Neal Stephenson’s Lamina1 Launches Fund to Invest in Open Metaverse Projects

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Neal Stephenson coined the phrase “metaverse” in his 1992 book Snow Crash. 30 years later, Stephenson is part of a blockchain startup “optimized for the Open Metaverse” called Lamina1. This week they announced their “first-of-its-kind fund” for investing in early stage Layer 1 blockchain projects (“largely focused” on the Open Metaverse).

The goal is “to provide broad economic access to global accredited investors looking to support the next era of the internet,” according to the announcement — and to also provide Web3 builders “a vehicle for raising capital for their Open Metaverse ventures.” The fund will be led by Lamina1’s co-founder Peter Vessenes (who, among other things, was the first Chairman of the Bitcoin foundation), “offering investors a chance to join him at the forefront of the emerging Open Metaverse economy…”

“Investors and builders can both apply to participate immediately.”

The fund launch will be closely followed by the much-anticipated launch of Lamina1’s testnet…. The L1EF fund works by allowing accredited investors to access and co-invest in companies and entrepreneurs through quarterly subscriptions.

Investments will be largely focused on the technology and experiences users can access in the Open Metaverse, ranging from immersive computing to open AI at scale. To support the rapid advancement and expansion of the Open Metaverse, L1EF is simultaneously focused on investing in builders and creators who will foster the quality tech and infrastructure necessary to support the protocol, and create immersive experiences that bring Lamina1’s vision of an Open Metaverse to life. Some of these early stage projects include layer 2 protocols, DeFi, GameFi, marketplaces, bridges, and many more.

“We’re thrilled to introduce L1EF to serve both creators and investors who are actively promoting the development of an Open Metaverse,” said Rebecca Barkin, President of Lamina1. “Peter has a deep understanding and demonstrated success of growing economies around a chain, and his approach to grant builders early access to capital — right as we’re preparing to place testnet in their hands — is in perfect alignment with our mission to build the open infrastructure that brings together the most powerful creative community on the planet….”

In addition to capital, projects that are part of L1EF will receive early access and support for Lamina1 developer tooling through the forthcoming Lamina1 Early Access Program.

“The team has a front row seat to all happening in the ecosystem,” Vessenes said this week, “and essentially gets a ‘first look’ at what many of the most compelling creators and storytellers of our time are doing, building, making, and producing around the world.

“We want to share that front row seat with as many people as possible.”

In 2004 Neal Stephenson answered questions from Slashdot’s readers.

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