Thursday 20 May 2021 7:49 am

China's CMB International and Nervos Foundation launch $50m blockchain fund

CMB International (CMBI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Merchants Bank, has announced the launch of a $50 million fund with Nervos – China’s leading blockchain.

The new fund, dubbed InNervation, will make early and growth-stage investments in start-ups building user-facing products based on blockchain technology.

InNervation’s investment focus will include decentralised applications (dApps), decentralised finance (DeFi) protocols, distributed ledger platforms, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, and more.

As an early adopter of blockchain technology, CMBI has been exploring the use of decentralised applications with Nervos since 2019. CMBI is also an early investor in Nervos.

This latest collaboration between the two sees the first joint investment fund between a prominent financial institution and a layer 1 blockchain which aims to expand Nervos’ permissionless ecosystem through strategic investments, cementing CMBI’s ongoing support of Nervos’ growing public blockchain ecosystem.

The fund’s launch comes as digital assets and blockchain technology see record adoption across all industries and verticals, from media and consumer apps to banking and enterprise software.

China progress

In China, where blockchain development is a national priority, both permissioned and permissionless chain projects are progressing with initiatives like BSN, China’s Blockchain-Based Service Network, which Nervos is a part of.

As more technologies and use cases transition from centralised to decentralised infrastructures, InNervation will fund developers and entrepreneurs building innovative new solutions that appeal to the mainstream audience.

“As early supporters of Nervos, we’ve worked closely with the team both as partners and investors,” said Samuel Wang, Chief Investment Officer at CMB International.

“They’ve made no compromises in building their infrastructure, and we are committed to supporting Nervos and the expansion of its dApp ecosystem.”

CMBI is backing the fund as a strategic partner to help bolster the Nervos ecosystem and will play an active role in the fund’s investment decisions. The fund will be co-managed by Nervos and CMBI and make investments globally with a focus on real-world applications.

The $50 million fund will be deployed over a three-year period, with start-ups receiving initial investments between $200,000 and $2,000,000 to support their project’s growth on Nervos and in the greater blockchain ecosystem.

As part of its investment thesis, the fund will seek to make investments in projects and start-ups that have plans to integrate the Nervos blockchain into their long-term product roadmap.

“Our team has been working diligently to ensure developers and teams have access to a variety of tools so they can create, customise, and connect their dApps, protocols, and more across multiple chains,” added Kevin Wang, co-founder of Nervos.

“With CMBI’s support, InNervation will be the catalyst for a new phase of development not just on Nervos but in the greater blockchain and crypto ecosystem.”

To ensure funded projects have what they need to build on the Nervos network, they will receive access to the Universal Passport, a group of key elements in Nervos’ suite of developer tools that enables developers to create “universal,” multichain applications.

Force Bridge

One of the key pieces is the Force Bridge – a cross-chain bridge announced in Q4 2020 – which is expected to extend its chain support beyond Ethereum to Bitcoin, TRON, EOS, and Polkadot, with more to come in the future.

Nervos’ mission is to build a truly interoperable decentralised world of networks and businesses by solving the problems that plague the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, specifically Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Much like the early days of the internet, the decentralised world is segregated into different ecosystems with more interconnectivity. With its unique layered architecture and suite of integrated solutions designed for interoperability, Nervos is providing the infrastructure for the next generation of applications, or Universal Apps, that can be accessible across the entire decentralized ecosystem.

Through a variety of initiatives, including the Ecosystem Grants program, Nervos provides support for infrastructure projects and developer tooling to make it easier for developers to build on Nervos.

With the underlying framework completed, the launch of the new fund marks a shift in focus to user-facing applications as the project enters the next stage of growth, welcoming both new start-ups to build and established projects to scale on the Nervos network.

About CMB International
: Incorporated in Hong Kong, CMB International (CMBI) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Merchants Bank (“CMB”) for providing total quality financial services to global, local institutional and corporate clients as well as individual investors.

About Nervos: The Nervos Network is a collection of protocols and public blockchain ecosystem aiming to solve the biggest challenges facing blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum today.