A few weeks ago, as part of a series of blogs on the state of funding, NEAR Foundation announced it would be examining its evolving funding strategy. This is in line with the Foundation’s  goal of providing a clear and concise update to continue to foster transparent communication. 

At this time, NEAR Foundation is actively working towards a more decentralized model of capital allocation that will initially involve the DeveloperDAO, MarketingDAO, CreativesDAO, with an additional DAO that will begin formation in Q1 of 2023. This will impact the ecosystem in the following ways:

  1. Effective immediately, NEAR Foundation will cease allocating capital directly from our inbound start-up grants program, with the exception of our current events grants, which will be handed over to the MarketingDAO when they are set up to manage them.  Request events funding by following the steps outlined here.
  2. In January and February, we will be working directly with community members to outline a clear application process for funding via the DAOs. Processing time is expected to take 6-8 weeks. If you are interested in helping us form the new DAO with a focus on start-up projects, please submit your interest using this contact form.
  3. Any  projects that have already received a portion of their funding and are working towards their agreed milestones will continue to be supported through the remaining milestones.
  4. Any application that is not already in the approval stage will not receive funding. However, we will do our best to redirect you to appropriate, alternative funding sources.

NEAR Foundation’s goal is to empower the ecosystem to make decisions that support  the strategic approach that will drive NEAR  to the next phase of its roadmap, with a look ahead at new areas of product and development, as outlined in the NEAR Strategic Update and Outlook for 2023. We will continue to be as transparent as possible about the new funding strategy as it rolls out. The Foundation will communicate as often, and as frequently, as possible. We encourage the community to continue providing meaningful feedback so we can iterate more quickly as we unite to build the NEAR Ecosystem together.

NEAR’s ever-growing and engaged community is one of the ecosystem’s greatest strengths. Remember the NEAR Foundation Grants team’s Refer-and-Earn Program? A number of NEAR community members participated in Refer-and-Earn in early 2022, resulting in grants for dozens of exciting projects currently building on the NEAR ecosystem.  

The Foundation has had the pleasure of seeing the community being a key contributor in providing ecosystem support and building dapps. The community does this in a number of ways, including running and sponsoring events, educating developers and entrepreneurs on the benefits of NEAR, bringing projects with active user bases from other chains, and so on.

NEAR Foundation wants to build on the community’s successes through a new incentive structure that aligns with the Grants Program (more information can be found at the Grants Program Handbook here bit.ly/Grants-Program-Handbook). 

  1. The payout for each project referred will be awarded a total of 10% of the project awarded grant amount. This amount is awarded in nUSDC (wrapped USDC on NEAR) and is calculated at the end of each quarter.
  2. The first half of the 5% will be awarded at the point of the contract signed.
  3. The second half of the 5% will be awarded once all project milestones are completed. 

Refer-and-Earn: Q3 Qualified Projects

The NEAR ecosystem receives a number of your recommendations and referrals. A total of 12 quality projects emerged from Refer-and-Earn, each aligning with NEAR Foundation’s Grants program objectives. 

In no particular order, here are the Q3 2022 qualified projects: 

The Grants team has reached out to all Refer-and-Earn referrers. Thanks to your help and support, the Grants team is able to support innovative projects like those listed above. 

NEAR Foundation is publishing a series of blogs on the state of funding, including updates from the Grants Team and an upcoming Transparency Report for Q3. This is part of our continued commitment to transparency, as well as more frequent and open communication with the NEAR community. 

NEAR Foundation’s role is to support the NEAR ecosystem and community. This means that the Foundation can deploy capital to help promote growth, alongside its efforts to grow awareness of NEAR and onboard a billion users to Web3. 

Among Layer 1 protocols, NEAR is in an excellent position to thrive despite the very difficult market conditions. Our 5+ years of runway will help the NEAR ecosystem weather the bear market, which is likely to last for some time. The Treasury Team’s careful spending and responsible Treasury management has equipped the ecosystem to emerge from this crypto winter with NEAR as the protocol of choice for people and projects building on Web3. 

