Hong Kong blockchain gaming firm Animoca Brands has partnered with Hong Kong venture accelerator Brinc to launch the Guild Accelerator Program to build and grow the play-to-earn (P2E) guild ecosystem globally.

The new acceleration program offers a total investment capital of up to $30 million over two years, both parties said in a statement on Monday.

The Guild Accelerator Program aims to enable millions of people around the world to generate income by participating in P2E gaming via crypto gaming guilds.

Admission to the program is prioritised for guilds with a commitment to sustainability. This includes projects that support and give back to player/scholar communities, place emphasis on energy-efficient proof-of-stake protocols and side chains, and have lower overall physical footprints.

The Guild Accelerator Program will operate as a dedicated track within Launchpad Luna, the accelerator launched in mid-2021 as a partnership between Brinc and Animoca Brands.

Online applications are open at brinc.io/guild until 27 February 2022, and the first cohort is scheduled to start in May.

Led by Richard Robinson, entrepreneur-in-residence at Animoca Brands, the Guild Accelerator Program will fund up to $500,000 per guild. To optimise each guild’s performance and help scale growth, the program will foster innovation, set up management and operational systems, share best-in-class learnings from world-class mentors, expand each platform’s user base and assets, and help raise funds beyond the startup phase.

Mentors and experts supporting the Guild Accelerator Program include Brendan Wong (Founder of Avocado Guild), Saruboti Sasuke (Head of Partnerships for YGG), and Howard Xu (Co-Founder of the Vietnam-based guild Ancient8).

Gaming is the most prolific and expansive entertainment industry, with 3.2 billion gamers worldwide, according to recent Statista/DFC Intelligence data. Asia is the largest, fastest- growing P2E gaming market, accounting for 45 percent of the global total. Blockchain-based P2E games grew rapidly in 2021, a year which saw the phenomenal increase in popularity of Axie Infinity and gaming guilds such as Yield Guild Games and Avocado Guild — all three of which Animoca Brands backed as an early investor.

“As the world enters a new era of work and play, the play-to-earn guilds space has enormous potential for growth. The management of digital assets in games and in the open metaverse represents a significant source of income for hundreds of millions of people. The future of work in the metaverse is being written today, and we are proud to foster the guilds that are driving the evolution of these new opportunities,” said Yat Siu, the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands.

Brinc Founder and Chief Executive Officer Manav Gupta said: “Web3-enabled guilds provide an onramp for the future of earning in a way that Web2 and traditional industries never could. The technologies, principles and business models developed in gaming that have enabled true digital asset ownership and utilization (with aligned stakeholders) can be leveraged across all future areas of jobs and work. Guilds can help transform education, skill development, agriculture, research and development (R&D) and almost any industry where access to tools and assets historically prevented anyone with time to innovate, up-skill and thus earn a living. We’re excited to meet founding teams that challenge the way we think about the applications and impact of guilds across all industries.”

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Brinc is a global venture acceleration operating 18 multidisciplinary accelerator programs in seven countries. Brinc accelerates startups focused on Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, connected hardware, drones, robotics, clean energy and food technology, all within a sustainability mandate.

Brinc has a portfolio of 200+ companies with founders from over 35 countries. It also supports corporations with investment services, distributed innovation strategies, sourcing of new startups and technologies, as well as venture-building Web 3.0-enabled businesses.

Global corporations (Manulife, Huawei, Schneider Electric, Puma, Batelco, Merck, Omantel, Linrun Group, Zhihui Park), government organizations (Hong Kong Science Park, NEOM, MBRIF, Guangdong Soft-tech Park), tertiary institutions (HK City University, National University of Singapore) and venture funds (Artesian, LeverVC, Tamkeen, EDB) have all run programs with Brinc.

In 2021, Brinc launched a series of venture funds to invest in high-potential early-stage companies through accelerators and provide limited partners (LPs) with a dedicated innovation platform and access to Series A+ co-investment opportunities.

Meanwhile, Animoca Brands is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification. It develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Formula 1®, Disney, WWE, Power Rangers, MotoGPTM, and Doraemon.

The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, and Lympo. Animoca Brands has a growing portfolio of more than 150 investments in non fungible token (NFT)-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Yield Guild Games, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others.

Animoca Brands, Brinc launch Launchpad Luna, an accelerator for NFT startups