CryptoKitties Maker Dapper Labs Raises $15M USD To Drive Consumer Adoption Of Blockchain
Dapper Labs, creator of the popular blockchain game CryptoKitties, has raised $15 million in its latets financing round led by Venrock, with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Samsung NEXT. Additional investors include CoinFund, Animoca Brands, Matt Bellamy, the lead singer of Muse, June Fund, HOF Capital, John Pfeffer, and GBIC. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Digital Currency Group, William Mougayar, Hex Capital, and Rising Tide Fund also participated in the round. To date, the company has raised $27.85M in investment.
Dapper Labs was spun out of Axiom Zen to bring the benefits of decentralization to the first billion consumers through the power of play, fairness, and true ownership. In late 2017, the company launched CryptoKitties, which has become the world’s most used consumer blockchain app outside of exchanges, with 3.2 million transactions and tens of millions of dollars transacted on the platform.
CryptoKitties are collectible digital art forms created, managed, and traded through blockchain smart contracts. Each CryptoKitty is represented in the form of a non-fungible ERC-721 token, which allows for each entity to have specific attributes. Since its launch, over one million CryptoKitties have been created by players in a breeding game that lets players mix and match their favourite genes to discover “meowtations,” find limited-edition “Fancy Cats” hidden throughout the genome, and design furever friends they can keep as mementoes or sell on an open marketplace.
The new capital will be used to expand the CryptoKitties universe by building first-party experiences that let people engage with Kitties without having to learn the intricacies of the breeding game, and supercharging that by investing in a fervent community of hackers, gamers, and artists creating derivative experiences. It will also be used to accelerate the development of infrastructure and tools to help onboard more players into the ecosystem as a whole, and partner with the world’s most compelling entertainment IPs to bring new communities of passionate fans to the blockchain. The funds will also help Dapper Labs expand locally and globally, and solve usability and infrastructure challenges in blockchain technology.
“The evolution of true digital ownership and the interoperability of smart contracts creates new ways for consumers, creators, and platform providers to interact completely peer-to-peer, with no middlemen,” said Roham Gharegozlou, CEO at Dapper Labs. “Our mission at Dapper Labs is to use games and entertainment to bring the values of decentralization to billions of consumers worldwide. This round of financing was about getting the right partners around the table to bring compelling content to the blockchain – and make sure usability and infrastructure allow for adoption by mainstream consumers.”
“The team at Dapper Labs impressed us with their vision. More than any other company in this industry, they truly understand and aim to reach the mainstream consumer,” said David Pakman, a General Partner at Venrock and now on the Dapper Labs’ Board of Directors. “The blockchain will usher in an industry of scarce digital assets and will enable new types of self-expression. Combined with the transition from centralized to peer-to-peer commerce, this will unlock trillions of dollars in value for consumers.”
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