Announced partnerships with numerous Web3-related VCs
The Saudi government’s public investment fund, Sanabil Investments, has publicly announced partnerships with about 40 US venture capitals (VCs). Among the partners, there are many crypto assets (virtual currencies) and VCs that invest in Web3-related businesses.
For example, Sanabil Investments was revealed to have invested in Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), Coatue Management, KKR, Polychain Capital and others.
A16z is known as the largest cryptocurrency fund in the industry. Most recently, he led a Series B round for Aztec Network, which develops a privacy-focused L2 solution for Ethereum (ETH).
connection: Ethereum L2 “Aztec”, $ 100 million raised from a16z etc.
Coatue Management has invested in NFT (non-fungible token) market OpenSea. KKR has invested in major US cryptocurrency custody company Anchorage Digital and Web3 giant Animoca Brands.
Polychain Capital recently led a series B round in Uniswap Labs, developer of the leading DEX (decentralized exchange) Uniswap.
connection: Uniswap Labs raises 24.2 billion yen in Series B
In addition, Sanabil Investments’ portfolio included Web3 and blockchain-related companies such as Griffin Gaming Partners, 500 Startups, 9Yards, B Capital, Collaborative Fund, Costanoa, and Valar Ventures.
Sanabil Investments was established in 2009. According to its official website, it invests about 260 billion yen (about $2 billion) in multiple funding rounds each year to boost businesses with novel business models. The specific amount of investment in virtual currency and Web3-related VC has not been disclosed at this time.
Saudi Arabia has been the subject of controversy over allegations that Crown Prince Mohammed ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. For this reason, some have pointed out that the brand value of companies affiliated with Saudi Arabian funds may be affected.
What is Web3
The current centralized web is defined as Web2, and refers to an attempt to realize a non-centralized network using blockchain. A typical feature is the use case of decentralized networks such as blockchain, such as access to dApps using virtual currency wallets.
Saudi Arabia working on Metaverse, etc.
The Saudi government is also working on Metaverse and CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency).
Recently, in February, it was revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Digital Government Agency (DGA) and The Sandbox (SAND), which provides NFT games, will partner on the use of the Metaverse.
connection: The Sandbox Partners with Saudi Arabia on Metaverse SAND Soars
In February last year, it announced that it would invest more than ¥840 billion ($6.4 billion) in several cutting-edge technologies, including the Metaverse. In particular, it will invest approximately 130 billion yen ($1 billion) in NEOM Tech & Digital Company, which develops its own metaverse.
connection: Saudi Arabia to invest more than 700 billion yen in cutting-edge technologies such as Metaverse
As of 2018, the Saudi government warned that trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) was risky because it was not under the supervision of the authorities. However, at present, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a neighboring country, is promoting virtual currency policies, and it is said that there is a need to develop regulations related to virtual currencies.
In September 2022, it hired former Accenture executive Mohsen Al-Zahrani as head of cryptocurrencies and CBDC in the government.
connection: Saudi Arabian central bank hires leader for cryptocurrency and CBDC program
What is the Metaverse
A multiplayer 3D virtual reality world built on the Internet. You can enjoy various ways using avatars. For example, the in-game metaverse called “The Sandbox” provides voxel art creation tools and game creation tools, allowing users to create their own games and facilities.