Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced it is launching a $1 billion “Social Impact Fund” to foster the growth of blockchain and cryptocurrency startups.
Ella Zhang, head of the exchange’s incubator program Binance Labs, said during an online meetup Thursday that the capital for the fund will be coming from Binance’s own reserves as a way to contribute to the industry ecosystem.
Binance will pour in the $1 billion over 10 phases of $100 million each and, in essence, will create a combination of a fund of funds (a fund that invests in other funds) and a direct fund that invests in blockchain projects.
For the fund of funds, the incubator chief further explained that Binance is seeking 20 funds to invest in, which each must manage a pool of at least $100 million in order to be eligible. Investments will be made through Binance’s own BNB token, she said.
The first project to be supported is a blockchain-powered ride-hailing initiative that was recently announced by Chen Weixing, CEO of app developer Funcity and former founder of Chinese ride-hailing app Kuaidi Dache. As previously reported, Chen revealed the initiative at a Big Data expo in Guizhou, China, last week together with Yang Jun, co-founder of Meituan, one of the largest group discount apps in China.
“We believe it’s a disruptive social experiment. Binance Labs hopes to work with more aspirational projects to explore blockchain applications and together move forward the growth of the industry,” Zhang said.