Creta, a Web3 metaverse gaming platform, has partnered with Lloyd Investment Group, a global private investment fund headquartered in Dubai, UAE in collaboration with Thomas Vu, legendary producer of League of Legends and Emmy Awards winner for Arcane, and Sangyoun Lee, CEO of Diverse, the development company of Creta to launch a $1 billion fund.

The partnership will establish a new fund, currently valued at $1 billion, aimed at propelling the growth of the Web3 gaming industry across the MENA region.

Lloyd Investment Group, known for its focus on energy, infrastructure, technology, and real estate sectors, recognizes the potential within Creta and is committed to leading the market across the MENA region in the entertainment and gaming sector.

The newly established fund will provide grants to emerging developers, enabling them to bring their game concepts to life. It will offer creative developers and startup studios the opportunity to access funding for the development of innovative game ideas, ultimately contributing to the success of the CRETA Platform. The launch of this USD$1 billion Fund underscores the growing importance of the Web 3.0 gaming industry and its potential to shape future social interactions, leisure activities, and work dynamics on the CRETA Platform.

CRETA’s ultimate goal is to unite a coalition of top-tier developers, creators, and producers, inviting them to contribute their high-quality creations to the platform. With a cutting-edge gaming and entertainment platform, Creta aims to lead the next generation of game and metaverse content industries.

The new fund aims to expand the Creta metaverse by developing content and cultivating a pool of skilled developers.

Creta, headquartered in the UAE with additional offices in Japan and Armenia, is spearheaded by Diverse, a Korean metaverse game developer renowned for its high-performance game engines and advanced graphics technology. Leveraging Locus Chain, a robust public blockchain, Creta offers a super-sized multiverse where multiple metaverses can seamlessly merge and expand, boasting photo-realistic visual quality.

Creta is a Web3-based multiverse gaming platform headquartered in Dubai, UAE, with a team of developers, publishers, and blockchain experts who have made a name for themselves in the global gaming industry. These include Ray Nakazato, a respected producer in the Japanese and global gaming industry, Alexander Harutyunyan, former CEO of European game publisher INNOVA, and CCR’s Seokho Yoon, who developed Korea’s national game Fortress. The partnership with Okamoto, the legendary game designer behind Street Fighter 2, Resident Evil, and Monster Strike, and Thomas Vu, producer of League of Legends and Emmy Award winner for Arcane, is expected to result in a world-class lineup of Web3 game titles.

In a very interesting tweet on the X platform, RAK DAO ( Ras Al Khaimah’s Digital Asset Oasis) free zone welcomed the founder and creator of the Ethereum Blockchain, Vitalik Buterin.

In the tweet, RAK DAO states,” At RAK DAO, our fundamental belief in the transformative power of community has played a pivotal role in shaping our ecosystem. Our commitment to fostering innovation through collaboration recently materialized in a significant event, graced by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, alongside Vitalik Buterin, the Co-Founder of Ethereum, here in Ras Al Khaimah. This gathering reaffirmed our ongoing dedication to providing a platform where innovative ideas flourish, collaborations thrive, and the spirit of progress prevails. “

In February 2023, the Government of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) announced that it would be launching the RAK Digital Assets Oasis free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies for non-regulated entities.

This meant that the UAE would now have two crypto Blockchain Oases, one in DMCC for regulated blockchain and crypto entities and one in RAK for soft regulated entities. As per the announcement RAK DAO was supposed to launch in Q2 of 2023, but its official launch happened in October 2023.

Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO), marked the inception of a new era in digital evolution and Web3 collaboration within Ras Al Khaimah. Businesses dealing with digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, could operate under fewer regulatory restrictions.RAK Digital Assets Oasis, is the first common law and specialized free zone exclusively dedicated to companies involved in digital and virtual assets.

Since then, RAK DAO has been setting up partnerships as it entices blockchain, Web3, metaverse, and crypto companies to set up base in the Oasis. It partnered with The HBAR Foundation having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them. According to the MOU, The HBAR Foundation would support RAK DAO ecosystem members to leverage the power of blockchain and build economies and applications on Hedera, the most used enterprise-grade public network.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trust Wallet, self-custody crypto wallet, majority owned by the former CEO of Binance announced its operations in the UAE both in RAKDAO (Digital assets Oasis) free zone in Ras Al Khaimah and in ADGM in Abu Dhabi.

