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Top Headlines for 23 March, 2022

Amazon Launches Metaverse-Inspired Game

On 14 March 2022, Amazon unveiled an online role-playing game titled ‘AWS Cloud Quest’ designed to help participants learn about cloud computing.

The metaverse-inspired game is essentially an educational and sales tool created to promote the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.

AWS is the most widely used cloud system in the world. Users can create virtual avatars in the game and help in-game characters solve technical cloud-related problems. Players earn points in the game for completing AWS puzzles and simulations. These points can be used to unlock characters, skins, themes and other items. AWS wrote that, “As a cloud practitioner, you’ll venture on a journey to help the citizens in town transform their city by using cloud solutions.”

Crypto.com Sponsors World Cup

In March 2022, FIFA agreed to a sponsorship deal with the Singapore-based Crypto.com exchange.

According to the agreement, the latter will be an official sponsor for the upcoming Qatar World Cup 2022. The company will promote its brand across all tournament venues and offer its more than ten million users a chance to attend matches and to win World Cup merchandise. The previous World Cup tournament was watched by more than 3.752 billion fans.

FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer Kay Madati said, “Crypto.com has already demonstrated a commitment to support top tier teams and leagues, major iconic venues, and events worldwide.” Crypto.com has previously invested extensively in high-profile sponsorships deals with organizations like the UFC and Formula 1.

The exchange also paid $700 million for the naming rights for the next two decades of a popular NBA stadium in Los Angeles, the Staples Center, home court for both the Clippers and Lakers. The company previously spent $6.5m for a 30-second ad during this year’s Super Bowl.

Qualcomm Unveils $100M Metaverse Fund

In March 2022, software and microchip manufacturer Qualcomm announced a $100 million metaverse fund to invest in projects working on extended reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.

It aims to combine the powers of a smartphone, VR headset, and AR glasses into a single device.

A portion of the fund has also been reserved for developers of extended reality-based applications for gaming, health, wellness, and media industries.

Grayscale Unveils Fund For Ethereum Rivals

The Grayscale cryptocurrency investment firm launched a new fund it has christened the New Smart Contract Platform ex Ethereum fund ( GSCPxE), to enable investors to gain diversified exposure to some of the biggest smart contracts platforms and Ethereum sidechains.

The new fund includes popular rival platforms to Ethereum like Solana, Cardano, Polkadot, Avalanche, Polygon, Algorand, and Stellar. Solana and Cardano each account for over 24% of the fund; Polkadot and Avalanche contribute 16% each, while Polygon, Stellar, and Algorand contribute 4% each.

Smart contract technology is critical to the growth of the digital economy, but it may be too early to say which platforms will win. The new fund is designed for investors who want diversified exposure.

Grayscale GSCPxE is based on Coindesk’s Smart Contract Platform Select Ex ETH index, which tracks the performance of selected alt coins. The asset manager already offers investment funds for leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Zcash.

Bored Apes Raise $450M

Yuga Labs, the studio behind the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT collection, has raised $450 million in a funding round that values the company at $4 billion.

Andreessen Horowitz led the capital raise for the company with prominent participation from Coinbase, Animoca Brands, MoonPay, and FTX.

In March 2022 the studio acquired the intellectual property rights to CryptoPunks, one of the most valuable NFT series, from Larva Labs. Yuga plans to expand its presence in the NFT scene and to use the freshly raised capital to hire more talent and develop brand relationships. The company also released a teaser for Otherside, an online role playing game that uses NFTs as playable characters.

Katie Haun Launches $1.5B Fund

Katie Haun, a former general partner of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), has launched her VC fund, Haun Ventures’ with $1.5 billion.

Horowitz founder Marc Andreessen and its crypto head Chris Dixon both contributed funds to the venture.

Haun’s fund has earmarked $500 million for early-stage Web 3.0 ventures. It has $1 billion set aside for companies looking to accelerate their growth. CNBC described Haun’s new project as “the largest debut fund ever raised by a solo female founding partner.”