Decentralized oracle service Umbrella Network has launched a new accelerator program for projects looking to build data pipelines to the cryptocurrency market, a process that many within the industry believe is necessary to grow the emerging domains of blockchain gaming, decentralized finance (DeFi) and the Metaverse. 

The $15 million accelerator program intends to fund companies that are bringing new data solutions to the blockchain ecosystem, Umbrella Network announced on Tuesday. Sam Kim, a partner at Umbrella Network, told Cointelegraph that his company is focused on funding projects within blockchain gaming, the Metaverse, digital advertising, blockchain-based identity, sports and weather, among others.

To date, projects in these and other fields have largely relied on centralized systems for running key computations, processes and applications due to the limitations of existing technology, Kim said. One of the goals of the accelerator program is to provide access to decentralized data applications that can help emerging projects grow and scale their operations.

In addition to funding, the accelerator program will provide business and technical support. Umbrella will also be the initial operator of the decentralized oracles, Kim confirmed.

Blockchain oracles are said to play a key role in the development of decentralized Web 3.0 ecosystems by connecting smart contracts with the outside world. Specifically, oracles give blockchain-based applications the ability to connect to existing legacy systems and data sources. It has been argued that institutional investors, who have long been viewed as a critical component of blockchain’s future, need trusted crypto market data before widescale adoption is possible.

Related: Former Google CEO is now a strategic advisor for Chainlink Labs

Chainlink (LINK) is by far the largest oracle network with a market capitalization of $8.4 billion. Augur (REP) and Band Protocol (BAND) are a distant second and third, respectively, with a total value of over $170 million each. Umbrella Network, meanwhile, has a total market value of $19 million at the time of writing.