Meet the Startups in OWC’s Batch II: Accelerating Web 3.0 Adoption

February 10, 2021

At NEAR, we’re excited at the prospect of championing and uplifting promising Web 3.0 founders – it’s the reason  the Open Web Collective (OWC)was created. As a protocol-agnostic collective, user-centrism and metric-driven experimentation are at the core of what NEAR does. By bringing together the right resources, VCs, and seasoned advisors, NEAR helps founders de-risk, focus, and accelerate their open web projects.

Since Batch I concluded in autumn 2020, the nine startups in the cohort – 1inch Exchange, Arterra, Snowball Money, Leaf Global Fintech, BoxScore, Snark Art, Upshot, Brink Exchange, and OP Games – have become integral players in the Web3 ecosystem.

1inchExchange is now the second-most-used application in DeFi, according to ETH Gas Station. 1inch has exchanged over $9 billion (USD) in crypto-assets and completed over $700K (USD) in total swaps. In December 2020, 1inch distributed over 90 million governance tokens to their users, liquidity providers, and community, making the application even more decentralized.

SnowSwap is an automated market maker and decentralized exchange for yield-bearing liquidity provider token swaps. As of February 4, 2021, SnowSwap’s total value locked exceeded $1.5 million (USD). Among the novel financial instruments introduced by SnowSwap is the eth2SNOW pool designed to incentivize ETH2 adoption. The eth2SNOW pool allows users to enter, exit, and swap between popular ETH2 staking services with low slippage.

Leaf Global Fintech relaunched its Leaf Wallet in September 2020. Since then, LeafGlobal has helped over 1,410 refugees in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda gain access to digital financial services. As of December 2020, Leaf has successfully completed over 5,600 transactions worth $32,595 (USD).

NEAR is excited to share the participants in Batch II. This cohort’s members are focused across three innovation areas to reflect the stages and target markets of this stellar group of builders.

The Decentralized Revolution Continues with Batch II

Meet our Open Web Builders

Open web teams are builders focused on mission-critical infrastructure for the open web, such as privacy, accessibility, data management, and identity.

Nym is building the next generation of privacy infrastructure for Web3. Fear of big tech, privacy, and data intrusion is driving consumers to adopt a privacy-cautious attitude.The Nym mixnet is fully decentralized, with no trusted third parties such as a VPN. NYM supports a high volume of service and low latency through network incentives.

Verida (Ver/id/a = Verified, Identity, Data) is developing the future of decentralized data. Verida enables developers to build web and mobile apps where users own their data. Their library provides decentralized single sign-on, data sharing, and profile management that fully integrates with the Verida Vault.

Sarcophagus is a general purpose decentralized dead man’s switch built on ethereum and Arweave. It is triggered if the human operator becomes incapacitated due to death, loss of consciousness, or being physically removed from control. Use cases include but are not limited to wills and trusts, password recovery, credential passdown, political activism, key material backup, and emergency communication.

Meet our Open Finance Builders

Open finance teams are pioneers emerging from stealth mode and challenging traditional finance. The future of fintech is interoperable, user-centric, transparent, and accessible to everyone.

Kamix helps the African diaspora send remittances to family for free. Currently operating in Cameroon, they will soon launch in Nigeria.

Heo Finance is the first stablecoin-powered crowdfunding platform that pays out rewards to donors. Each donation results in daily farming of tokens that allows donors to receive 2X to 10X their donation in return.

Meet our DApp Builders

DApps are the next generation of web applications; promising the convenience we’ve come to expect from traditional applications with new key features that create trustless environments, lower barriers to services, and develop open markets with liquidity.

Vezt is the first mobile app where music fans can share royalty rights for songs and recordings. Users can buy royalty rights for artists such as Maluma, Panic! At The Disco, and Blond Don.

PESA is creating a decentralized carrier that transforms voice, cellular, and WiFi networks into tradable resources. Currently, PESA has a partnership with 37 airlines for in-flight internet and serves more than 68 million hotspots.

Hash Rush is an online sci-fi/fantasy RTS “Play-to-Earn” blockchain-enabled game. VZ studio will transition to a platform-as-a-service in the future, empowering game developers with a suite of tools to create in-game economies using blockchain.

MintGate is turning any online content into exclusive rewards. MintGate’s token economy incentivizes early followers to use their network and resources to support a community or a creator, and then redistributes the added-value to the backers.

Paras lets users create, trade, and collect digital art cards on NEAR Protocol. Since its release in December 2020, Paras has onboarded 70+ artists, who have released 472 minted cards with a trading volume of over $35,000 USD from 700+ transactions.


OWC Batch II cohort member teams and founders

Partner & Mentor Spotlight

A critical part of the OWC mission and value comes from the mentors who work with the cohort teams throughout their OWC journeys. These mentors, guest speakers, and advisors are an essential part of the OWC culture. By sharing their expertise, wisdom, and guidance, they create real, lasting relationships and results for the next generation of Web3 founders.

The current OWC Mentors and Partners are: Maria Shen, Jesse Walden, Kartik Talwar, Tara Tan, Jonathan Kol, Jake Brukhman, Ivan Bogatty, Evan Feng, Tom Serres, James Zhang, Joyce Yang, Jocy Lin, Damir Bandalo, Pantera Capital, Brex, CoinFund, Bollinger Investment Group, AdColony, and GreenField One.

Some of the OWC Batch II Mentors

Congratulations to all the members of Batch II! These are the Web3 teams to watch. Stay tuned for more updates from the teams.

Every Tuesday, OWC invites builders, investors, and entrepreneurs to share experiences and expertise on the OWC podcast and YouTube. We also invite you to join our community by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on Twitter.

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