The proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain Axelar launched on Dec. 19 a $60 million startup funding program dedicated to accelerating the development of decentralized applications and protocols that can replace centralized exchanges. The initiative is backed by over 15 blockchain investors.
Dubbed Axelar Ecosystem Startup Funding Program, the initiative was designed to foster the development of Web3 applications addressing global issues that cannot be solved by the centralized internet. To qualify for funding, projects must also safeguard digital sovereignty, security and privacy, and work to onboard masses easily without unnecessary friction between specific blockchains or tokens, noted the company.
Sergey Gorbunov, Axelar co-founder and CEO, told Cointelegraph about the development:
2021-2022 saw an unprecedented influx of new developers into Web3. In 2023, we expect to see less quantity, but more quality. For those who have the conviction and the capability to build truly permissionless systems, the collapse of FTX only fuels their determination. The best developers in Web3 are no longer content to cede onramps to entities that operate “blockchain” services run on a database. They are more committed than ever to solving problems of digital sovereignty, privacy and access that the centralized web can’t solve — and delivering those solutions on infrastructure that can onboard masses, seamlessly.
The funding is linked to the Axelar Grant Program, which was launched in 2022 and provided grants to over 50 projects, approximately 33% of which were able to raise seed or pre-seed funding. Variables like market conditions may impact deal flow, but the Axelar Ecosystem Funding Program aims to accelerate that rate of funding for projects in the Axelar ecosystem — whether they are in the Grant Program or not — in 2023, noted Gorbunov.
Related: Security and interoperability, the challenges ahead of Web3 mass adoption
The program is supported by a group of blockchain investors, including Blockchange, Chorus One, Collab Currency, Cygni, dao5, DCVC, Divergence Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, Lemniscap, Morningstar Ventures, Nima Capital, Node Capital, North Island Ventures, Rockaway Blockchain Fund and SCB 10X.
The program aims to establish a connection between investors and developers building interchain dApps. Development partners include Arbitrum, Circle, Osmosis and Polygon.