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Google and Samsung back CryptoKitties creator Dapper Labs’ $15M financing round

Source: cryptokitties.co

Fri, 02 Nov 2018, 06:01 am UTC

Dapper Labs, the company behind consumer blockchain product CryptoKitties, has announced that it has raised $15 million in the latest funding round led by Venrock.

The round also drew support from Alphabet’s GV (formerly Google Ventures), Samsung NEXT, eSports leader aXiomatic, CoinFund, GBIC, John Pfeffer, and others. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Digital Currency Group, William Mougayar, Hex Capital, and Rising Tide Fund also participated in the financing.

The company has also disclosed several additional investors from its previous financing round, including Jeffrey Katzenberg's WndrCo; Steve Huffman, the founder and CEO of Reddit; and Green Bay Ventures. To date, Dapper Labs has raised $27.85M in investment.

In an online post on Medium, Roham Gharegozlou, CEO at Dapper Labs, formally introduced the company and said that the funding will be used to expand the CryptoKitties universe, accelerate the development of infrastructure and tools to help onboard more players into the ecosystem as a whole, and partner with the world’s most compelling entertainment IPs to bring new communities of passionate fans to the blockchain.

According to the official release, Canada-founded Dapper Labs said that it also plans to use the funds to expand its operations locally and globally. This includes setting up a U.S. subsidiary led by former executives from Unity and Disney, with additional hires for the Canada office from Ubisoft, EA Sports, Amazon, ESPN, Hasbro, and Zynga.

"The evolution of true digital ownership and the interoperability of smart contracts creates new ways for consumers, creators, and platform providers to interact completely peer-to-peer, with no middlemen," said Gharegozlou.

"Our mission at Dapper Labs is to use games and entertainment to bring the values of decentralization to billions of consumers worldwide. This round of financing was about getting the right partners around the table to bring compelling content to the blockchain – and make sure usability and infrastructure allow for adoption by mainstream consumers."

Launched in 2017, CryptoKitties is the world's most used consumer blockchain application outside of exchanges, with 3.2-million transactions and tens of millions of dollars transacted on the platform, the release said. Instead of using the widely-used ICO-model for funding, the platform differentiated itself by launching a product that demonstrated an application for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies.

"We launched CryptoKitties to show the benefits that blockchain technology can bring to consumers," Dieter Shirley, Dapper Labs' CTO and creator of the ERC-721 standard for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum. "By starting with a fun and approachable experience, we appealed to a very broad audience. We've seen many opportunities and obstacles for mainstream adoption of decentralized technology, and we can't wait to share what we've learned with the rest of the world."

Shirley told CoinDesk that Dapper Labs is going to make some big announcement in the forthcoming weeks. The company has also put up a teaser page on its website.

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