Solana launched five investment funds with $100 million to drive Solana growth and development in China. 

Related: Consensus 2021: Crypto Is Booming in Brazil, but Regulations Lag Behind

The Solana Foundation has worked with crypto firms in the new markets to support the development of new projects built on the Solana blockchain.

“In each of these regions we’ve seen strong engagement in Discord, local Telegram groups and other community spaces, so we set out to find partners in those regions,” Anatoly Yakovenko, president of the foundation, told CoinDesk in a written statement. 

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are being adopted more and more in emerging markets. For instance, despite regulatory uncertainty, crypto assets are being used as speculative tools and stores-of-value in Brazil and India. In 2020, Ukraine topped the global crypto adoption index compiled by blockchain research firm Chainalysis.   

In Brazil, Solana has partnered with Brazilian Digital Token (BRZ). According to the announcement, BRZ’s fund will support projects that are developing real-world DeFi applications focused on lending, financing and payments. 

Related: Turkish Crypto Exchanges Must Report Transactions Over $1,200, Finance Minister Says

“Working with Solana will bring innovation and tackle inefficiencies inherent to the Brazilian financial system,” Thiago Cesar, CEO of Transfera Swiss, the creator of the Brazilian stablecoin, said in a press statement.

Solana’s partner in India is CoinDCX, and the fund is set to support projects building new Web 3.0 products, including DeFi systems, NFT marketplaces, wallets, exchanges and decentralized apps (dApps) on top of Solana. 

The remaining fund, coming from Hacken and Gate.io, will focus on cybersecurity and DeFi projects in Ukraine and Russia, a foundation representative told CoinDesk. 

The representative also said the Solana Foundation doesn’t provide regulatory guidance to anyone building on its blockchain, adding there are no preset minimums or maximums for investments in projects. 

The funds are being allocated to projects built on Solana in these markets, the representative said. 

UPDATE (May 12, 2021, 20:41 UTC): After the publication of this article, the Solana Foundation said it was combining the Hacken and Gate.io funds, meaning it’s only launching three in total. Updated to clarify Solana is working with four parties to launch the funds.

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