February 4, 2023

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Lamina1, the Layer 1 blockchain company founded by Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson, has launched its Lamina1 Ecosystem Fund (L1EF) on venture platform AngelList.

The company, co-founded by crypto veteran Peter Vessenes, aims to help usher in the metaverse (a term coined by Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash) using blockchain technology. It also holds the Open Metaverse conference in February.

The new fund serves two purposes: to provide global accredited investors with a way to gain direct investment access to early stage Layer 1 projects previously inaccessible to the general public, and to provide Web3 builders with a means to raise capital for their open metaverse ventures prior to mainnet.

Investors and builders can both participate directly. The launch of the fund will be closely followed by the highly anticipated launch of the Lamina1 testnet.

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“Lamina1 is in a unique position given the incredible number of questions we receive every day from those building the Open Metaverse,” Vessenes said in a statement. “The team has a front row seat to all the happenings in the ecosystem, essentially getting a ‘first look’ at what many of the most immersive creators and storytellers of our time are doing, building, creating and producing around the world. We want to share that front row seat with as many people as possible.”

Neal Stephenson's Lamina1 startup is focused on the open metaverse.
Neal Stephenson’s Lamina1 startup is focused on the open metaverse.

Led by Lamina1 and Vessenes, L1EF is designed to provide broad economic access to globally accredited investors looking to support the next Internet era. With deep roots in digital currency, tokenization and blockchain technology, Vessenes has extensive experience launching, leading and advising highly disruptive companies in the Web3 space.

To date, Vessenes has served as the first chairman of the Bitcoin foundation, founder of the first VC-backed Bitcoin company, founder of his family office Capital6, co-founder of early-stage venture capital firm Capital6 Eagle, and co-founder of Lamina1.

L1EF will benefit from Vessenes’ unique expertise in advancing decentralized economies by offering investors the opportunity to join him at the forefront of the emerging Open Metaverse economy.

“Lamina1 is in a unique position given the incredible number of questions we receive every day from those building the Open Metaverse,” said Vessenes. “The team has a front row seat to all the happenings in the ecosystem, essentially getting a ‘first look’ at what many of the most immersive creators and storytellers of our time are doing, building, creating and producing around the world. We want to share that front row seat with as many people as possible.”

Other leaders of Lamina1 include Rebecca Barkin, whose entertainment and technology career has spanned EMI-Capitol Records, Magic Leap, and MSG Sphere; Aspen Institute Associate, Christine Keung; and executive director of the arts and music industry, Jessica Toon.

The L1EF fund works by allowing accredited investors to access and co-invest in companies and entrepreneurs through quarterly subscriptions. Investments will largely be 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 open metaverse, L1EF is focusing on investing in builders and makers who will advance the high-performance technology and infrastructure needed to support the protocol, and create immersive experiences that bring to life Lamina1’s vision of an open metaverse . Some of these early stage projects include Layer 2 protocols, DeFi, GameFi, marketplaces, bridges and many more.

“We are excited to introduce L1EF to serve both creators and investors who are actively promoting the development of an Open Metaverse,” Barkin, president of Lamina1, said in a statement. “Peter has a deep understanding and proven track record of success with growing economies around a chain, and his approach to giving builders early access to capital – just as we prepare to put the testnet in their hands – aligns perfectly with our mission to provide the open infrastructure that brings together the most powerful creative community in the world.”

The fund is available for immediate investment on AngelList.

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

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