Yield Guild Games Raises $4.6M From a16z to Accelerate Play-to-Earn Gaming
A16z will assist Filipino-led Yield Guild Games to establish blockchain-based play-to-earn as the next major innovation in gaming and dominant business model within the industry!
20 August 2021 — Yield Guild Games (YGG), a decentralized gaming guild of players and investors who generate yield from NFT-based games, announced today it has raised $4.6M investment led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The round, which was finalised prior to the YGG token sale on July 27, was joined by Kingsway Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Atelier Ventures, and gaming entrepreneur Gabriel Leydon.
The funding will be used to continue YGG’s investment in digital assets in games and virtual worlds across the play-to-earn ecosystem, while expanding its global community of over 48,000 gamers, with more than half of the members residing in the Philippines. As a provider of scholarships to the game Axie Infinity, YGG’s player base can borrow its yield-generating in-game assets under a revenue-sharing model, so they can begin earning an income from playing NFT games without having to invest any money upfront. To date, YGG has 4,700 scholars, over 2500 of whom are Filipinos, in the game Axie Infinity that have earned over 43M SLP (US $8.6M).
“The intersection of crypto and gaming is one of the most exciting areas in tech today,” said Arianna Simpson, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “YGG is at the center of play-to-earn, a new model that marks a meaningful evolution in gaming economies, where more of the value is retained by the players and community, rather than the gaming platforms. Thanks to the vision and dedication of the YGG team, this paradigm shift is growing quickly –– yet we think we’re just starting to glimpse what’s possible in this realm. We’re thrilled to partner with YGG to support the community and help accelerate the adoption of play-to-earn games.”
With Filipino co-founders Gabby Dizon and Beryl Li, this is the first time a16z has invested in a Filipino-led startup. Dizon brings over two decades of experience in the gaming industry, while fintech entrepreneur Li was on the founding team at Philippine crypto exchange Coins.ph, acquired by GoJek in 2018. A third co-founder, Owl of Moistness, is a smart contract developer with experience building Axie Infinity breeding algorithms and bots to integrate NFTs in Discord.
“A16z delivers incredible value to help entrepreneurs achieve their vision and Beryl and I are humbled to be the first Filipino founders to receive their wholehearted backing,” said Gabby Dizon, co-founder of YGG. “Most importantly, a16z have proven to be unphased by the ups and downs of crypto cycles, instead maintaining a long-term view to focus on technology and innovation, which is what we need in a partner to help us scale the narrative and impact of play-to-earn.”
ABOUT YIELD GUILD GAMES
Yield Guild Games (https://yieldguild.io/) is a decentralized gaming guild that pools investor funds to purchase yield-generating NFTs, and leverages players’ time and effort to optimise its community-owned assets for maximum utility and return. By merging NFTs and decentralized finance (DeFi), YGG’s mission is to create value for its members by developing the content and economy of virtual worlds and blockchain-based games.
A short documentary released in May 2021, Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines, reveals the story of a rural community that earned an income through play-to-earn gaming amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The documentary, which was produced as a collaboration between Yield Guild Games, Delphi Digital and Emfarsis Consulting, demonstrates how NFTs and cryptocurrencies are providing transformative economic opportunities for people young and old in developing nations where jobs are lacking and crisis relief has been limited.
ABOUT ANDREESSEN HOROWITZ
Founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”) is a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, California, that backs bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology. We are stage agnostic: We invest in seed to late-stage technology companies, across the consumer, enterprise, bio/healthcare, crypto, and fintech spaces. a16z has $18.8B in assets under management across multiple funds, including the $1.4B Bio funds, the $3.1B Crypto funds, and the Cultural Leadership Fund.
a16z is defined by respect for the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurial company building process; we know what it’s like to be in the founder’s shoes. The firm is led by general partners, many of whom are former founders/operators, CEOs, or CTOs of successful technology companies, and who have domain expertise ranging from biology to crypto to distributed systems to security to marketplaces to financial services.
We aim to connect entrepreneurs, investors, executives, engineers, academics, industry experts, and others in the technology ecosystem. We have built a network of experts including technical and executive talent; top media and marketing resources; Fortune 500/Global 2000 companies; as well as other technology decision makers, influencers, and key opinion leaders. a16z uses this network as part of our commitment to help our portfolio companies grow their business, so our operating teams provide entrepreneurs with access to expertise and insights across the entire spectrum of company building.