Update: Industry Recovery Initiative, Backed by 18 Organizations, Has Now Funded 14 Projects
On November 24, 2022, we launched the Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI) as part of our ongoing effort to support the crypto industry after a difficult year.
Three months later, the IRI is backed by 18 organizations that have jointly committed $1.1 billion.
At the time of writing, IRI participants have funded 14 projects, with another 57 in due diligence. Applications for support from the IRI are still open.
The Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI) has now been active for three months. We provide an update here on its progress and hear from some of the projects that have received support.
On November 24, 2022, we launched the Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI) as part of our ongoing effort to help rebuild the crypto industry after a difficult year and to protect users. Through this program, Binance and a number of other leading industry players, including the likes of Aptos and DWF, agreed to pledge funds to support worthwhile projects facing short-term financial difficulties as a result of 2022’s market turmoil.
Three months later, we’re thrilled to share that the IRI is currently backed by 18 organizations that have jointly committed $1.1bn. At the time of writing, IRI companies have funded 14 projects, with another 57 in due diligence. Read on for details of Binance’s IRI investment, as well as a sample of other organizations supporting the IRI that have deployed capital.
Binance’s First IRI Investment: GOPAX
On February 3, 2023, we announced the awarding of Binance’s first IRI investment to GOPAX, one of the top five cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea licensed to provide fiat-to-crypto services to customers.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said, “Binance has a responsibility to protect our users, as well as our industry. The Industry Recovery Initiative was created to support promising companies that were negatively impacted by the events of last year. We hope that taking this step with GOPAX will further rebuild the Korean crypto and blockchain industry.”
In November 2022, GOPAX halted the withdrawal of principal and interest payments in its decentralized finance (DeFi) service GoFi, as it brokered products from Genesis Global Capital, LLC., which had also suspended withdrawals. Since then, GOPAX has been working closely with local regulators and industry partners to raise funds to make full repayments to affected users.
The IRI selects industry players that are dedicated to innovation and long-term value creation, have a clearly articulated and viable business model and put a significant focus on risk management. Binance recognizes GOPAX’s commitment to managing risks and leading the local crypto sector through the use of a solid business model.
Both exchanges also share a goal of raising user protection standards by fostering a sustainable and responsible environment for cryptocurrency investments and trading in South Korea. To advance this vision, Binance has decided to issue the first IRI investment to GOPAX with a specific focus on fulfilling the GoFi users’ withdrawal requests.
Aptos and DWF Also Announce IRI Investments
Among other organizations that have pledged money to the IRI are Animoca Brands, Aptos Labs, Brooker Group, DWF Labs, GSR, Jump Crypto, Kronos, and Polygon Ventures. Following our announcement of the Binance IRI investment in GOPAX, we also want to highlight the good work that our partners do as they support the digital asset industry with their funds via the IRI.
Update on Aptos’s IRI Investments
Aptos is a Layer 1 blockchain. The Aptos Network provides developers a home for building applications efficiently, safely, and reliably.
Over the last three months, Aptos has approved IRI funding across nine projects (a mix of investments and grants) with several other projects currently under review.
“At Aptos, we're focused on building real usability for the crypto space. Through the IRI, we can further support the Aptos ecosystem in creating applications the world will use at scale,” said Mo Shaikh, CEO and co-founder of Aptos Labs. “We are proud to support this initiative and drive forward our common goal of mainstream adoption.”
Aptos is committed to continuing to support projects via the IRI so the industry can keep building.
Update on DWF’s IRI Investments
DWF Labs is a global digital asset market maker and multi-stage Web3 investment firm.
“While the market is suffering from crypto winter, we’re happy to be a part of the IRI, because it’s an opportunity for us and other responsible market players to find and support bright and promising projects,” said Andrei Grachev, managing partner of DWF Labs.
Over the last three months, DWF has issued four grants from its IRI fund, providing financial support to Web3 projects MXC and Symbiosis, among others.
“MXC empowers the world's largest Web3 IoT network. It is very exciting to work with great partners like DWF and Binance’s IRI fund,” said Sheen Hu Xin, DAO Initiator of MXC. “We believe 2023 will be the year of Web3 adoption, and our global IoT network will create a lot of meaningful applications!”
Nick Avramov, the Co-Founder of Symbiosis, commented: “Despite market uncertainties last year, Symbiosis remains committed to delivering value to its community, thanks to the support of DWF Labs. We’re very grateful and strive to exceed expectations in 2023.”
Applications for Support From the IRI Are Still Open
With 14 projects now supported by the IRI, we’re happy to reaffirm our commitment to reviewing all applications from companies seeking support under this initiative.
The purpose of this effort is to support the most promising and highest-quality companies and projects built by the best technologists and entrepreneurs that, through no fault of their own, are facing significant short-term financial difficulties.
What makes this initiative unique is the collaborative approach to restoring confidence in Web3. We are looking for projects characterized by:
Potential for innovation and long-term value creation.
A clearly articulated and viable business model.
Laser focus on risk management.
In addition to funding, we will provide founders and projects with comprehensive support – including technical execution, fundraising, and more — so that they can emerge stronger and keep growing.
Companies interested in joining the Industry Recovery Initiative — whether as a project applying for support or a fund looking to contribute to industry recovery — can do so via the IRI inquiry form. Together we will continue to build and build a brighter future for crypto.
Note: the IRI is not an investment fund. Rather, each participant (including Binance) reviews the IRI applications as they come in and makes investment decisions independently of each other, on a deal-by-deal basis. Those who have committed funds to the IRI can share details of potential deals, but there’s no obligation for all parties to participate in each and every one.