DUBAI—Enjinstarter, a leading Web3 launchpad and advisory company, today announced that it has confirmed Dubai as the home for AYA, its upcoming impact-focused Web3 launchpad, pending approval of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence in accordance with requirements outlined by the emirate’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). AYA, which translates to “miracle” in Arabic, pays tribute to the beautiful planet that we live on by empowering impact-driven innovators to combat climate challenges head-on.
“MENA is a region at the tip of the climate change spear. Temperatures are expected to increase up to 2.5 degrees by 2050 and the number of people affected by water scarcity is 60 million and growing,” said Prakash Somosundram, co-founder and CEO of Enjinstarter. “At the same time, the UAE is positioning itself as a global leader in both sustainability and Web3. These actions have caught the attention of the builders, investors, and climate warriors that want to make a difference. Our impact launchpad, AYA, is built to empower these stakeholders to make real, demonstrable impact.”
Regulatory clarity was a key factor in Enjinstarter’s decision. Dubai’s VARA has demonstrated its commitment to creating clear and comprehensive legal frameworks that protect investors, conform to international standards, and encourage responsible business growth. Enjinstarter received initial approval from VARA in May and has since continued the in-depth process of applying for a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence, in accordance with VARA requirements, in order to launch and operate AYA.
UAE’s focus on sustainability was the other key factor. The country has already set a leading example by planning to invest $54 billion over the next 7 years as part of its net-zero ambitions, along with hosting COP 28 in Dubai in December. It has also called for a scientific, transparent, and technology-driven approach in its push to meet 2050 climate goals, while the country’s Green Agenda aims to attract $160 billion in green investments by 2030.
“Dubai is the obvious choice for AYA. No other jurisdiction provides the regulatory clarity and sustainability focus we are looking for. Beyond that, there is a palpable sense of action here, specifically in terms of real-world asset regulation and climate action,” said Vasseh Ahmed, managing director of Enjinstarter MENA. “Since we entered the market in December 2022, we’ve had nothing but positive interactions with all of the Web3 and sustainability ecosystem stakeholders, including VARA. We look forward to more of the same as we continue with our application for a VASP licence.”
Estimates suggest that trillions of dollars are needed annually for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and loss, whereas actual financing levels are reportedly in the tens of billions. A core justification for AYA is Enjinstarter’s belief that a Web3 launchpad can help bridge this climate financing gap by providing a blueprint for private financing mechanisms and fair capital distribution. Retail investors, in particular, with their trillions in investable wealth, stand to benefit greatly from increased access to high-impact startups.
Sustainability startups, in turn, will be able to use AYA to get access to innovative technologies, raise funds from retail and institutional investors, and take advantage of incubation services, pending approval of the VASP licence by VARA. They will also be able to utilise tokenised carbon credits as a new asset class, meaning that they will be able to leverage their credits to access liquidity streams. Focus areas for AYA include reforestation, nature credits, mangrove conservation, and sustainable agriculture.
“We’ve developed a strong track record of identifying, launching, and scaling Web3 gaming, AI, and entertainment startups through our existing crowdfunding launchpad. Web3 sustainability startups, particularly those focused on climate impact, are the next frontier,” added Somosundram. “We’re developing AYA to support this next generation of climate innovation, whether grassroots regeneration projects or market-disrupting regenerative finance startups. With Dubai as our anchor, together we can make a real impact in the fight against climate.”
Launched in 2021, Enjinstarter is a next-generation ecosystem and launchpad for promising Web3 gaming, AI, entertainment, climate and metaverse projects. They have supported 80 companies since inception, including ChainGPT, SophiaVerse, OneRare, and Sidus Heroes.
Enjinstarter also has a fast growing Web3 innovation consulting practice that works with brands, large corporates and Web2 companies looking to develop a Web3 strategy. Clients that they have supported include Hatten Land and GCEX. Enjinstarter is also a member of the Open Metaverse Alliance.
Enjinstarter raised US$5 million in their Series A round from True Global Ventures 4 Plus, an equity venture capital firm that invests in serial tech entrepreneurs globally. The company has also received initial approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, indicating progress in obtaining full permission to operate within Dubai.