Genopets obtains $8m funds for first-ever Play-to-Earn NFT

By Raffaele Redi

Genopets merges “the nurture and evolution of Tamagotchi and the training and battling of Pokémon”

A colour graphic of Genopets explaining the roles of merchant, collector and landlord                                 
Genopets aims to be the first mass-market NFT game to welcome crypto-native and non-crypto players – Photo: genopets.me
                                

Genopets has announced it has raised more than $8m (£5.8m) from several large gaming and crypto venture capital firms to realise the first-ever Play-to-Earn non-fungible-token (NFT) game.

The so-called Genoverse of Genopets game, built on Solana, will be at the intersection of gaming and blockchain, allowing users to earn real money proportional to in-game performance.

The company stated: “Genopets merges the nurture and evolution of Tamagotchi, the training and battling of Pokémon, and the fitness and social incentives of Strava while giving you a chance to earn crypto for simply taking care of yourself and staying active in your daily life.”

It added: “With this round of funding, we plan to expand the team, accelerate our game development and continue growing with our community. And by joining mainstream audiences with NFT gaming, everyone can have the chance to experience the rewards of play-to-earn.”

How Genopets works

Genopets aims to be the first mass-market NFT game to welcome crypto-native and non-crypto players. Combining free-to-play and play-to-earn elements will be a first for NFTs.

“Our dual-earning economy allows anyone to mint their Genopet for free and participate in the open marketplace,” said the company.

The company explained that Genopets will be procedurally generated based on the personalities of users. This will be done by discovering their psychological profile through a quiz and matching it to a Genopet. Completing step challenges and purchasing in-game NFTs will speed up the evolution of an individual NFT Genopet and “unlock a variety of special skills and attributes, increasing its rarity, and thus, value”.

Additionally, everyone who plays Genopets will have full ownership and selling rights over the assets they earn through the game.

Free players will always have the opportunity to earn by selling their Genopet or buy a Habitat NFT. This makes them a paid player who can earn $KI token for daily active use and maintenance of the Habitat.

Paid players also have the opportunity to generate and craft in-game NFTs, either for sale on the open marketplace or for use in augmentation and enhancement of their Genopet.

The $8m seed funding round

The round of seed funding was co-led by Konvoy Ventures, investors and board observers at Axie Infinity, and Pantera Capital. There was additional participation from Old Fashion Research (OFR), Alameda Research, Solana Capital, Xoogler Ventures, Mechanism Capital, Collab+Currency, Spartan Group, Animoca Brands, OliveX, Hyper, CMT Digital, DeFi Alliance, Eniac Ventures, CMS Holdings, GBV Capital, Yield Guild Games, Merit Circle, Bitscale Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Evernew Capital, Fundamental Labs, Valhalla Capital, Cinchblock, Raptor Capital and Magnus Capital.

There are also several notable investors from the crypto, gaming and fitness worlds: Prabhakar Reddy, co-founder of FalconX; Richard Ma, CEO of Quantstamp; Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch; 100 Thieves president and COO John Robinson; Brian Corrigan, VP and head of Americas at PUBG Corporation; the professional Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda; and Melanie Strong, a 19-year veteran executive at Nike.

Josh Chapman, managing partner at Konvoy Ventures, said: “Genopets is a liquid digital asset representation of a gamer’s physical activity in the real world. It sits at the intersection of gaming, play-to-earn and physical activity. This platform connects a gamer’s real-world steps with their progression, customisation and value creation in the Genopet universe.” 

Wayne Fu, managing partner at OFR and former head of CorpDev at Binance, added: “Genopets is one of those revolutionary projects that binds people’s everyday lives to the blockchain through gaming and NFTs. It’s going to change the way people own and use their health data. As the leading adviser and investor, Old Fashion Research is privileged to be with Genopets from the very beginning.” 

Further reading: Netflix enters gaming industry with new acquisition

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