DEC 29, 2023
Chinese VC plans $10 billion Web3 fund launch
While the Web3 sector seemed to be hamstrung by litigation and regulatory scrutiny in 2023 following multiple platform failures, it’s going out with a bang in China with news of a $10 billion fund in Shenzhen to support Web3 startups.
Fueling Web3 startup growth
GBA Capital, a Chinese venture capital (VC) firm, made a significant announcement during the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Digital Economy Development Conference on Tuesday. The firm, backed by China’s state-owned National Engineering Laboratory, unveiled plans to launch a substantial $10 billion Web3 fund.
The conference also served as an educational platform, enlightening investors and attendees unfamiliar with the intricacies of the Web3 industry. Luo Jinhai, founder of Huoxun Finance and creator of the “Yuan Asset” concept, elucidated on the unique attributes of specific forms of digital assets, including independence, privacy, security, scarcity and liquidity.
This initiative aims to fuel the growth of startups specializing in virtual reality, the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), ultimately transforming the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao economic region into the global “meta-asset capital.” Meta-assets are virtual objects that serve as key components within the make-up of the metaverse.
Haolong Li, the chairman of GBA Capital, outlined the ambitious vision, stating that the conference would facilitate “meta-asset global tours” in key international hubs such as Japan, Singapore, Dubai, Silicon Valley and Europe. The objective is to enhance the visibility of meta-assets and position the economic area as a leading force in the emerging Web3 landscape.
Previous developments that have played out over the course of 2023 suggest that China is placing a particular focus on embracing metaverse technology, with a view towards integrating the metaverse with existing systems in the country.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, in response to a proposal about promoting the development of the Web3 industry, emphasized ongoing research in areas such as the Metaverse, NFTs and decentralized identity management. In September the Ministry set out an action plan for the cultivation of a domestic metaverse. As part of that plan, it aspires to nurture three to five metaverse companies of global significance.
GBA Capital, established by China Europe International Financial Group in Hong Kong, boasts strategic partnerships with key financial institutions, including the Asia Pacific Investment Bank and China’s state-owned National Engineering Laboratory. The firm’s focus on investment and incubation in the digital economy aligns with its goal of integrating industrial clusters, capital resources, corporate resources and policy advantages to offer comprehensive support and services to enterprises.
In a related development, GBA Capital’s subsidiary Zhongrong Global successfully raised an angel funding round at a valuation of 100 million Chinese yuan ($14 million) back in May. The funds will be allocated to Web3 project incubation and industrial services in the artificial intelligence sector.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area has experienced a surge in Web3 startups and overseas corporate relocations since the beginning of the year, setting the stage for GBA Capital’s substantial Web3 accelerator fund.