While the market has created a new reality for the entire Web3 ecosystem, NEAR sees this as a moment of great opportunity and a time to stick to our convictions. We’ve outlined the Foundation’s new strategy around facilitating Web2.5 and making NEAR the de facto bridge from Web2 to Web3. 

Staying true to NEAR’s decentralized vision, the NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) was recently launched and led by the Governance Working Group (GWG). We’ve also delegated some decision-making to the community through grassroots DAOs: the DeveloperDAO, MarketingDAO, and CreativesDAO

NEAR Foundation has provided capital to many projects over the last two-plus years, with clear milestones and goals designed to maximize potential value added to the ecosystem. Grants have been a major part of that capital allocation strategy since the program was first announced in 2021. Although the Foundation has a substantial amount of runway to support the ecosystem for several years to come, we need to ensure that we are stewarding NEAR’s Treasury as responsibly and sustainably as possible.

With these long-term views in mind, NEAR Foundation is looking critically at all of its capital allocation in the last few years in order to determine what has had the most impact and where we should consider revising our approach. We will also be heavily scrutinizing upcoming capital deployments. The Foundation must focus on supporting the highest quality projects with the most potential and alignment with our vision for NEAR.

What does this mean for the community? To make NEAR the leading Web2.5 bridge, NEAR Foundation will back those projects and initiatives that help best grow and support the ecosystem for years to come. This also means that some tough decisions are coming about where not to deploy funding. 

However, in the areas where funding or granting is pared back, the Foundation will do its absolute best to support those affected by upcoming funding decisions. We will make our best efforts to help these community members find new homes with other ecosystem projects. 

NEAR Foundation will also ensure that we are as transparent as possible about the new Funding strategy as it rolls out. The Foundation will communicate as often and as much as possible, and encourage the community to continue giving feedback so we can iterate more quickly as we build the NEAR Ecosystem together.

NEAR Foundation has already made significant steps to make NEAR’s funding more transparent. Through the NEAR Digital Collective (NDC), we are empowering the community to evolve governance and coordinate together through the ecosystem DAOs. (Read more and get involved at the NDC gov.nearpages.wpengine.com page.) In September, NEAR formed a working group to set standards for this on-chain style of self-governance. The Foundation has been calling this the “bottom-up” approach to supporting the community, encouraging grassroots coordination and decentralized decision-making that works in parallel with the Foundation’s more “top-down” stewardship and funding strategy.  

The Foundation also started publishing a regular Transparency Report in the spirit of accountability to the ecosystem. The first Transparency report, which came out just before NEARCON, was an important start—but we want to make it even better for the community. The next report will be coming out in a couple of weeks and will include more granularity where possible. You can also check out a recent update from the NEAR Grants team titled “Funding Beyond Grants”. 

It’s also important for the community to understand that while transparency and open communication are an essential part of NEAR Foundation’s commitment to all of you, we cannot be entirely transparent about every funding decision or commercial agreement we make. This is primarily due to legal restrictions that can be imposed on NEAR Foundation in its dealings with third parties. The Foundation will share as much as possible  about the exciting collaborations being made in the months ahead.

NEAR Foundation highly encourages people to get involved with the NEAR community. By becoming more participatory, community members can take ownership in the new bottom-up approach to decision making we are helping foster across the ecosystem.

NEAR Foundation is keeping an eye on the long term for the entire NEAR ecosystem. By being fiscally responsible and deploying capital in a sustainable way, the Foundation can ensure that NEAR emerges from this bear market stronger than ever, and well positioned to help builders keep building the future of Web3.

Welcome to the NEAR Foundation Funding Team Report that captures and highlights data for the month of September 2022. The purpose of this document is to provide transparency regarding what happened during the last month in our Funding Team, and is to be shared publicly to the ecosystem and our investor network.


1. Grant data

1.2. Approved Grant program data

1.2. Grant highlights

1.3 Completed Projects & Milestone data

1.4 Effectiveness of the funding program

2. External funding in the NEAR Ecosystem

3. Ecosystem highlights

1. Grant data

1.1. Approved Grant Program data

Data reflects projects that have applied for a Grant via the Grants Program and that have been signed by the NEAR Foundation during the month of September (01.09.2022 to 30.09.2022).

 *Note: all applications have been processed.

