Web3 startups flock to accelerators as crypto enthusiasm surges

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In the midst of renewed enthusiasm for cryptocurrency initiatives, certain Web3 startups are seeking advantages through accelerator programs.

Accelerator programs offer founders mentorship and guidance in return for early equity. Y Combinator, based in San Francisco, is renowned, boasting several crypto firms like Coinbase and OpenSea among its alumni.

This week, a16z, a leading tech VC fund, revealed the lineup for its spring 2024 crypto startup accelerator. The selected 25 startups will undergo a ten-week mentorship program in London led by the a16z crypto team.

Operating partner Jason Rosenthal shared a list featuring projects spanning Farcaster infrastructure, decentralized food delivery, and zero-knowledge passport authentication. Startups in a16z crypto’s accelerator get $500K from a16z for 7% equity. Alumni include Flashbots and Phantom.

Earlier this week, the organization behind the layer-1 blockchain Avalanche introduced the first group of startups in its exclusive accelerator, Codebase. Reserved for startups developing on Avalanche, this accelerator will see investments ranging from $500,000 to $1 million per startup by Colony Lab, a decentralized venture capital fund focusing on AVAX.

Helika, a Web3 gaming infrastructure company, revealed its collaboration with Pantera, Spartan Capital, Sfermion, and other venture capital firms to allocate up to $50 million to startups participating in its newly established gaming accelerator.

Related: Paradigm’s funding takes Farcaster’s dev to unicorn status

Amid a resurgence in venture capital activity within the cryptosphere, Crypto-native venture firm 1kx disclosed an oversubscribed $75 million fundraising, while Hack VC finalized a $150 million round last month.

Sam Lehman, principal at Symbolic Capital, emphasized that robust crypto accelerators play a vital role in fostering community among founders within the network-centric Web3 sphere.

Lehman highlighted the rise of new crypto accelerators, driven by funds aiming to boost their brand and deploy capital quickly. However, he warned of potential predatory practices among some accelerators. Lehman said in a text,

“Some accelerators are using the early stage at which they invest plus their proposed ‘value-add’ to come in and take extremely big positions in companies immediately. Founders should definitely think twice about whether the terms they’d accept from an accelerator are worth what they’d receive in return,” 

Investment activity in Web3 gaming has steadily increased in scale and frequency lately. A notable instance is 0G Labs, a $35 million pre-seed funding round on March 25. The round received participation from more than 40 crypto-native institutions, including Hack VC and Blockchain Builders Fund.

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