Against stiff headwinds of distrust, one project is building a town square for gaming NFTs – with a bevy of big-name backers.
Fractal, the platform for game-related non-fungible tokens (NFT), has raised $35 million in a seed round led by Paradigm and Multicoin Capital. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Solana Labs, Animoca Brands, Coinbase Ventures and Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon, among others.
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.”
While some of the hype around play-to-earn gaming has cooled in recent months on the side of institutional investment, money has continued to flow into the growing space in generous amounts.
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.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.