Vitalik’s visit comes after he released Ethereum’s roadmap for 2024 which will focus on scalability, security and sustainability improvements.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced the plan on social media on Dec. 31, outlining several key initiatives for the platform’s development. ‘The Surge,’ a crucial component of Ethereum’s roadmap, aims to increase network scalability through data sharding. By dividing the blockchain into smaller parts, Ethereum intends to boost its transaction processing capabilities and reduce costs, addressing one of the most pressing issues faced by blockchain technologies today.

This development is expected to bring Ethereum closer to achieving its goal of processing over 100,000 transactions per second, as noted by Buterin in recent statements

Could this visit be another partnership in the making? Is the Ethereum founder finally interested in the UAE and Middle East?

UAE based MADA Capital, a private investment fund has partnered with Web3 metaverse gaming platform Creta in its ecosystem growth fund.

As per the news release, Mada Capital actively participated in the fund at an early stage, being deeply impressed by Creta’s vision and technological prowess, which outshine competitors.

Creta, alongside Mada Capital, aim to  collaboratively lead the advancement of the web3 and gaming metaverse industries in the global market. Together, they aim to grow the fund, discover and support outstanding producers and content, and expand Creta’s ecosystem by fostering cooperation and nurturing technology.

The ultimate goal of CRETA is to form a coalition of world-class developers, creators, and producers, where numerous creators join and contribute their high-level creations. The company is building a new comprehensive gaming entertainment platform that will lead the next generation game/metaverse content industry.

The Creta Growth Fund aims to accomplish this by expanding the Creta metaverse in several ways, including the creation of content and a pool of talented developers. In doing so, it will bring a large number of talented Web3 developers and content into the Creta ecosystem. Numerous game developers, creators, and producers that the Creta Growth Fund will identify and collaborate with will not only increase the content lineup but will also allow Creta to go beyond the expectations of numerous game fans and creators early on. This will create synergies in PR, marketing, and community outreach that far exceed the size of the fund. As a result, as the ecosystem grows, the number of creators will grow, and their content output will further circulate and expand the Creta ecosystem.

Following the recent agreement, MADA Capital has committed to actively participate in the fund raising process for the Creta Growth Fund to include multi-billion dollar investments.

With big names like gaming legend Yoshiki Okamoto and genius producer Thomas Vu on board and with many more influential developers and producers joining, the launch of the Growth Fund is expected to accelerate the rapid expansion of Creta’s content and developer partnerships. The fund will also accelerate the acquisition of AAA titles, and catalyze the rapid growth of the ultimate Creta ecosystem, which is an ever-expanding, ever-circulating collection of worlds, multiverses, games, creator tools, and community SuperClub.

Creta is a global Web3 metaverse gaming platform headquartered in the UAE with offices in Japan and Armenia. The development of the Creta platform is led by Diverse, a Korean metaverse game developer specializing in high-performance game engines and excellent graphics technology.

The Web3-based metaverse gaming platform uses Locus Chain, public blockchain, and unlike traditional metaverses, it implements a super-sized multiverse where numerous metaverses can be combined and expanded with photo-realistic visual quality. In particular, Creta can significantly reduce infrastructure costs using the high-performance blockchain mainnet Locus Chain to replace most of the role of servers in online games.

Salah Alwaheb, Chairman of MADA Capital, said: “We are delighted to partner with Creta as it grows to become the dominant player in the next generation web3 gaming/metaverse platform market. The Creta Growth Fund will be backed by MADA Capital’s large funds, as well as royal families and high net-worth individuals from the Middle East.”

Metaverse gaming platform Sandbox and its Saudi partner SandSoft, has partnered with KSA’s first regulated NFT platform Nuqtah to grow decentralized gaming in KSA and MENA.

As per the press release, the partnership will support the emergence of a world-class Web3 gaming ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. The partnership with Nuqtah will focus on creating exciting experiences that align with the unique tastes and preferences of Saudi Arabian gamers.

