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a16z Games Fund: $30M Backing for Startups

a16z Games Fund: $30M Backing for Startups

The a16z Games Fund moves to fund several firms through crowdfunding 

The Fund is investing $30 million in this fresh venture capital.

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According to Andrew Chew, the $30 million will support several ecosystems. 

Andrew Chen, General Partner of a16z, declared on X that he will use the a16z Games Fund One to invest up to $30 million in the Andreessen Horowitz SPEEDRUN initiative. 

The a16z Games Fund will inject $750K each into qualifying startups.

The SPEEDRUN program is an “early-stage accelerator for startups at the intersection” of tech and games, according to a16z. 

The $30 million Fund will go to firms that develop technology for gaming. Once a startup has joined the SPEEDRUN program, they can get up to $750,000

Chen went on, “We’ll invest, collaborate with you, introduce you to the best investors and mentors globally, etc. 

May 19, 2024, is the deadline for individuals who want to participate in the program. The chosen candidates will likely be contacted by the end of June. After that, a 12-week program will start, during which time the Fund’s ultimate winners will be chosen. 

“We have a very selective 12-week program; just about 1% of candidates were accepted into our most recent cohort. In addition to financial support, participants receive guidance from a carefully selected group of industry coaches, mentors, and fellow aspirational entrepreneurs, as Chen stated in his X article. 

Notably, Chen is in charge of managing Games Fund One, the $600 million Fund established by a16z about two years ago. 

Prominent founders of popular tech and gaming firms, including Riot Games, Roblox, and Discord, sponsor the Fund. Aleks Larsen and Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founders of Sky Mavis, join as key figures in “Axie Infinity,” the pioneering blockchain game that attracted a significant player base.

A Fresh Turn Away From Web3 Startups 

Games Fund One has invested in a variety of gaming-related projects over the years, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) (AR). Additionally, it has invested in a few Web 3.0 firms. In 2023, Chen announced on LinkedIn that the Fund’s focus for its first year was on studios, web3, and infrastructure. He indicated an intention to shift focus to artificial intelligence in its second year.

Through its cryptocurrency business, a16z has invested in a few blockchain-based game projects outside of Games Fund One. Two of the leading blockchain gaming firms, Voldex and Mythical Games, are among the beneficiaries of these investments. 

In a similar vein, Immutable and Polygon Labs recently declared their collaboration to create a $100 million Web3 gaming fund with the aim of supporting the growth of early-stage blockchain gaming firms. 

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