General Grant data

Applications received*   📥Grant Agreements  signed  ✅Conversion rateAverage Grant amount Committed amount in dollars 💵
1392517%$78 K$1.9  M

Grant tracks**

Activation (up to $10 K)5
Small Builder (up to $25 K)4
Builder (up to $50 K)11
Advanced Builder (up to $100 K)4
Partner ($ ∞)2

** Please note that our current grant tracks have been updated. For more information please have a look at our updated grant tracks.

Grants per category 

Gaming / Metaverse – 7

Infrastructure / Wallets – 6

NFTs – 4

Other – 4

Social Impact – 2

Institutional / Financial – 2

Grants per country (Top 5)

United States – 8

United Kingdom – 2

Switzerland – 2

Malaysia – 2

Ukraine – 1

1.2. Grant highlights 

This section provides highlights of grants that have been signed during the month.

Gaming / Metaverse projects 

NameWebsiteGrant trackLocation 
ArcneswebsiteAdvanced BuilderPoland
BonuzwebsiteAdvanced BuilderDubai
ArheadwebsiteBuilderUnited Arab Emirates
BearversewebsiteBuilderUnited States
Gameplace by ZomboDuckswebsiteBuilderIsrael
JoystickwebsiteSmall BuilderNigeria
Open character creatorwebsiteActivationUnited States

Infrastructure / Wallets projects 

NameWebsiteGrant trackLocation 
OnMachinawebsitePartnerUnited States
Meteor WalletwebsiteBuilderMalaysia
VerisoulwebsiteBuilderUnited States
near.js – /Small BuilderUkraine
Java-SDK part 3websiteSmall BuilderSwitzerland
Tonana Bridge & ConnectorswebsiteActivationCzech Republic

Institutional / Financial projects 

NameWebsiteGrant trackLocation 
Defolio/PartnerUnited Kingdom
Near Access/ActivationUnited States

Social Impact projects 

NameWebsiteGrant trackLocation 
GRVTYwebsiteBuilderUnited Kingdom

NFT’s projects 

NameWebsiteGrant trackLocation 
NEAR NFT DAOwebsiteBuilderUnited States
NakshwebsiteSmall BuilderIndia
3six9 NFT MarketplacewebsiteActivationMalaysia
Solar DexwebsiteActivationUnited States

Other projects 

NameWebsiteGrant trackLocation 
Three0websiteBuilderUnited States
NextHollywoodwebsiteBuilderUnited States
Alpha LeaksActivationAustralia

1.3 Completed Projects & Milestone data 

Grant agreements are structured with milestones. Depending on the selected grant track, a grant can have from 1 to 5 milestones. For more information the funding team invites you to explore our milestone guide

Projects having completed a milestone  ☑️61
Projects having completed final milestone 13

Projects completed per category 

Gaming / Metaverse – 1

Infrastructure / Wallets – 5

NFTs – 1

DAOs – 3

Other – 3

Gaming / Metaverse

Alien Esports Industrywebsite BuilderUnited States
Alien Esports Industry is a  platform to hold esports tournaments with integrated game mechanics that provide unique opportunities to gamers.

Infrastructure / Wallets 

KuutamowebsiteAdvanced BuilderDenmark
Kuutamo is building out an enterprise-grade staking node management and reporting system dedicated to support NEAR and NEAR-affiliated networks. Kuutamo will provide practical tooling to enable individuals and organizations to operate secure, honest, and profitable validators in a straightforward way. 
BlockperkswebsiteAdvanced BuilderUnited Kingdom
Blockperks is building a complete Web3 infrastructure and NFT marketplace for brands, artists, and creators to successfully bridge from Web2 to Web3 with NEAR. Blockperks provides the platform architecture and an adaptive social media dApp so that organizations, clients, and end-users can easily onboard and tokenize assets through the creating and trading of NFT’s. 
Solace ProtocolwebsiteActivationIndia
Solace is a program (smart-contract) based non-custodial wallet for NEAR which eases user’s onboarding and enhances security using social recovery, written in Rust.
Emblem VaultwebsiteBuilderUnited States
Emblem Vault is an application that collects the value of a portfolio within a token, you can also add non-blockchain assets to the portfolio.
Java SDK – Part 3websiteSmall BuilderSwitzerland
From the team who delivered the Java-API part 1/2 and that took over the Borshj for maintenance. This time they would like to further enhance the Java API and implement services to create accounts, manage additional reward structure, and call other smart contracts methods.