To kickstart this initiative, Nuqtah will launch a Design Contest using VoxEdit, the 3D editor of The Sandbox, for local creators in the region in early 2024. Winning creations will be featured on Nuqtah’s NFT marketplace. The Sandbox, Sandsoft and Nuqtah will also work jointly to enable creators to build experiences in The Sandbox metaverse that are specifically tailored to the Saudi Arabian region, while Nuqtah will list land and avatars from The Sandbox on its NFT marketplace.

Sebastien Borget, the COO and Co-founder of The Sandbox, commented, “We’re pursuing our journey of innovation and growth in the Saudi region following our recent partnership announcement with Sandsoft. Together with pioneers such as Nuqtah, we’ll collaborate to attract more local creators from Saudi Arabia into our user-generated content platform and enable them to monetize their digital assets creations on Nuqtah’s platform.”

Salwa Radwi, the CEO of Nuqtah, added, “The partnership between The Sandbox, Sandsoft and Nuqtah is an exciting development for the decentralized gaming community. By collaboratively building local experiences, focusing on education, and attracting regional audiences, our aim is to create a vibrant and inclusive ecosystem that empowers creators and gamers. Launching a Design Contest with VoxEdit is a joint effort to empower the Saudi creators community in the metaverse.”

David Fernandez, the CEO of Sandsoft, explained “At Sandsoft, our commitment has always been to uplift local talent, drive education, and responsibly promote emerging technologies. This partnership will spotlight emerging regional talent and create immersive local content for The Sandbox metaverse that inspires a new generation of creators. It’s a significant milestone in building a boundary-breaking metaverse community in the MENA region.”

The Sandbox, Sandsoft, and Nuqtah have committed to empowering creators, fostering inclusivity in the blockchain ecosystem, and driving educational initiatives for a passionate metaverse community. This marks the beginning of a strategic partnership paving the way for a joint venture to expand The Sandbox ecosystem across KSA, GCC, and MENA, shaping the future of decentralized gaming in Saudi Arabia.

UK headquartered Luminous Group, which provides immersive training programs, using metaverse technologies has raised $1.2 million from North East venture fund, and Mercia as its sets up a presence in the Middle East.

As per the release, the funding will enable the Luminous Group to roll its technology out to a wider audience and create 10 new jobs in the year ahead. It comes as the company is set to open a third office in the Middle East to support its growing client base in the region.

Luminous has already won a major contract from a leading Middle East energy company and recently opened an international office in Bahrain. It plans to open an office in Saudi Arabia later this year, and launch a global marketing campaign. The funding will also enable it to further enhance its platform to make it fully ‘self service’, enabling companies to create their own training programmes, and to launch a new marketplace where training providers can sell their own content.

The Luminous XR (extended reality) platform – which incorporates augmented, mixed and virtual reality – enables users to create training programs quickly and efficiently and track students’ progress. The system, which is ideal for energy companies and manufacturers, can recreate real-life situations including hazardous environments in a safe and repeatable way.

Luminous is run by Ben Bennett, CEO, and Nigel Hope.. Mercia Ventures first invested in 2017 to help it develop the platform. The latest round is the third to date and brings the total received by the company to over £1.9m, which includes funding from the NEVF and Mercia’s EIS funds.

Ben Bennett said: “While it is still early days for the ‘metaverse’, VR and XR technologies have matured significantly and the launch of Apple’s first mixed-reality headset next year is expected to boost awareness and drive global demand. The funding received from Mercia puts Luminous in a strong position to capitalize on that.”

Chris McCourt of Mercia Ventures said: “Current training techniques used in industry are expensive and outdated. Immersive training in a virtual environment could significantly improve performance but creating such programs has been challenging until now. The Luminous XR platform is enabling much wider adoption. This latest investment will enable the company to scale its business and become a global leader in XR training.”

Metaverse creator Animoca Brands Corporation Limited has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“Strategic Partnership”) with NEOM Company (“NEOM”) to drive regional Web3 initiatives in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, after NEOM investment fund signed a term sheet for $50 million investment in Animoca Brands.

As per the Convertible Notes Financing Term Sheet (“Term Sheet”). NEOM Investment Fund is proposing to invest US$50 million in Animoca Brands, of which US$25 million will be via the issuance of convertible notes at a conversion cap price of A$4.50 per share, with substantively the same terms as the strategic funding round previously disclosed by the Company in the announcement of 8 September 2022; and the remaining US$25 million will be invested in purchasing the Company’s shares on the secondary market.

