Sky Mavis, the startup behind play-to-earn crypto mobile game Axie Infinity, has recently raised $152 million at a Series B funding round led by a16z. With a valuation of $3 billion, the funding will help Sky Mavis expand further and build its own distribution platform for blockchain-based mobile games.
Decentralized app platform DappRadar notes that Axie Infinity, which has soared in popularity over the pandemic, is the global leader in non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles, despite not being on the Apple or Google Android App Stores.
“While we’ve scaled at an astonishing rate, adding institutional investors to our community will enable us to expand our reach, reinforce our legitimacy when it comes to regulatory protection, and will give us the flexibility to scale and hire aggressively without touching our AXS token reserves,” Axie Infinity announced in a blog following the funding round.
Axie Infinity also shared that it has grown from 38,000 daily active players in April to over 2 million today. The app has also traded around $2.2 billion on its proprietary NFT marketplace.
Axie Infinity players cultivate Axies, which are a type of in-game creature that can be battled or sold to other players for profit, thus earning crypto-denominated earnings. Guilds may have hundreds of members, each managing numerous accounts, developing Axie characters, and boosting the value of the Infinity Shard token.
This year, Axie fueled the meteoric rise in the creation, distribution, and trading of NFTs. According to the NFT Report 2020 published by L’Atelier BNP Paribas and Nonfungible.com, non-fungible token creation increased by nearly 300% in 2020. Reuters also reported that NFT sales volume rose to $10.3 billion in Q3, up from just $1.2 billion in the same period last year.
“With crypto games rising in popularity, so has the NFT gaming sector. In the first quarter of 2021, crypto gaming experienced an upgrade in the form of NFT games, which transitioned from Play to Earn games to collectible games based on the Pay to Earn principle. Trends have always propelled the gaming industry, and the latest trend in NFTs is no exception,” said Siddharth Menon, COO and Founder, WazirX.
Axie Infinity started in February 2018, at a time when barely anybody knew what an NFT was. Today, NFT is the biggest trend not just in gaming, but even in art, music, and videos, or anything that can be collected or tagged with a unique identifier.