South Korean video game publisher Wemade has announced a $100 million fund to invest in blockchain gaming initiatives, including supporting Web3 startups operating in the Middle East.

Christened the Wemade Web3 Fund, the fund will offer financial, technical, and regulatory support to firms building solutions around blockchain technology. The investment is a collaboration with Singapore-based Whampoa Digital, which is designed to accelerate blockchain adoption in the Middle East.

Specifically, startups dabbling with digital collectiblesmetaversedecentralized finance
(DeFi), blockchain-based gaming, and digital identity solutions based in the Middle East can receive cash injections to support their projects.

Both Wemade and Whampoa Digital have previously made forays into blockchain outside their core areas of expertise. Wemade, a traditional video game publisher, has a number of blockchain-based games under its belt, while Whampoa Digital has previously invested funds in several Web3 ventures based in Asia.

“This partnership will allow us to pioneer new horizons in the digital asset industry beyond our already established sectors, as well as foster innovation in the Middle East, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions in the Web3 space,” said Aureole Foong, Senior Partner at Whampoa.

A combination of the strengths of both parties is expected to give the investment a wider reach, with the statement hinting at project referrals and joint investment in promising projects.

“Through our partnership with Whampoa Digital, a leading investment firm in Singapore, we strive to share valuable insights related to blockchain technology, each party bringing their unique expertise to the partnership,” said Wemade CEO Henry Chang.

Wemade is reportedly developing the Wemix Play Center, a commercial building in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), an economic zone with a long streak of housing blockchain firms. According to one source, startups backed by the Wemade Web3 fund are expected to set up shop at the Wemix Play Center for increased collaboration.

Building for markets outside South Korea

South Korea’s stance against play-to-earn (P2E) and blockchain-based video games has prompted Wemade and other publishers to build products for markets outside Korea.

Wemade reportedly has a cache of unreleased blockchain games, but a company representative disclosed that the video games will be released in other friendlier jurisdictions.

The company has previously faced a rough patch with Korean authorities after losing a delisting case in court over WEMIX, its native token, over allegations of failing to make adequate disclosures to regulators.

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