Why it matters: Few things have united people across the tech sector quite like Covid-19. Millions of dollars are going toward fighting the virus, including a combined $75 million from The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and The Gates Foundation, along with donations from game companies and big industry names.
In a Facebook post, CEO Zuckerberg wrote that he and wife Priscilla were committing $25 million to accelerate the development of treatments for Covid-19. The money comes from The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and will be given to the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which coordinates efforts to find treatments for the illness. Up to $20 million will be provided initially, with $5 million available “based on future needs.”
The accelerator is already backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, who have committed up to $125 million in funding. Mastercard’s Impact Fund has promised up to $25 million, While the Gates Foundation and Wellcome have committed up to $50 million each.
Several game companies are also lending their financial support to the fight against Covid-19. We recently reported that Ndemic Creations, the company behind Plague Inc., which is getting a ‘Save the World mode,’ had donated $250,000 to the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Gamesindustry.biz lists several other companies that have pledged money, including Esports betting site Luckbox, Russian mobile dev MyTona, and Witcher creator CD Projekt. Additionally, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has donated $150,000, while Nintendo and Razer have donated masks.
One of the largest donations to come from a gaming company is the $1.5 million given by Riot Games and its co-founders. To help support Covid-19 relief efforts in California, Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill donated $500,000 each, while another $500,000 came from the League of Legends developer itself.