Vietnamese game developer Sky Mavis raises $152m led by Andreessen Horowitz

Vietnam-based blockchain game publisher Sky Mavis, the company behind the nonfungible token (NFT) game Axie Infinity, has raised $152 million in a Series B funding round led by US investor Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), according to an announcement.

US-based VC firms Accel and Paradigm also participated in the round.

The latest funding takes Sky Mavis’s total funds raised to date to $161 million. Its valuation has also increased to nearly $3 billion, according to the statement.

The financing comes shortly after the game developer raised $7.5 million in a Series A funding led by UK-based Libertus Capital in May this year.

In 2019, Sky Mavis had raised a $1.5 million funding round led by Anomica Brands, with participation from Korean crypto fund Hashed, Swiss Pangea Blockchain Fund, US-based blockchain solution provider ConsenSys, and early-stage VC firm 500 Startups (now 500 Global).

Founded in 2017, Axie Infinity is one of the largest NFT gaming ecosystems and has amassed 1.8 million players around the world. 

It was founded by Nguyen Thanh Trung and Doan Minh Tu. Aleksander Larsen, Andy Ho, and Jeffrey Samuel Kim Zirlin joined as co-founders in early 2018.

Sky Mavis invented the play-to-earn (P2E) concept which has revolutionized how people play, live, work and earn within virtual worlds. 

As Sky Mavis’ first game, Axie Infinity has already achieved $33 million in daily transactions as players turn their time and effort into real value. The total volume of transactions stands at $1.8 billion.    

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, California, that backs bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology.

This investment in Sky Mavis marks Andreessen Horowitz’s latest investment in the cryptocurrency space.

Andreessen Horowitz recently raised $2.2 billion for crypto bets. It has backed online gaming platform Roblox and blockchain gaming startup Yield Guild Games.

“Sky Mavis’ marquee game, Axie Infinity, has introduced a new way for anyone to turn their time into money through Play-to-Earn, a new mechanic that allows gamers to transform their skills and time into earnings and distribution rights for tokenized in-game items,” said Arianna Simpson, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “The Axie team has unlocked a new way to build and play games that is already completely redefining this category. The game’s growth is a phenomenal testament to how deeply this model is resonating with people around the world. The Axie team has triggered an earthquake in gaming and the industry is now forever changed.”

Sky Mavis built its own platform, The Mavis Hub, to bypass the distribution platforms that traditionally have all the power and to enable its vision of a community-led digital nation.

The Mavis Hub distributes games on both PCs and Macs, and will seamlessly connect to Sky Mavis’ proprietary Ronin Blockchain, which currently secures over $1.5Bn in assets. In addition to supporting Axie Infinity, The Mavis Hub will support game developers building and distributing blockchain-enabled games.

Other recent deals in this space include video game developer Virtuos Holdings’s $150 million raised from funds associated with Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) last month. In September, SoftBank had led a $680m funding in NFT fantasy soccer game Sorare.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.