Build it and they will fund

Sky Mavis and Animoca Brands accelerate

Another headline-heavy week in blockchain gaming land, where the digital ink has been split covering funding rounds.

Of course, as we all know, the timing of announcements and the chronology of fundraising is rarely aligned.

Still, it made for excellent pacing that Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis announced its $7.5 million Series A round, followed two days later by Animoca Brands’ highly symbolic $88,888,888 raise.

As Animoca CEO Robby Yung commented archly, “You’d never guess we’re a Chinese company, would you?”.

Some didn’t though, with one news site (not GI.biz natch) excitedly writing Animoca Brands had raised “nearly $89 million” as if its chosen lucky numerology was somehow the failure to hit a prescribed mark.

Money for business

In fact - for both companies - the dynamics behind the funding were specific to current state and future strategies.

As a Vietnamese startup, Sky Mavis has raised the relatively small amount it needs to scale its game in the medium term, without diluting existing shareholders, also gaining the likes of Mark Cuban as an investor.

After all, Axie Infinity already boasts decent and growing metrics: 40,000 DAUs, 45,000 wallets holding its NFTs, $15 million of monthly trading volume (Mavis Sky takes a 5% margin), and a nominal $2 billion market cap.

The case for Animoca Brands is rather different, however.

It’s already been a public company; has invested in a dozen or so other consumer blockchain companies; has multiple blockchain games in development and deployed; and is now looking to scale its marketing and further boost its M&A activities.

Indeed, this takes Animoca’s own valuation to $1 billion.

It’s also significant to note that while Sky Mavis mainly raised from crypto investors, several of Animoca Brands’ investors were non-tech, non-blockchain institutional investors, suggesting we’ve already reached a tipping point where blockchain gaming becomes the new spearhead of accelerating growth for games investing.

As cases in point, early stage game investors such as Play Ventures and Bitkraft have announced they’re now actively looking at the sector.

And even before this new money hits the table, the blockchain game sector has raised $541 million in 2021 to-date, compared to a mere $71 million during the whole of 2020.

In other words, this is not stopping any time soon.

Just scream if you want to go faster!