Bear market no issue for Binance Labs’ DeFi incubation program

Sebastian Parker
Sebastian Parker
Last Updated on June 17, 2022

Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, continues its business as usual despite the ongoing bear market.

The VC firm is preparing to launch the fifth round of the Most Valuable Builder (MVB) accelerator program, the incubation program designed to support new projects focused on decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web3.

Organized in cooperation with BNB Chain, the program looks to provide dedicated support to developers building decentralized apps on the BNB Chain blockchain network by providing incubation and investment.

The MVB program was originally launched in May 2021, with the mission to help BNB Chain-based startups create new projects, gain exposure, receive funding and accelerate community and business growth. Some of the successful MVB-born startups include infrastructure DeFi projects like Deri Protocol and Solv Protocol, the decentralized exchange Biswap, the GameFi and metaverse platform Metasset and others.

The latest round, also referred to as the fifth cohort, is named “Uncharted Territory” as it aims to explore new opportunities and help emerging projects amid the highly volatile cryptocurrency market.

“MVB V is structured differently than previous cohorts, with BNB Chain and Binance Labs collaborating for the first time to provide infrastructure, mentorship, funding, and ecosystem support to the projects,” BNB Chain investment director Gwendolyn Regina told Cointelegraph on Thursday. “The funding source of MVB will be directly from Binance Labs,” she added.

The round application deadline is July 8, 2022, while the program is scheduled to start on July 11, 2022. In late June, Binance Labs and BNB Chain plan to announce successful projects that will join the MVB accelerator program and go through coaching and workshops for 6-8 weeks.

The new MVB accelerator program is not limited in terms of projected investment, the BNB Chain investment director noted, stating:

“We do not have an investment cap. Binance Labs will follow a thorough evaluation process for projects that are selected for incubation before making an investment decision. The support we provide for the MVB program goes beyond mere money and the fund itself.”

Regina went on to say that the latest MVB round welcomes all builders in the blockchain industry, disregarding whether they have experience in building on the BNB Chain. “We are ready to invest in projects in all stages of their development, whether it’s early stage, working prototype or a launched product that needs scaling,” she added.

The ongoing bear market poses no potential harm to the accelerator program. Rather on the contrary, BNB Chain and Binance Labs believe that extreme market conditions tend to generate stronger projects, Regina said, adding:

“Bear markets are a great way to assess and support projects that truly make a difference in the blockchain ecosystem. If anything, now is the best time to spot strong, mission-driven projects and assist their growth and development.”

BNB Chain’s stance on crypto bear markets as an opportunity for industry growth comes in line with broader views at the Binance crypto exchange.

Related: ‘Builders rejoice’: Experts on why bear markets are good for Bitcoin

The company is looking to hire 2,000 employees amid the latest market decline, with CEO Changpeng Zhao declaring that the exchange sees bear markets as a “great time to bring on top talent.”

A similar sentiment is shared by billionaire crypto investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who applied a well-known aphorism by veteran investor Warren Buffett to the current crypto market drop: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”