KuCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, is joining the NFT bandwagon by launching a $100 million fund called "Creators Fund" to support startups in their early stage of development. The exchange said in a press release that as part of the initiative, the exchange will invite "99 outstanding NFT creators" to join the Windvane, an NFT marketplace by KuCoin.
Although no details nor requirements about the fund were revealed, the exchange added that the venture arm will invest in startups focused on arts, sports, NFT profile pictures, Asian culture, celebrities, GameFi, and so on. The fund will reportedly support a big variety of blockchain ecosystems, which means that projects built not only on the Ethereum blockchain will also be eligible to apply for funding.
Johnny Lyu, KuCoin CEO, says the fund was designed to further "consolidate the metaverse infrastructure." Lyu added:
We are pleased to see the rapid development of NFTs and their integration with sports, culture, games, celebrities, etc. KuCoin NFT Marketplace – Windvane would like to bridge Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 by supporting more creators to launch their NFTs or projects and creating a more integrated NFT world with a lower barrier to entry for users.
The move comes after other venture firms also supported NFT-aimed investment funds or even launched their own. In March, To The Moon reported that a group of enthusiasts raised $30 million from a chunk of a16z's team members for its fund dubbed "Curated" that will buy "blue-chip NFTs" from creators.
Curated reportedly plans to use half of the capital to buy NFTs from collections like CryptoPunks, Art Blocks, and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). The other half will go toward "high potential collections." In April, eToro, a social trading platform, also rolled out its own NFT fund with $20 million to buy out expensive digital collectibles.
In the meantime, reports say that sales on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, declined to $2.5 billion in March after they had reached nearly $5 billion in January this year. Modesta Masoit, Director of Finance at DappRadar, told Reuters that the market started consolidating after its meteoric growth in 2021.