Adaverse Diversifies Portfolio To Grow Web3 Market In Saudi Arabia

Adaverse Accelerator
6 min readOct 10, 2023


As the digital landscape and blockchain adoption shift rapidly toward real-world utility, Adaverse, a leading Cardano accelerator and venture fund, is expanding its footprint into Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning Web3 market. This strategic decision is backed by comprehensive research and macroeconomic trends that highlight the ecosystem’s significant potential. Saudi Arabia’s rise as a cornerstone in the Web3 world is not merely a byproduct of its abundant resources but an endeavor to become a global powerhouse in digital innovation.

The Saudi Landscape: A Web3 Epicenter in Making

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is the cornerstone of the kingdom’s aspirations for economic diversification. Moving away from oil dependency, the nation is actively investing in emerging technologies, including blockchain and AI. The Vision 2030 plan explicitly underscores digital transformation as one of its primary objectives coupled with government-backed initiatives like NEOM — a planned cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia focused on various futuristic technologies, including blockchain — the stage is set for a disruptive Web3 ecosystem. In a region that is increasingly risk-averse due to the volatility of oil prices, the decentralized nature of Web3 offers a stable and promising alternative for economic diversification.

Why Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab state in Western Asia, accounting for 45% of the MENA region’s $1.8 billion gaming industry, is making deliberate strides in the Web3 space. With blockchain technology at the core of initiatives, the kingdom has fostered an ecosystem that is ripe for innovation. Regulatory frameworks are increasingly accommodating decentralized networks, and there is a distinct focus on developing high-speed internet connectivity and cloud computing infrastructure — essential cogs in the machinery of Web3.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia has a large, tech-savvy youth population highly receptive to technology and digital innovation. This demographic dividend acts as fertile ground for the adoption of blockchain-based applications and services. It also presents an immense opportunity for consumer education and engagement in blockchain technologies, effectively reducing the barriers to entry.

Regulatory Clarity: A New Horizon for Venture Funding

A key strength of Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning Web3 market lies in its forward-thinking regulatory approach. Unlike the hesitant or restrictive stances seen in various African nations, the U.S., and China, Saudi Arabia is actively crafting a balanced regulatory framework. This approach not only fosters innovation but also ensures robust consumer protection measures further supporting a more predictable environment for startups and investors, and alleviating many of the risks often associated with emerging technologies.

While the global Web3 market has experienced a temporary contraction in venture capital, largely attributed to the relenting bearish sentiment, Saudi Arabia stands as a beacon for discerning investment. The relenting crypto winter in the last year has in fact acted as a quality filter, directing more focused investment towards projects with user-focused products and economic relevance rather than speculative value. The regulatory maturity in Saudi Arabia offers a fortuitous landscape for startups with innovative Web3 applications, positioning the kingdom as an ideal destination for sustainable growth in this sector.

Adaverse’s Strategic Involvement in Saudi Arabia

Amidst this backdrop, Adaverse has embarked on a strategic venture to diversify its portfolio into Saudi Arabia’s Web3 market. Since its establishment in 2021, Adaverse has emerged as a benchmark in Web3 acceleration, especially in the African market where we have funded and nurtured 40 startups for sustainable growth. Our effective strategies are further backed by EMURGO, the official Cardano commercial arm, providing us with a robust investment resources.

Our footprint across Africa serves as a testament to our ability to bridge the gap between innovation and commercial viability. Leveraging this seasoned understanding of emerging markets, we’re poised to contribute meaningfully to Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning Web3 ecosystem. We see the kingdom not merely as a new market but as an emerging foundational layer for future technologies and enterprises.

Portfolio Highlights: Focus on Africa and Beyond

Our investment portfolio in Africa and Asia demonstrates a successful track record of nurturing Web3 startups to scale and innovate. Our recent demo day showcased 25 exceptional startups and was attended by an elite audience of global investors, angel investors, market-makers, leading entrepreneurs, and serial founders. The event was further elevated by a keynote address from Cardano Founder Charles Hoskinson, underscoring Adaverse’s pivotal role and influence within the global Web3 community.

With this wealth of experience, Adaverse aims to replicate its success in the Saudi market, providing invaluable support and resources to emerging Web3 startups in the kingdom.

Vincent Li, Adaverse founding partner, commented, “Entering the Saudi market is a milestone for Adaverse, one that aligns perfectly with our broader vision of facilitating cutting-edge Web3 startups. Saudi Arabia has shown considerable foresight in adapting to the future of technology. With its Vision 2030 and other government-backed initiatives like NEOM, the nation is creating an ecosystem where blockchain technologies can thrive. I will be speaking at the officially sponsored #ETHRiyadh2023 event this October and meeting with local industry leaders and innovators. Our goal is to collaborate with local innovators to drive blockchain adoption, foster digital transformation, and create lasting economic impact.”

Accelerating Plans for Saudi Startups

Given our successful model in Africa and Asia, we are enthusiastic about replicating similar growth trajectories for startups in Saudi Arabia. The recent drop in VC funding across the Web3 sector, down by around 80% compared to the same period in 2022, signifies a market ripe for discerning investments. Adaverse aims to fill this funding gap by employing a meticulous selection process to identify the most promising Saudi startups. Our commitment to backing visionary projects remains steadfast, irrespective of the global financial climate.

Future Outlook

As the Middle East aims to establish itself as a global Web3 hub, Adaverse is fully committed to contributing positively to this transformative landscape. We view strategic investments and partnerships as the cornerstones that will propel the region into a more equitable digital future. Our involvement stems from a deep-seated vision to accelerate the global adoption of blockchain technologies.

The road to technological prominence is fraught with obstacles, but as the old saying goes, fortune favors the bold.’ Adaverse is excited to be part of this audacious journey toward an efficient and equitable future.

About Adaverse

Adaverse is a Cardano Ecosystem Accelerator and Venture fund, serving as Cardano’s venture wing for MEA and Asia. Adaverse provides a comprehensive range of services, including blockchain advisory, development, and support for early-stage Web3 startups. Since its inception, Adaverse has invested in and accelerated over 45 companies across diverse sectors such as Web3, exchanges, NFTs, gamefi, DeFi, and proptech. Through a potent blend of funds, mentorship, and technological infrastructure, Adaverse aims to scale Web3 solutions globally, drawing upon its international expertise and in-depth local market experience.

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Adaverse is a Venture fund and Cardano accelerator fostering blockchain innovation in Asia, Middle East, and Africa.