Vietnam-based blockchain gaming studio Sipher on Tuesday announced it has closed a $6.8 million seed funding round co-led by Arrington Capital, Hashed and Konvoy Ventures.
The round was joined by a group of blockchain-focused investors, including Defiance Capital, Signum Capital, Dragonfly Capital, CMT Digital, BITKRAFT Ventures, Delphi Digital and Alameda Research.
The startup allows users to earn as they play games and uses blockchain technology to provide its gamer community with ownership of in-game assets.
Proceeds from the seed round will be used to develop the startup’s upcoming earn-to-play game World of Sipheria.
“Gaming is the new social square and is driving the development of global culture. There are more than 3 billion people playing games across the globe and less than 0.1% of gamers are experiencing direct profit sharing,” said Jason Chapman, co-founder and managing partner at Konvoy Ventures.
Sipher was founded by Nguyen Trung Tin, who is known locally as the CEO of property group Trung Thuy Group and founder of co-working space operator Dreamplex.
Sipher said its first playable nonfungible token (NFT) character, Sipherian Surge, was sold out within 15 minutes of its launch and is now available for trading and secondary purchase on OpenSea.
The startup’s next priority will be launching the playable minimum viable product of the first gaming experience in the World of Sipheria.
“We think the virtual world economy will be much bigger than that of the real world, thanks to the blockchain infrastructure providing a key backbone for digital assets,” said Kyuntae Ethan Kim, managing partner at Hashed.
Sipher is the second Vietnamese play-to-earn game publisher to raise funding this month. Sky Mavis, the company behind the NFT game Axie Infinity, bagged $152 million in a Series B funding round led by US investor Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from Accel and Paradigm.
The funding round valued Sky Mavis at nearly $3 billion, while its crypto market cap reached over $9 billion earlier this month when the firm announced the investment.