• “We don’t want this to be a centrally planned thing, we want people to come up with their own ideas and submit them without creating a bias or too much reliance on us,” Nader Al-Naji said about The DeSo Foundation’s Octane Fund
  • Arca’s fund will focus significantly on gaming and NFTs, while also spending time on DeFi and Web 3.0, David Nage, portfolio manager at Arca told Blockworks

Asset management firm Arca launched its first venture-focused fund on Tuesday which was oversubscribed above its $30 million cap, the company said. Meanwhile, the DeSo Foundation has launched a $50 million developer fund, The Octane Fund, to accelerate the decentralized social (DeSo) ecosystem. 

Investing in innovation

The Arca Endeavor Fund is an early-stage, closed-end venture fund focused on investing in innovative companies and people across the digital asset world, it said. Additionally, it has already made several investments, the company said. 

The fund is the latest addition to Arca’s investment in digital assets after its flagship Digital Assets Fund was launched as well as its Digital Yield Fund, which was launched in early August. 

The Endeavor Fund will focus significantly on gaming and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, while also spending time on DeFi and Web 3.0, David Nage, portfolio manager at Arca told Blockworks via email. Nage will join Michael Dershewitz, Arca Funds’ chief operations officer and principal, in leading the latest fund.  

“The focus on gaming comes from our experience being one of Axie Infinity’s first investors last year. We have seen the play-to-earn (P2E) narrative become incredibly significant in terms of the adoption of digital assets,” Nage said. “With over 30x growth of daily active users (DAU’s) from April of this year to 1.8M users today, plus an immensely important strategic relationship with YGG, it’s my belief we will see the next 100M users of digital assets come in via blockchain-based gaming within the next 1-2 years,” he added. 

Fueling DeSo

The DeSo Foundation’s new Octane Fund received the $50 million from its recent $200 million in funding, which includes investors from, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Pantera Capital,Sequoia, Social Capital, TQ Ventures, Alexis Ohanian and others, Blockworks previously reported

The DeSo blockchain, which is a new layer-1 blockchain, currently has over 100 applications built on it with over $1.4 billion in total transaction volume, the company said. The Octane Fund’s name comes from the idea that the DeSo ecosystem is set to explode, the creator of BitClout and DeSo Nader Al-Naji said in an interview with Blockworks. 

While the fund sits within the DeSo Foundation, it is its own entity, according to Al-Naji. However, the foundation will direct the investment and decide where the capital goes, he said. 

Currently, there are limited criteria posted for who or what organizations can apply for funding.

While Al-Naji believes there’s a list of things that should be built on the DeSo blockchain, he also said the foundation hasn’t shared details yet because the foundation wants to see what the community comes up with before they release the list, he said. 

“We don’t want this to be a centrally planned thing. We want people to come up with their own ideas and submit them without creating a bias or too much reliance on us,” Al-Naji said. 

In the coming weeks, DeSo Foundation plans to announce other initiatives toward funding NFT artists on the DeSo blockchain as well as smaller creators.

The idea of decentralized social media is in the top of people’s minds this week after Monday’s outage at Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which are all centralized social media platforms. Advocates for decentralized social ecosystems have expressed that there needs to be less centralized forces controlling the way people engage with one another online. 

“You kind of have these three companies that control the vast majority of what we see online,” Al-Naji said. “With the Facebook outage, we kind of saw just how much is really influenced by a single company,” he added. 

In the future, Al-Naji hopes that instead of content being monopolized by one or a few companies, users can create content through thousands of independent apps that serve their own purpose.

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  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a New York-based reporter covering funding, decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism. Contact Jacquelyn via email at [email protected]