Cryptocurrencies might be struggling to gain much traction this year, but investors see the related Web3 space as a significant opportunity and continue to throw millions of dollars at it.
Indeed, venture capital investment in Web3 startups is forecast to hit an all-time high by the end of 2022, with more than $18 billion already pumped into the industry in the first six months of the year. It’s no small amount of money. Clearly, investors believe Web3, which is an all-encompassing term that spans projects across the blockchain, NFT and metaverse sectors, is one that will pay dividends.
Yet, investing in the Web3 space is also a very risky game, and the industry is one that’s littered with failed projects. Remember the likes of OneCoin, SpaceBIT, Paycoin and GetGems? Nope, neither do we. Blockchain projects fall flat on their faces all of the time. So much so that Vault Finance CEO Chris Esparza recently told BeinCrypto that the “vast majority” of new crypto projects actually fail within the first year of their launch.
The reason so many crypto projects fail is not because they’re necessarily bad ideas. The problem is that implementing a great idea that’s based on cutting-edge technology is just super challenging. The founding teams may lack experience in running a business, building up a community or simply not have the right contacts to pursue their ideas. ‘
A Venture Studio For Web3 Success
What’s needed is a helping hand and this has created a window of opportunity for an emerging breed of “venture studios” such as YARD Hub, which bills itself as a venture studio for Web3, NFT, Play-to-Earn and other blockchain-related entrepreneurial ideas. YARD Hub’s goal is to help the most promising Web3 startups incubate their ideas and bring them to fruition. It does this by providing the professional expertise teams might be lacking. It can be thought of as a guiding partner that assists project founders from the earliest stages of forming a company, helping them to launch their initiatives, obtain capital, market their products and services and ultimately mature into a sustainable business.
In an interview with Finance Magnates, YARD Hub CEO Yaroslav Shakula said venture studios are a relatively new concept that should definitely not be confused with venture capitalists. Rather, venture studios are something that can complement VCs by increasing the chances of a project’s success. They exist to serve both project founders and investors, he said.
“Venture studio increases the chances of successfully turning ideas into ventures and helps eliminate mistakes that founders make during the early stages while also handling the burden of back office processes along with HR and legal services,” Shakula stated. “For VCs, venture studios are a source of high-quality projects they can invest in.”
According to Shakula, the Web3 space is crying out for a helping hand. He said that because the space is so young, it lacks both experienced founders and a tried-and-tested framework for success. Web3 startups are essentially breaking new ground, and that makes it all the harder for them to succeed.
It’s for this reason that YARD Hub has designed its own framework for Web3 projects, with the goal being to help them overcome the common problems and challenges that have derailed so many in the past. Its purpose is to help Web3 startups find their product-market fit and improve their odds of creating a sustainable business.
To do this, YARD Hub has built a curated startup-creation process for projects that includes access to its own, in-house product, technical and financial expertise. Crucially, it helps teams to build up communities and obtain funding for their ideas, both through its own seed capital fund and also by providing access to strategic capital for later-stage projects.
“I would say we’re getting our portfolio companies ready for the new crypto spring, whenever it comes,” Shakula said. “It doesn’t mean that we are waiting for the bull run in the short term, but our current focus is on building and exploring potential opportunities.”
What this means is that instead of focusing on revenue growth, YARD Hub guides the projects it backs to build high-quality products that will eventually grow under their own steam. Its work involves testing hypotheses and validating ideas, Shakula said, while developing customer relationships and making connections.
“We think that now it’s not the right time to over-invest in growth, especially when it comes to emerging technologies such as Web3,” the CEO stated. “[The] Bear market is a great opportunity to explore and build — that’s what we are doing right now.”
A Mutually Beneficial Community
In terms of Web3 industries, YARD Hub is especially focused on blockchain gaming, though Shakula explained that he’s looking beyond the so-called “play-to-earn” concept that has attracted just as much negative attention as it has positive sentiment.
One of YARD Hub’s flagship projects right now is DeepMine, which is a Sci-Fi metaverse gaming project that’s building a unique play-to-earn social economy strategy. It has created a sophisticated yet balanced economic system that powers an immersive gaming experience. To date, DeepMine has racked up more than $3 million in total trade volume, winning the AIBC GameFi Project Of The Year 2022 award.
Shakula told FinanceMagnates that his acid test for blockchain games is always the same – namely, if you remove the blockchain aspect from the game, would people still want to play it? In that respect, DeepMine definitely fits the bill.
“It provides a dystopian game atmosphere that captures the excitement of the gamers, making it fun while earning at the same time,” he insisted.
YARD Hub isn’t only about Web3 gaming though – other projects in its portfolio include the gamified learning platform CryptoAlma, the NFT business solution platform BeNFT and the NFT-focused luxury car rental project CarBar. Shakula said that rather than concentrate on a single domain within Web3, YARD Hub makes sure all of its projects are aligned in some sense, and therefore mutually beneficial to one another. In this way, it’s hoped that YARD Hub’s Web3 projects will eventually help each other and grow together.
“This is the way they contribute to the YARD Hub ecosystem,” Shakula stressed. “Projects within a hub can be clients to each other: for example, when we launch a new game we can test it via one of our other projects, providing user’s feedback.”
Image source: YARD Hub