As part of the strategic relationship, Animoca Brands will work with NEOM on building Web3 enterprise service capabilities with global commercial applicability, which will be deployed to support technology advancements in Riyadh and the NEOM region. These projects will include a range of Web3 initiatives, including plans to establish a hub within NEOM to nurture the local Web3 ecosystem and bring in extensive capabilities from across Animoca Brands and its subsidiaries, partners, and broad portfolio of investments.

The execution of definitive documents for the Convertible Notes Financing are subject to a number of conditions precedent.

Majid Mufti, CEO of NEOM Investment Fund, commented: “We are excited to partner with Animoca Brands to support the development of NEOM’s digital infrastructure. Web3 technology and infrastructure development will not only be an important foundation of NEOM’s tech stack and architecture, but also has potential to revolutionize global industries. By partnering with a market-leading company like Animoca Brands, we hope to accelerate Web3 technology development and adoption.”

Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, commented: “We are honored and excited to partner with and receive investment from NEOM, one of the world’s most ambitious projects seeking to use innovation and technology to redefine how we live, work, and play. We have always referred to the growth of the Web3 ecosystem as the emergence of a new meta-nation, and now NEOM could well become the first region to fully harness the power of blockchain.”

NEOM has inaugurated its strategic investment arm, the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF), NEOM’s wholly owned subsidiary which is set up to support the buildout and development of NEOM’s 14 priority sectors of which technology and digital are an integral part.

NIF will invest globally through Mergers & Acquisitions and venture capital in technology startups, with a clear focus on pioneering growth companies and next-generation industries.  NIF will also develop Joint Ventures and partnerships with large multinationals, institutional investors and innovators within NEOM.

As part of its inauguration, NIF is announcing new investments in companies including, Regent, Boom Technology, BlueNalu and Animoca Brands, details of which will be shared in the coming days. These investments, which add to those NIF has led to date, illustrate its role working alongside NEOM sectors to support their strategies for growth, enabling new technologies, establishing businesses, and creating a thriving economy in NEOM.

Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM said: “The vision of NEOM is to address global challenges that redefine livability, conservation and business. As NEOM’s strategic investment subsidiary, NIF will play a critical role in converting NEOM’s vision to reality. NIF will enable NEOM to sustain its contribution to realizing the ambitions of the Kingdom over the long term, cementing its position as a key driver of economic diversification and job creation.”

Majid Mufti, CEO of NEOM Investment Fund, said,“The NIF strategy is designed to align NEOM’s development objectives with those of innovators and institutional investors, de-risking opportunities for them to participate in creating core global growth businesses and a thriving economy in NEOM. To date, NIF has invested in several technology companies within the 14 priority sectors of NEOM that will accelerate technologies critical to the NEOM project and have a major impact on the future of living and sustainability. Replicated over time, this approach will position NEOM as a model for sustainable economic development.”

As a catalyst for change, NIF actively seeks deep partnerships with likeminded investors and bold entrepreneurs working on the world’s most complex problems, in line with NEOM’s vision. It aspires to create regional and global champion companies across NEOM’s 14 economic sectors by investing in commercially viable projects and ‘moonshot’ ideas enabled by cutting edge technologies. To accelerate the change, NIF will focus on developing investment opportunities for the private sector to participate in and will directly invest to unlock solutions that would be piloted and scaled-up in NEOM, and eventually exported to the world.

As part of its mandate, NIF will also be assuming the role of portfolio manager for NEOM’s sector assets and companies. This role will safeguard returns for the shareholder and investors through portfolio synergies and will underpin NEOM’s long-term financial sustainability.

The UAE Public Prosecution is launching a forum entitled  “Financial Crimes Foresight Forum” on 11th October 2023, to discuss money laundering crimes using Virtual Assets. The event will be organized in anticipation of the upcoming International Summit on Metaverse Governance and Emerging Technology, scheduled to commence early next year in 2024.

The forum aims to study and analyze trends in financial crimes and explore proactive preventive measures based on modern and future global trends. It also seeks to explore the future of financial crimes in all its forms and delve into in-depth research to present them as topics for the upcoming International Summit on Metaverse Governance and Emerging Technology.

