Solana targets growth in Southeast Asia with a $5M grants scheme

Solana has turned its focus towards decentralized finance in Southeast Asia with a new $5 million development fund.

The Solana Foundation created the fund in partnership with Vietnam-based investment firm Coin98 Ventures, enabling regional startups building on Solana to receive technical, marketing, and community support, as well as up to $100,000 in funding. The fund will run for the next three years with a specific focus on projects within the DeFi and Web3 spaces, including marketplaces, exchanges, and other DApps or tooling.

This is one of the first grants specifying a core region of interest, with a particular focus on Vietnam. Solana Foundation Executive Director Eric Williams:

“Our goal is to create the optimal conditions for developers in Southeast Asia to build amazing things on Solana.”

According to the announcement, “project teams may be distributed, but must have a physical presence in Southeast Asia.” The announcement makes it clear that if they do not have a presence there, they will not qualify for the fund.

Williams explained that the foundation partnered with Coin98 Ventures because of the technical and community support they can provide, adding that the key to this fund being successful is the combination of financial and technical support:

“Sometimes hurdles can be solved with extra money, other times they cannot.”

DeFi is gaining traction within the Solana ecosystem, driving trading volume to all-time highs earlier this month.

Using treasuries and fund campaigns to boost developer ecosystems within blockchains is common with programs already available for a range of blockchain networks including Bitcoin, Ethereum, OkCoin, and Polkadot.

In September last year, Polkadot received one of the largest fund boosts to date with Digital asset development company RockX investing $20 million to support the Polkadot ecosystem over the next five years.

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