Bonfire Union the Venture Arm of Mask Network Raises $42M to Build the Tencent of Web3

Mask Network is creating a Web3 investment powerhouse through its venture arm Bornfire Union comparable to Tencent’s Web2 empire.
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Quick take:

  • Mask Network is backing itself to become the venture powerhouse of Web3. 
  • The end-to-end encryption Web3 platform has raised $42 million through its venture arm Bonfire Union to invest in Web3 projects.
  • Mask is backed by leading VCs including Binance, Animoca Brands and Dapper Labs, among others.

Mask Network is on an ambitious plan to create the Tencent of Web3. The end-to-end encryption blockchain-based platform said on Wednesday it wants to create a powerhouse venture focused on investing in the social ecosystem of Web3.

Mask Network’s venture arm Bonfire Union just wrapped up a $42 million fundraising which will be used to build its Web3 empire. The company is backed by some of the leading Web3 investment companies including Binance, Animoca Brands and Dapper Labs.

Whilst several companies are targeting the gaming and live events in the metaverse, Mask Network thinks these activities could unlock more potential for social media platforms. The company currently facilitates the encrypted transfer of cryptocurrencies and messages on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Mask Network, which traces its roots to China is also backed by Chinese institutions, including FreeS, Y2Z, HashKey Group, Hash Global, SevenX, IOSG Ventures, SNZ and Fundamental Labs.

Acknowledging the adverse effects of the current crypto winter on emerging Web3 projects, Suji Yan, founder of Mask Network also said that this could be a great opportunity for Bonfire Union to try and invest in projects at a discount.

In a bull market, Yan told TechCrunch, “investors are casting a wide net. A startup can easily move to the next funding round if its product isn’t too bad.” But in the bear market, “even if investors truly believe in a project, many will wait and see.”

Mask Network is trying to mirror the success of the Chinese technology giant Tencent, whose venture capital investing has earned it the nickname, “ SoftBank of China”. The company’s market-leading (in China) social media app WeChat has helped it become the largest company by market cap in the country.

Whilst Mask Network’s ambitions are clear, meeting them is not as clear. But the $42 million fundraising seems like a decent start given the crypto downturn.

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