Since the beginning of 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been a never-ending source of debate and innovation. One such innovation is the play-to-earn model. The concept is simple: you earn cryptocurrencies or NFTs by playing a video game.
AXS is relentlessly breaking new ground
Founded in 2018, Sky Mavis has since become one of the hottest companies in the crypto ecosystem thanks to an innovative project – Axie Infinity. It is an Ethereum (ETH) based game that revolves around NFTs. Players have to acquire 3 small monsters in the form of NFTs (Axies) that they can make compete against each other.
With purchase prices ranging from $150 to $300 for each NFT monster, starting to play this game is not for everyone. However, Axie Infinity is not just any game. It is a play-to-earn game. Behind this term lies the reason for the success of the project. When you win an Axie battle or your Axies mate, you earn tokens, Small Love Potions (SLP).
This enticing value proposition has been driving players to the game over the past few months. According to Sky Mavis, the game currently has 2 million daily users. Meanwhile, Axie Infinity has generated over $2.2 billion in trading volume, according to CryptoSlam data, the vast majority of which has occurred in the last 4 months.
Furthermore, the value of AXS, Axie Infinity’s native token, has exploded this year from $0.59 on January 1 to nearly $156 on October 4. AXS thus shows a performance of just over 28,000% over the past 9 months.
a16z raises $152 million for Sky Mavis
In an October 5 blog post, Sky Mavis announced the closing of a $152 million Series B round. The sizable round was led by venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from Paradigm, Accel and FTX. According to data from The Information, this round would bring Sky Mavis’ valuation to over $3 billion.
Back in June, the company had already raised $7.5 million in a Series A round. Although this figure appears modest compared to the huge amounts of money that venture capitalists are pouring into the cryptosphere, the round already included several prestigious investors, including Mark Cuban and Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit.
With this injection of fresh capital, Sky Mavis will focus on several areas of work. First, the company plans to continue its play-to-earn revolution with the launch of its new “Axie Infinity: Origin” battle system. This new system will include graphical improvements and game mechanics, but also a trial period of the game, without having to buy Axies.
Secondly, the company is also developing “Project K” which seems to be a management and strategy game. Indeed, this game takes place on Lunacia and players will be able to build on their plots in order to harvest resources and defend themselves against the assaults of other players. Presumably, the plots will be NFT.
Finally, this isn’t the first time Andreeseen Horowitz has been involved in the play-to-earn world. Indeed, the venture capital giant also helped raise funds for Yield Games Guild, a project whose business model takes advantage of the play-to-earn revolution.