Play-to-earn is booming, with startups Crypto Gaming United and Zebedee closing funding rounds of $5 million and $11.5 million respectively.
Crypto Gaming United, a startup aiming to build a global community of nonfungible token (NFT)-focused play-to-earn gamers, raised $5 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round.
A Sept. 8 announcement notes the round was led by famed Australian venture capitalists Mark Carnegie and Chrono.tech CEO Sergei Sergienko — with the pair having co-founded the crypto-focused asset supervisor MHC Digital Finance.
Australian funding managers Shaw and Companions and Blockchain Assets additionally participated in the round.
Crypto Gaming United was established in August of this year and has already attracted more than 1,500 members and has a waiting list of almost 40,000. The guild helps members play the favored NFT-based game Axie Infinity by providing scholarships where sponsors present expensive in-game assets to players who can use them to generate income.
Regardless of its seed round being led by Australian investors, the guild predominantly comprises Filipino players, with users also hailing from Indonesia, South Africa, and India. With most guild members hailing from low-income economies, many gamers could not have the means to acquire the expensive digital assets needed to play Axie Infinity amid a surging crypto bull market.
Crypto Gaming United will not be the one firm providing Axie Infinity scholarships, with sponsorship applications sometimes taking a share of the profits earned by players.
Sergienko said: “The chance for wealth creation within the NFT space is now not restricted to those with the means, equivalent to sports celebrities. At Crypto Gaming United, we’re overcoming the fee barrier required for admission to play, thereby permitting gamers to generate earnings via their gaming exploits.”
The gaming guild ambitiously hopes to amass a person base of more than 100,000 within the next 18 months.
Carnegie will not be alone in believing the revolutionary play-to-earn titles built on NFTs will see the crypto sector capture an increasing share of the $200 billion annual online gaming industry.
On Sept. 7, Zebedee, raised $11.5 million in Series A funding to expand its gaming initiatives together with enabling sport developers to pay out rewards to gamers within the type of crypto assets.
Launched in 2019, Zebedee gives the platform and instruments to allow Bitcoin for use as in-game rewards and micro-transactions via Lightning Network infrastructure. Simon Cowell, co-founder and CEO, was beforehand head of company development at Bitstamp, the world’s longest-standing Bitcoin exchange.
Zebedee’s round was led by Lakestar, and also featured participation from Preliminary Capital, New Form Capital, and numerous gaming angels.
Crypto-native gaming has already seen explosive progress this year, with Axie Infinity’s user base rising from 30,000 in April to multiple million last month.
Yield Guild Games, a Philippine play-to-earn gaming collective providing Axie sponsorships, additionally raised $12.5 million via an initial DEX offering (IDO) in simply minutes during July.