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Archipelago Labs to invest in Web3 startups

Archipelago Labs (A-Labs), a new startup accelerator, announced that it intends to invest in Web3 startups — beginning with Playdex, a building infrastructure for Web3 gaming — and release by the end of the year the first iteration of State of the Archipelago, a quarterly report on Web3 in the Philippines.

“This marks the start of our journey in equipping founders, startups, and builders with the support and tools they will need to create meaningful and impactful products, infrastructure, and services,” said Lance Uriel F. Pormarejo, A-Labs’ executive director, at the firm’s launch in Makati on Nov. 10. 

“Doing these provides value from the ideation to the growth stages of each startup and will, in return, create a better ecosystem for Web3 here in the Philippines,” he added. 

Web3 refers to an “upgraded” internet that includes decentralized applications, decentralized finance, and the increased use of artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrencies, assets, or tokens existing in the online metaverse. 

With the help of investors like Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), Oak Drive Ventures Inc., and Magellan Digital Investment Group (MDIG), A-Labs aims to back startups and founders through investment funding, advisory services, and structured programs such as hackathons, incubation programs, and accelerator programs. The accelerator declined to say how much it would invest in these efforts, citing its recent launch. 

It will also provide startups with a network of mentors, experts, and capital partners who can help target specific verticals and stages of development and growth. 

“We are in the early days of Web3 and there’s still a lot of building that’s happening, but we’re seeing the most volume we’ve ever seen because of all the talent joining the space and coming up with new tools,” said Nichel O. Gaba, chief executive officer and founder of PDAX, at the launch. 

Globally, funding for Web3 businesses amounted to more than $1 billion in the first half of 2022. Companies that have entered the industry include Facebook’s Meta, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. — Brontë H. Lacsamana