NFT Marketplace for Science IPswebsite Advanced BuilderUnited States
NFT Marketplace for Science IPs is building a NFT marketplace for science IPs on top of our data & AI ecosystem platform, for which the project  innovates with smart contracts for best services to scientists worldwide.


Deep Skillswebsite BuilderBritish Virgin Islands
Deep Skills aims to diverse options of how current organizations recruit, educate, and coordinate talented individuals.
Gydewebsite BuilderUnited States
Gyde connects users with helping services that they are looking for. The DAO provides incentives via a token to allocate to reviewers on the platform. The DAO also acts as a data provider selling to governments and think tanks driving incentives for power users.
NEAR Alexandriagithub BuilderBrazil
NEAR Alexandria Is building the largest virtual library for NEAR content and academic content. The team will use metabuilders, meta designers, NEAR DAO council members and academics to build the virtual building, the objects, and the links from all the real books, papers, articles and texts in general that will be in the library.


Vital Point AIwebsite BuilderCanada
Vital Point AI is focused on open-source blockchain development using NEAR Protocol. With a proven record of delivering quality tutorials and dedication to the NEAR ecosystem, helping scale Vital Point Academy will benefit NEAR and the ecosystem in various ways.
Aerxwebsite BuilderRussia
A decentralized modular social network where any user can own their content according to the create2eart principle.
NEAR NYCwebsite BuilderUnited States
NEAR NYC is a dedicated NEAR community in NYC that will scale NEAR awareness and education by organizing bi-weekly meetups, managing localized social media accounts (Twitter, Telegram, Instagram, Meetup, Eventbrite), establish partnerships with community leaders, and organizing a NEAR NYC hacker house.

1.4 Effectiveness of the funding program  

Total external funding (overall amount) came from projects that have received a grant (around 44%).

2. External funding in the NEAR Ecosystem

This section provides information about external funding in the NEAR ecosystem

3. Ecosystem highlights  

NEARWEEK is the one-stop-shop for all NEAR related news. Each weekly newsletter and edition is made possible via news contributions from the NEARWEEK community to the NEWS DAO. Subscribe or visit NEARWEEK.com to get your weekly dose of news from the NEARverse!

For the month of September we invite you to read through the following newsletters : 

Newsletter 74 

Newsletter 75 

Newsletter 76

Newsletter 77 

If you are interested in getting funded : 

Welcome to the Funding Team Series that highlights important updates about NEAR Foundation’s Grants program, ecosystem and funding strategy. 

Part 1 will cover funding beyond Grants, Part 2 will reintroduce NEAR Foundation’s Grant Program, and Part 3 will introduce the Grant Team Handbook, to be published in the coming weeks. 

The NEAR Funding team is composed of two sub-teams: the Grants team that manages the Grants program and the Strategic Funding team which focuses on equity investments and the external VC network.

Part 1 / Funding Beyond Grants

1.  NEAR ecosystem funding programs

2. Success stories in the NEAR ecosystem

3. Projects that have raised capital

NEAR Foundation has been deeply focused on developing other funding programs within the ecosystem since the start of 2022.  Since the creation of Proximity Labs and Aurora and the launch of their own grants program, NEAR Foundation has been redirecting DeFi projects to Proximity and EVM based projects to Aurora. 

Please note that Proximity’s, Aurora’s, and all other separate grant programs’ decisions are made independent of NEAR Foundation. 

1.  Ecosystem funding programs 

A number of grant programs have launched and are ongoing  in the NEAR ecosystem including: Human Guild for Gaming projects, CypherPunk Guild for privacy projects, and Mintbase for NFT projects. These grant channels are to be used to expand and decentralize our ecosystem in a more efficient manner.  

Additionally, to amplify NEAR’s growth, the NEAR Funding team is working with launchpads, accelerators, ecosystem funds, and a VC Network that are all deeply rooted in the NEAR ecosystem.

