Fundamental Labs hires Facebook ace to deepen its gaming investments

Vinayak Rao, Principal, GameFi Lead at Fundamental Labs

Fundamental Labs, a blockchain and digital asset focused VC firm, announced the hiring of Vinayak Rao as Principal, GameFi Lead. Rao will be responsible for supporting founders through investments and resources across the Web 3.0 and blockchain gaming ecosystem.

What is Rao’s industry expertise?

Rao worked at Facebook where he led the Gaming Product Partnerships team, launching its Tournaments platform which serviced grassroot organizers. He also launched Rival Peak, a reality TV show simulated within a game engine – a platform that enabled games to be playable on top of video content blurring the line between viewership and gameplay.

Commenting on his appointment Rao said, “I’m a lifelong gamer and have always valued the opportunity to blend my passion with my career. The opportunity with Fundamental Labs is very exciting. The role allows me to remain close to gaming while influencing some amazing and creative projects that are changing gameplay through blockchain technology.”

What are the executive thoughts on Rao’s appointment?

Henry Love, Managing Partner, Fundamental Labs

Managing Partner, Henry Love said “The GameFi world is changing quickly.”

“The Web 2 gaming companies are all finding ways to enter the Web 3 world. Vinayak’s expansive network and strong track record in the industry makes him a clear leader that can bring new vision and support to the Web3 and GameFi ecosystem. We are excited to have him lead our gaming investments thesis and represent us on the West Coast,” Love said.

GameFi, dubbed “play to earn” is the latest trend in gaming allowing players to earn cryptocurrency or NFT rewards for achieving various milestones in the blockchain games.

Fundamental Labs kicked off 2022 with strategic investments in Metaplex SuperDAO, a project in the Solana ecosystem, and ICHI as part of its broad investment mandate that covers themes such as Web3, DeFi, NFTs, GameFi, and DAOs – at all stages of development.

It most recently was a significant investor in Binance.US’s seed round.