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Bitkraft Ventures, one of the biggest investors in game and esports startups, launched a $75 million token fund that it will use to put money into blockchain gaming and digital entertainment investments.
The fund follows news from earlier in the year, where Bitkraft hired Piers Kicks to lead their efforts across the crypto ecosystem. (Kicks will be a speaker at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit Next online event on November 9-10).
The new dedicated fund will have a stage-agnostic approach, meaning it will invest in everything from the youngest pre-seed startups to later stage companies. It will invest in both tokens (cryptocurrency or nonfungible tokens, or NFTs) and equity across the fast-growing space. Bitkraft said it has ensured a robust regulatory setup by becoming a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Berlin-based Bitkraft said it is more committed than ever to the intersection of crypto and gaming, and it believes it will be a significant driver in the emergence of synthetic reality, a term coined by Bitkraft to explain the convergence of the physical and digital worlds. Blockchain has enabled a new digital ownership paradigm and is unlocking new and exciting user acquisition strategies, business models, and experiences.
Bitkraft’s partnership with Delphi Digital, announced earlier in the year, represents a unique combination of expertise that positions both firms at the forefront of this new domain.
“Crypto and blockchain technology are set to influence and disrupt the games and digital entertainment space in a profound way. We have launched our U.S.-based Bitkraft Token Fund I to exclusively invest in the intersection of games and blockchain at the earlier stages with the capability to invest in Tokens as an asset class,” said Jens Hilgers, Bitkraft Ventures founding general partner, in a statement. “Our Token Fund investment team is led by Piers Kicks and empowered by a strong strategic partnership with Delphi Digital. With six investments already closed including Yield Guild and Immutable, we look to invest in about 25 more companies with this Fund by the end of 2022.”
Already, thanks to its other funds, Bitkraft has more than $540 million in assets under management and has built a portfolio spanning more than 60 companies across North America, Europe, and Asia, believes the future of asset trading is digital and in-game items and in-game digital assets will broadly move onto the blockchain.
Current investments made under the Token Fund include:
- Yield Guild Games, a decentralized gaming guild of players and investors who generate yield from NFT-based games.
- Immutable, which makes Immutable X — the Layer-2 scalability protocol for NFTs on Ethereum — which provides the ability for businesses to create their game, marketplace, or NFT application within hours via APIs, with a mainstream user experience — no blockchain programming required.
- Alethea AI, a platform that enables users to create a unique, intelligent, GPT-3 powered and interactive version of one’s digital asset.
- Horizon Games, a game company and a Web3 (the blockchain web) wallet and platform for blockchain technology.
In a statement, Kicks said, “It brings me enormous excitement that the gaming industry is fast-becoming one of crypto’s most potent areas of application. Novel models like play-to-earn are transforming labor structures and positively impacting lives at scale. Bitkraft, along with our partners at Delphi, are proud to be working with exceptional founders on the front lines of this transition. The blockchain gaming industry as a whole is pioneering new types of economic and game design, the next generation of tooling to add to the developer arsenal, and unprecedented community ownership dynamics that will undoubtedly play a foundational role in the virtual worlds many of us will one day inhabit. By launching our Token Fund, we intend to stay at the forefront of this exciting asset class as it further permeates the interactive media landscape.”
With six investments already closed (including Yield Guild and Immutable) Bitkraft is looking to invest in about 25 more companies with this fund by the end of 2022.
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