Paradigm, A16z Back $12M Round for Blockchain Game Platform LootRush
LootRush, a Steam-like platform for blockchain games, has raised $12 million in a seed round led by Paradigm with participation from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Paradigm and a16z raced to the top of the crypto venture capital leaderboard last year with a16z launching a then-record $2.2 billion fund in July, which was topped by Paradigm’s $2.5 billion vehicle announced in November.
LootRush offers a quick-start platform for blockchain games, which typically have a more complicated onboarding process than traditional video games. The blockchain-agnostic platform also offers non-fungible token (NFT) rentals for game play, which cuts the cost for a new gamer and earns yield for the NFT owner.
Popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity is currently the only game available to play on LootRush. Users can create an account quickly with a username and password, select the playing program that best suits their needs and then pay a small entry fee and, if desired, the NFT rental fee using a payment card. The platform plans to roll out additional titles throughout the year, including CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot.
The capital is going to be used to build the team globally and to buy NFTs at scale, LootRush CEO Anderson Ferminiano told CoinDesk during an interview.
“How we came up with the idea was that a friend of mine tried to play a crypto game last year, and it took him about three hours before he gave up even after spending $1,000 on NFTs,” said Ferminiano.
“Bringing a lot more gamers into the space and making it mainstream requires making the experience very easy and fast,” he continued.
Founded in late 2021, LootRush is headquartered in the U.S. but has a fully remote team across the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Other participants in the funding round included Y Combinator and a group of angel investors that included the founders of Axie Infinity and Dapper Labs, the creator of CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, among others.
Ferminiano said that enabling other business models like rentals can make the cost to start playing or trying a game much lower, potentially bringing a new wave of users into the space.
“We want to make sure that we onboard NFT owners, gamers and game developers,” Ferminiano said. “We are constantly partnering with NFT owners who want to find players to scale as well.”
Read more: Blockchain Gaming Usage Explodes 2000% in a Year
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