A16z, USV Lead $12 Million Funding for CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties will break away from its developer, Axiom Zen, after raising $12 million of venture capital.

Mar 20, 2018 at 9:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:43 a.m. UTC

The team behind the viral ethereum app CryptoKitties is breaking away from its parent company, Canada-based Axiom Zen, and raising $12 million in venture funding to go it alone.

Announced Tuesday, the app's Series A round was led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose portfolio includes a variety of tech companies such as Coinbase and Airbnb, and Union Square Ventures, a New York-based firm that has stakes in Coinbase, OB1 and other industry startups.

Still, the news is a milestone for the ethereum-based app, which has enjoyed tremendous popularity since its launch in December 2017. CryptoKitties allows users to buy, collect, breed and exchange unique digital cats built on ERC-721 tokens, and users have done so, even congesting the ethereum network and delaying token sales due to demand.

A spokesperson for Axiom Zen said CryptoKitties, which will retain at least 20 employees, aims to "make blockchain technology accessible and relevant to everyday consumers," and believes "digital collectibles can act as a constellation for identity and self-expression."

"They can be wonderfully representative of who we are and what's important to us," the representative told CoinDesk in an email, adding that the people behind CryptoKitties believe "the world in the future will involve reputation-based identity powered by the blockchain."

Axiom Zen's spokesperson said the proceeds will primarily be used to "dramatically expand" the CryptoKitties team "as we figure out how to scale the blockchain to a billion consumers."

Token Summit founder and advisor to Coin Center William Mougayar, who is an angel investor in company, told CoinDesk he thought the app could be a leader in what will turn out to be "the year of native digital assets on the blockchain."

"The team and the company behind CryptoKitties are in a leading mindshare position and capable of increasing their market share in the consumer gaming sector," he said.

Axiom Zen said in its announcement that its other angel investors include Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, AngelList founder Naval Ravikant and Zynga founder Mark Pincus, in addition to senior figures at BitFury, Y Combinator, Tinder, Earn.com, Lending Home, Compound VC and Entrepid.

Likewise, the company noted that it had obtained seed funding from the Digital Currency Group, YesVC, Version One and CAA Ventures.

Going forward the firm has high hopes that it can turn its brand of unique digital items into something that can appeal to larger enterprise partners and new business.

A representative told CoinDesk:

"We think crypto-gaming and crypto collectibles can be bigger than cryptocurrency,"

Kittens image via CryptoKitties

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
Bitcoin Miner Argo Blockchain Emerged Unscathed From Its UST Stake

The company said it was able to sell its minimal UST stake for around 93 cents per token before the price completely collapsed.

The company said it was able to sell its minimal UST stake for around 93 cents per token before the price completely collapsed.

2
Binance Seeking ‘Ideal Point’ for India Launch

Increased hiring, active consultations and monitoring of the regulatory environment by the exchange suggest Indian operations may soon be underway.

Increased hiring, active consultations and monitoring of the regulatory environment by the exchange suggest Indian operations may soon be underway.

3
The Rosetta Stone of Passwords, Return to the ‘Fappening’

The best and brightest people can make truly stupid decisions and terrible predictions. What can we learn from them?

The best and brightest people can make truly stupid decisions and terrible predictions. What can we learn from them?

4
A16z Launches First Gaming Fund With $600M Commitment

The venture capital giant will invest in game studios, apps and infrastructure.

The venture capital giant will invest in game studios, apps and infrastructure.