Dapper Labs, a startup that spun out of its parent company Axiom Zen to work on the popular blockchain-based game CryptoKitties, has recently raised $15 million in a funding round led by Venrock, with participation from Google Ventures and SamsungNEXT.
According to VentureBeat, the raised funds are set to be used by the Canadian company to expand both locally and globally, and help the game reach billions of users. The round also saw firms like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), William Morris Endeavor, and e-sports firm aXiomatic participate. It comes shortly after the firm raised $12 million in another round.
Dapper Labs has notably recently hired former executives from companies like Unity and Disney, as well as experts from Ubisoft, EA Sports, ESPN, Hasbro, and Zynga. These imply it’s working on expanding the gaming aspect of CryptoKitties.
Currently, the game sees users collect digital cats to then either sell them or breed more to collect as many as possible. Making it more energetic could help attract users, experts believe. Dieter Shirley, Dapper’s chief technology officer and the author of the non-fungible token stardand on Ethereum, known as ERC-721, stated:
We launched CryptoKitties as an innovative and play-driven introduction to what blockchain can do and mean for consumers. By engaging the community with fun and games, we reached much broader audiences. That taught us where the obstacles and opportunities are for blockchain and mainstream adoption, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve learned with the rest of the world.
According to Shirley, the non-fungible token standard has opened up a new industry filled with possibilities: that of digital ownership. Speaking to CoinDesk, he revealed the company is happy to work with Venrock, as it needed help to grow from a startup to a larger organization.
So far this year, Dapper Labs has raised over $27 million, which implies it’s set to launch something new. While Shirley didn’t reveal much, he did claim something was coming out “in the next weeks.” Per Shirley, the “sky’s the limit” when it comes to CryptoKitties, as these are characters that can give users a wide variety of gaming experiences.
— CryptKitties 👻🎃 (@CryptoKitties) October 31, 2018
Since CryptoKitties is a decentralized project, the news outlet noted other developers can build on top of it, without having to ask for permission. A given example was that of KittyHats, a platform that lets collectors dress up their cats.