The forum presents an opportunity for exchanging experiences and enhancing awareness and commitment to combating various forms of financial crimes, especially those based on virtual assets. Experts will discuss the evolution of financial crimes related to virtual assets to shed light on achieving a balance between technological advancements and financial security guarantees. Moreover, it aims to develop scenarios for future information security challenges in the financial and banking sectors and the cyber risks they may face.

The forum will host a select group of speakers from the UAE Public Prosecution, the Securities and Commodities Authority, the Cyber Security Council, the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, the UAE Financial Information Unit, the Dubai Police General Headquarters, the Economic Security Center of Dubai, the Dubai Public Prosecution, and the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority of Dubai.

UAE based Blockchain, VR, NFT enabled physical theme park builder has received millions of dollars in investment from KSA’s sovereign fund backed Riyadh Seasons. The majority of the $55million raised came from Riyadh Seasons. U.S. based Galaxy Interactive, venture capital firm focused on gaming, led the latest funding round, which includes other international investors.

Founded by Alexander Heller in 2020, Hyperspace is building physical theme park attractions that are blockchain-enabled and extended reality-native, with it making use of cutting-edge emerging technologies, spatial compute layers, real life virtual effects, and non-fungible token (NFT) projects

Heller sees them as physical front ends to the metaverse, with visitors to these venues making use of the developed technologies to access everything from surreal-istic playgrounds and immersive neighborhoods, to virtual production stages containing holographic super cars and high-end digital fashion.

HyperSpace had raised $11 million in equity in 2021 allowing it to scale its operations. At the time Heller noted, “In a world where blockchain, spatial computing, digital identity, and growth in the gaming and social media sector took meteoric steps in 2021, HyperSpace has rooted itself in building towards a future where these trends find place in the amusement attractions industry.”

In Q3 of 2023 Hyperscale will launch in Dubai Mall the House of Hype after it successful launched its first Immersive AYA space in Wafi Mall where nearly half a million enthusiasts paying $34 to enter its 40,000-square-foot park.

According to the Financial Times article KSA Riyadh Season, a government-backed entertainment initiative under the auspices of the sovereign wealth fund, has invested the majority of the $55mn of debt and equity raised by HyperSpace.  Riyadh Season is led by Turki al-Sheikh, who chairs the General Entertainment Authority.

HyperSpace is launching House of Hype in Riyadh in November.  The Riyadh-based company plans to expand in Saudi Arabia and beyond to the US. “There’s a big focus on expanding the business” to the rest of the world, Heller says in the interview with FT.

He adds, “Riyadh was a uniquely attractive partner, Heller said, given the importance of shopping centers to Saudis, who are also highly engaged in social media. HyperSpace is keen to be behind the push to attract consumers back to shopping malls, which have been hit by a rise in online shopping. Our parks adapt the best ingredients of video games, social media, and Web3 culture; translating them into future forward entertainment attractions.”

After a very successful first European Edition Global Blockchain Congress, Agora Group is coming back to Dubai for its 12th GBC on December 11 and 12, 2023!

The Global Blockchain Congress leverages the experience gained through the hosting of the first 11 editions of the event in Dubai and the international editions in Vietnam and the UK to ensure maximum return on investment for all our sponsors. The previous editions of the Global Blockchain Congress were a tremendous success and we were able to host 1,500+ investors and 300+ blockchain startups and were able to raise millions in funds for our participating projects

The theme of this edition is: “Will the Next Bull Market Be Different?”
Topics of the Congress:
• Land of Decentralized Milk and Honey? Why Crypto
• Companies Are Warming to the United Arab Emirates.
• Digital Assets Outlook 2024.
• Web3 Gaming and the Path to Open Metaverse.
• DeFI, CeFi and ReFi – What’s Next?
• Blockchain Marketing: Shaking Up the Game with Trending Strategies

The event is a closed-door, exclusive congress that can be attended by invitation only where the format of the event is focused on pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between projects and investors.
Agora will be hosting more than 150 Investors, 25 Projects, 60 A-list Speakers & 30 Media Partners from all over the world.

Learn more about the event:

Register here: