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Vietnamese Developer of 'Axie Infinity' Game App Raises $7.5m in Investment

The funding is a result of the success of Axie Infinity, a popular game that involves raising, breeding, collecting, and battling virtual creatures known as Axies.

Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese game developer that created the game in 2018, announced this week that their Series A investment cycle raised US$7.5 million. The funds will be used to scale Axie Infinity and hire additional employees.

Video via Axie Infinity's YouTube.

Axie Infinity is a decentralized application (dApp) built on the Ethereum blockchain, with Axies and other in-game elements purchased using the Ether cryptocurrency. The Axies, plots of land, and other items are non-fungible tokens (NFTs), meaning each is a one-of-a-kind good with ownership proof stored on the blockchain. 

NFTs have become a hot topic in recent months, with works of art, songs, video clips of professional sports, and even a tweet having sold for millions of dollars each. The most expensive Axie Infinity item sold so far is a virtual plot of land that went for US$1.5 million, while an Axie character sold for US$533,916.

Tech in Asia reports that the Series A cycle led by Libertus Capital included notable angel investors such as are celebrity billionaire Mark Cuban, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin. 500 Startups was both a seed and Series A investor. (Full disclosure: 500 Startups is an investor in Saigoneer.)

Cuban explained: "I think Axie is an amazing platform. It’s fun and engaging. It’s a game you want to play for hours on end. Add the Axie economy, and you have something special. I’m excited to be part of it."

Axie Infinity is one of the world's most popular blockchain games, with over 39,000 daily active users and more than US$12 million in monthly NFT transactions. 

Sky Mavis was co-founded by Vietnamese developer Trung Nguyễn with Aleksander Leonard Larsen, Jeffrey Zirlin Tu Doan and Viet Anh Ho. Trung says that he first had the idea for Axie Infinity in 2017 when playing one of the first widespread blockchain games, Cryptokitties. “I ended up having 1,000 virtual cats. It triggered my interest and imagination,” he explains.

In addition to enjoyable gameplay, Sky Mavis notes that the community surrounding Axie Infinity has been an important part of the game's success. "Axie [Infinity] is becoming its own digital nation with a complex economy and emerging tight-knight social structures," says Larsen.

[Photo via Vietnambiz]