Enjinstarter MENA, Web3 launchpad and advisory company, was a key player in a successful first half of 2023 for Web3 in the UAE. All told, the industry now has more than 1,800 organisations operating in the country, and announcements such as Abu Dhabi’s $2 billion fund for Web3 startups and a national digital currency strategy have demonstrated the government’s firm commitment to adopting and investing in new technologies.
Enjinstarter MENA’s journey in the region began with the appointment of Vasseh Ahmed as its Managing Director in December 2022. Since then, it has focused much of its attention on obtaining the necessary licences for operation.
Regulation is a critical step for Web3 companies entering MENA. The region’s regulators, in turn, have strived to provide clear and coherent regulations for companies to follow. In April, Enjistarter received initial approval from VARA, the Dubai virtual assets regulator, as a first step towards obtaining a full licence to operate in the emirate.
“Dubai continues to be a global hub of Web3 activity. Its commitment to regulatory clarity and funding support have attracted some of the biggest names in the industry,” said Vasseh. “Continuing with our licence application makes clear our commitment to achieving the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the Web3 space. We are committed to conforming to VARA’s high standards and know this will only accelerate our growth in the Middle East and beyond.”
As a Web3 project launchpad, Enjinstarter was recognised by industry-leading ranking service, Cryptorank, as consistently being a top-3 Initial Decentralised Exchange Offering (IDO) provider in 2023 in terms of ROI. The strong performance this year can be attributed to the Enjinstarter team quickly adapting to the trend of artificial intelligence (AI) by shifting its focus to bringing a carefully curated selection of AI projects to the launchpad.
In the first half of this year, Enjinstarter helped 11 projects raise $1.35 million in funding. Some of those portfolio companies include:
- ChainGPT – Infrastructure enabling the future of Web3 innovation with AI
- DexCheck – A UAE-based crypto trading startup powered by AI
- SophiaVerse – An advanced artificial general intelligence initiative revolutionising the world of AI and gaming
Other portfolio companies include:
- OneRare – A UAE based startup creating the first food metaverse
- Sidus Heroes – An award-winning Web3 game
- Frnzy – A Web3-powered e-commerce platform
Enjinstarter has also gone about forming partnerships with some of the key Web3 players in the region and beyond:
- Masary Capital – Enable select crypto- and blockchain-based organisations to travel the path to success within the MENA region. (Website)
- LandVault – LandVault’s mission is to accelerate the metaverse economy through technology with a vision of a fairer wealth distribution across the web. (Website)
- Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3™) – A collaboration of Web3 metaverse platform creators, OMA3™’s goal is to ensure virtual land, digital assets, ideas, and services are highly interoperable between platforms and transparent to all communities. (Website)
- Crypto Oasis – A Middle East-focused blockchain ecosystem supported by initiators of Crypto Valley Switzerland. (Website)
- Enya Labs – A suite of hybrid blockchain solutions that helps businesses overcome the scalability problem and allow them to expand their offerings and features by accessing and integrating real-world data in real-time. (Website)
From an impact perspective, Enjinstarter made it a core part of its mission to find ways to leverage Web3 in the global fight against climate change. To that end, the company has undertaken a number of climate initiatives:
- Launched the Unsinkable campaign to raise awareness of rising sea levels
- Hosted climate roundtable event in Dubai with Web3 streaming service, myco, in February and May
- Signed a partnership with UAE-based The Storey Group, a change maker that creates and delivers programmes that make our planet a better and more prosperous place.
- Developing an expansive storytelling AI NFT game based on an advanced earth concept where factions are embarking on quests and battles throughout the Enjinstarter ecosystem to gather resources and earn rewards.
Looking forward to the second half of 2023, all eyes are on COP 28 in Dubai in December. In the leadup to the event, Enjinstarter is planning the global launch of its climate-focused Web3 launchpad. The platform will allow the company to connect impact investors with promising Web3 projects making demonstrable impact on the climate.
“Climate change is the biggest problem of our time. All of us have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight it. The UAE has already set a leading example by planning to invest $54 billion over the next 7 years as part of its net-zero ambitions. It’s on us to do our part, ” added Vasseh. “Web3 is uniquely designed to meet this challenge head on, so we have made it a core part of our mission to find ways in which Web3 can make a demonstrable impact on climate change. Aside from our upcoming climate launchpad, we’re also working towards climate asset tokenisation, micro green bonds, and utility-driven NFT trading card games.”