Fractal Raises $35 Million Seed Round
Three months ago we announced Fractal, a new marketplace for gamers to discover, buy and sell gaming NFTs. Here’s a brief check in on how it is going so far.
How it started
The seed of Fractal came out of a brainstorming session between myself and my cofounders, David Wurtz (Fractal CEO) and Robin Chan. We were all redpilled on crypto and looking for opportunities to build. David was excited about NFTs, and the ways that value would evolve as NFTs continued to gain utility. To me, the obvious next step was gaming: as a gamer, I’d already been spending real money on digital assets for years. Putting them on a blockchain to certify real ownership was clearly going to happen.
And that was the start of Fractal: a marketplace for gamers to discover, buy and sell gaming NFTs. Taking a page out of our playbook from when we launched Twitch, we decided that Fractal would focus on being the best friend to blockchain gaming studios. If we could help those game studios be successful, then we would be successful.
How it’s going
Since we announced mid-December, we have been moving super fast.
On December 30th, after just a month of coding, we launched our secondary marketplace. In the days leading up to our launch, founding team members Brent Liang and Jen Lee launched our Discord to over 100k community members.
On February 1st, we launched our Fractal Launchpad product to help games release their NFT collections to the public. From the outset, we decided it was important to only partner with game studios that we felt were going to deliver on their promises to players. To that end, Fractal applies a filter to the games we work with on our launchpad, vetting for quality. We require teams to be doxxed fully to us, and we apply some of the evaluation criteria that we used to invest in over 250 companies as venture capitalists. To date, we’ve only accepted 5% of applicants to our launchpad.
While the NFT world is rife with scams and rugpulls, our goal is to build Fractal into the trusted marketplace for the best blockchain games and AAA titles that are coming out. What we’ve learned is that the best gaming companies want to be on a marketplace that is dedicated to serving their needs.
We’ve been fortunate to partner with amazing game companies: House of Sparta, Tiny Colony, Yaku Corp, Cinder, Nekoverse, Metawana, MetaOps and Psyker. We’ve seen an abundance of interest in the mints we’ve launched, with peak traffic of over 33k on a partner mint page. Every mint that we’ve launched has sold out. Our mint with Tiny Colony sold over $2M of NFTs.
We have 20+ mints coming up. There is a tidal wave of titles coming. We are just getting started.
We believe that blockchain represents a new, participatory business model for gaming, one that is better for both gamers and game developers.
It’s better for game studios, because as they will find out, when they make their economies and assets open and programmable by putting them on the blockchain, they will create ecosystems that other people are much more willing to invest in with their time and money. We will see the biggest games become open economies that support other developers building businesses on top of. I predict that the business model of minting digital assets, building a massive ecosystem, and taking a royalty on those assets as they trade, will be demonstrated to be a very lucrative business model in years to come.
It’s better for game players, as true ownership of digital assets on a blockchain will let players participate in the success of the game, as well as make the decision to trade out of the assets of a game if they want to move on to something else.
Streaming on Twitch upended the gaming industry’s business model a decade ago. Introducing blockchain based assets will be an even bigger change. I’m excited to jump in and build in the gaming space again.
Fractal Seed Round
To pour some gasoline on the fire (note: is that a responsible thing to do?), we’re excited to announce today that we’ve closed a $35M Seed financing round from some of the sickest investors in crypto and gaming. The round was led by Paradigm and Multicoin Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Solana Labs, Animoca Brands, Coinbase Ventures, Play Ventures, Position Ventures, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Crossover, Shrug Capital, TerraForm Labs CEO Do Kwon, Tim Ferriss, Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh (Ramp), Twitch cofounder Kevin Lin, Zynga cofounder Justin Waldron, dao5 founder Tekin Salimi and many more. Goat Capital previously led Fractal’s seed round in January.
We’re excited for this group of investors who are fully aligned that blockchain is the future of gaming and can help us make that happen. With this new capital, we’ll be focused on building out our engineering team and making the best product possible for gaming companies who want to build around blockchain and turn their games into truly open economies. We think games are how the next 100M users get onboarded into crypto. LFG.
If you want to join us on Fractal’s mission to onboard the next 100M crypto users through games, here is a list of open roles at Fractal. We’re off to a fast start and have a lot more planned. In the meantime, find us on Discord and Twitter.