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Brazil’s SnackClub has raised $9 million to help blockchain games thrive in developing countries.

A sister company to international esports brand Loud, São Paulo, Brazil-based SnackClub will invite its community to vote for and benefit from investments in blockchain platforms, game developers, and community building efforts.

Loud has more than 300 million followers and it has reached a billion views on YouTube. SnackClub is launching a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) committed to reimagining ownership in gaming. It uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the blockchain to authenticate unique digital items.

Historically, gamers have had no possession over the currency, equipment, or assets their characters have procured through the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours invested in modern gaming titles.

The proliferation of web 3, allows users to “mint” in-game items to an external blockchain wallet that immediately grants rare assets value and provides the liquidity necessary to unlock new, global economies, the company said.

Reflecting on Loud’s experience as Brazil’s largest esports and gaming-lifestyle group, blockchain gaming could be the future of work for young players in developing, low-earning countries, SnackClub said.

“Loud has always been a community-first organization,” said Jean Ortega, managing partner of SnackClub and cofounder of Loud, in a statement. “SnackClub will elevate that commitment by investing in the technology, platform, and publishing partners that will bring the potential of blockchain gaming to our community. We have a long way to go, but these investments will change the how and why behind a gamer’s decision to play.”

As a DAO, SnackClub will soon operate under a community leadership structure that welcomes fans to equitably participate in the company’s operation by voting on major decisions. It will not charge a fee to join, and anyone over 18 years old with internet access is welcome to participate.

“Today, gamers spend hundreds, if not thousands of hours in-world and have nothing to show for it out in the real world. SnackClub will reimagine ownership in gaming by investing in the technology, studios, and platforms that can realize the potential of blockchain gaming in developing countries like Brazil where a little income could go a long way,” said Ortega in an email to GamesBeat. “Ultimately, we’re trying to redefine why modern gamers play and through our immediate access to Loud’s 300M member audience, have the scale to ignite healthy in-game economies.”

The majority of SnackClub’s ownership and governance rights will be reserved for community onboarding after the company’s founders and investors have finalized a strategic vision later this year. Investors participating in the $9 million seed round include Animoca, Ascensive Assets, Formless Capital, Jump Crypto, Mechanism, OP Crypto, ROK Capital, and Shima Capital.

“As Loud’s sister company, SnackClub is launching with access to an immediate and passionate community who are anxious to explore the future of gaming”, said Marc Weinstein, a partner at Mechanism, the round’s leading investor, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to support SnackClub’s efforts to realize that future by providing an ecosystem that promotes ownership, fairness, and transparency, especially for a region where even a little income could go a long way. This is an exciting season for gaming, and we can’t wait to define its potential alongside our new partners.”

SnackClub said it will source, educate, and build its community of active gamers by mobilizing Loud’s current audience of 300 million fans across popular social media platforms. The organization will focus on content and media reflective of Loud’s gaming lifestyle brand while introducing new games, currencies, and developers to the community.

I asked how SnackClub will address the resistance to NFTs among some gamers and game devs.

Ortega said, “SnackClub is built differently. As a DAO, a majority of our ownership will be reserved for the community that plays our games and engages in the technology we invest in. Those players will have considerable oversight, voting power, and available intelligence to ensure we’re representing their interests by directly guiding our efforts. Blockchain gaming has the potential to better lives, and we’re committed to realizing that opportunity.”

Over time, users will inform strategic decisions including what game concepts to lift, and the mechanics behind each game’s economy. Once those titles launch, SnackClub will mobilize an engaged audience that populates the game and begins mining for high-liquidity assets. As that title’s popularity and awareness propagate throughout SnackClub’s Latin American footprint, the value of those assets may fluctuate, the company said.

For now, however, SnackClub’s immediate focus is to nurture its already 30-person team, establish its governance, cement its investment thesis, and conduct due diligence on priority investment prospects.

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