Adoption, Ethereum, Venture Capital

CryptoKitties Come of Age With $12 Million in Venture Funding

CryptoKitties Come of Age With $12 Million in Venture Funding

The team that made blockchain cute with CryptoKitties, have raised $12 million through venture capital funding.

A spokesperson from Axiom Zen (the design studio that built the game) said that the proceeds will be used to “dramatically expand” the CryptoKitties team “as we figure out how to scale the blockchain to a billion consumers.”

CryptoKitties took the community by storm last November, creating severe congestion on the Ethereum network as users traded customizable cats and bred their own hybrid species.

A spokesperson for Axiom Zen said that the team aims to “make blockchain technology accessible and relevant to everyday consumers,” stating that “digital collectibles can act as a constellation for identity and self-expression.”

Since its launch, CryptoKitties has gained more than 1.5 million users, and accrued over $12 Million worth of sales.

Top cats, often affiliated with crypto celebrities, have sold for more than $200,000. Despite a decline in activity over the past few months, the game is still one of the most popular Ethereum DApps, and the collectible cats have retained their value.

Related Story: Millions of Dollars Worth of Cats are Still Infesting the Ethereum Network

The funding round was led by venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, whose portfolio includes a variety of tech companies such as Coinbase and Airbnb. They will join other investors including Fred Ehrsam (former founder of Coinbase); Naval Ravikant (CEO & founder of AngelList) and Mark Pincus (co-founder of Zynga).

The team has seen rapid development, and in January partnered with Garfield Developer Animoca Brands to launch CryptoKitties on mobile in China.

The wily cats managed to evade regulation by being categorized as a “cryptocollectible,” rather than a security. This meant the app could be launched in China despite a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency trading.

Cryptokitties is not the only game on the blockchain, with other games like Spells of Genesis, on Bitcoin, and CryptoCelebrities on Ethereum, where players can trade popular avatars on the Ethereum network. However, it is CryptoKitties that seems to be driving innovation with their unique vision:

We envision a world of play, one without limits. Where ownership is real, and the things you create and discover, you can keep forever. Where games can be entire economies, unlocking mutual incentives for players and builders to extend the gaming experience.

For more information about the CryptoKitties phenomenon, see our original post, “Millions of Dollars Worth of Cats are Still Infesting the Ethereum Network.”

Cover Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

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Kieran Smith

Kieran grew up in a small town just north of Birmingham, and is currently based in Bristol, UK. He holds a bachelor's degree in literature from Aberystwyth University, and writes primarily on cryptocurrency, with the occasional foray into subjects as diverse as Japanese poetry and urban design.

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