Launchpads are blockchain-based platforms that help startups and crypto-related projects launch on-chain.

For further information about launchpads on NEAR, please visit this guide
Accelerators help founders validate, build, and de-risk by defining and growing KPIs, developing product-market fit, and fundraising.

Ecosystem Funds are deeply rooted in the NEAR Ecosystem with global or vertical focuses, primarily investing and deploying capital to projects in the NEAR ecosystem.

Regional Hubs, as part of our path toward decentralization, the NEAR Foundation will be redirecting projects related to specific regions. The  NEAR Foundation is currently supporting 6 regional hubs in strategic locations (Ukraine, Kenya, Balkans, Vietnam, India and Korea) with others to come. Local experts are able to tailor NEAR initiatives to support local communities and regional ecosystem building. 

A summary of different funding programs can be found here.

VC Network 

NEAR Foundation’s VC Network includes 300+ VCs  representing 30Bn+ in capital that are actively engaged and supporting the growth of projects within NEAR. They have already deployed $300 million to 60 projects thus far.

2. Success stories in the NEAR ecosystem

NearNauts – NFT

The NearNauts team came to NEAR with a vision, received funding from the NEAR Foundation Grants team, and have since launched what is now the top NFT project on NEAR. They started off as a PFP NFT project, utilizing grant funds to develop their website, smart contract, and marketing. Then, they expanded to build out a no-code NFT launchpad and a KYC platform. Their marketplace is on the way featuring a revenue sharing model for holders.

Apollo42 – NFT 

The Apollo42 team is a great example of a NEAR Foundation grant recipient that came to NEAR with a vision, and by receiving funding from NF was able to realize that vision. Apollo 42 is an ecosystem of NFT services that started out by building and integrating NFT ranking tools. From there, they went on to develop their own NFT Marketplace with elements of AR built into it. Apollo42 has made some amazing developments along the way, and continues to build out and update their platform.

Blogchain – Social Impact

Capsule Social is another great example of a team that received funding from the NEAR Foundation Grants team and went on to build an amazing platform. With the funding received from NF, the Capsule Social team developed Blogchain, a creative writing platform that empowers writers to publish content and get paid on Web3.

NearBlocks – Tools/Infrastructure

The team behind NearBlocks initially came into the NEAR ecosystem curious about the blockchain and underlying tech. They received a grant from NF and built NearBlocks, a blockchain explorer, search, API and analytics platform with the goal of providing equitable access to blockchain data. Once they launched NearBlocks and saw how successful it was, they went on to build and launch https://nearsend.io/, a tool for bulk transacting. The team also has another exciting project in the works. Located in Indonesia, the team has gone from 3 to 11 full time Rust developers, with the goal of increasing to 50 in the next year.

Sender – Wallet

Sender Wallet is a great case study of a project that came into the NEAR ecosystem with a plan. The team received funding from the NEAR Foundation Grants team to build out and launch a non-custodial browser extension wallet for NEAR users. Sender Wallet has gone on to be one of the most popular wallets in the ecosystem.

3. Projects that have raised capital  

Niche – Social Networking app on NEAR – Twitter

Niche is a decentralized social networking app, built to help people discover and grow communities. The mission of Niche is to return agency to individuals and enable them to benefit from their content, not big corporations. 

Tonic – Orderbook DEX on NEAR  – Twitter

Tonic is a high-performance trading platform that brings the speed and convenience of centralized exchanges to NEAR while being fully decentralized.

Capsule SocialDecentralized social discourse on NEAR – Twitter

Capsule Social launched Blogchain, a Web3 publishing platform with unrivaled protections for free speech, where content is protected by a censorship-resistant architecture. 

Sender Wallet – Browser extension wallet built on NEAR – Twitter

Sender is a browser extension wallet built on NEAR. Its goal is to build a secure and smooth wallet for decentralized digital assets like crypto and NFTs.

Interested in getting funded?

If you are interested in funding for your project, check out the following resources: 

⌛️ In the next blog post, the NEAR Funding team will reintroduce the NEAR Foundation’s Grant Program, providing grant data and including key updates. 


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