Twitch Co-Founder’s Gaming NFT Marketplace Raises $35M

Against stiff headwinds of distrust, one project is building a town square for gaming NFTs — with a bevy of big-name backers.

FractalParadigm and Multicoin Capital led a seed round of $35 million for e-game platform. Andreessen Horowitz, Solana Labs (a16z), Animoca Brands and Coinbase Ventures are some of the other investors. Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon is another investor.

The platform, launched in December by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, functions as a marketplace for players to buy Solana-based NFTs directly from game companies as well as a secondary marketplace for peer-to-peer trading.

Kan told CoinDesk that since the platform’s launch, every game to partner with Fractal’s new “Launchpad” has sold out its NFT drop, with one collection reaching 33,000 unique buyers. Tiny Colony clocked in with the platform’s largest raise, selling $2 million of its NFTs at launch.

“There’s always been lots of hype around NFTs, but what investors are now seeing is that it’s actually durable,” Kan told CoinDesk in an interview. “Even if it’s a bear market, even if the prices might go down, the idea that people want to collect digital assets on the internet, that’s going to stay. Digital items in gaming, it’s like a new category of e-commerce basically.”

Although play-to earn gaming hype has been cooling in recent months, institutional investments have continued to flood the space with money.

Notable investments in March alone included a $25 million raise for Terra-based gaming platform C2X, a $4.8 million raised for blockchain gaming startup Battlebound and a $6 million raise for the Polygon-based Crypto Raiders NFT game.

Even more novel play-to-earn titles like the Solana-based “move-to-earn” app STEPN are beginning to find their feet in the market.

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