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Sfermion's Collider #16

Curated news and updates from the world of web3 and gaming.

Sfermion is an investment firm focused on backing the founders building the metaverse.

Hello 👋

Welcome to the 16th edition of Sfermion’s Collider where we highlight the latest & greatest news in the world of web3 and gaming!

Weekly, we aim to drop a curated list of the most exciting stories & updates that we believe are enabling the emergence of the metaverse.

If you're looking forward to reading this edition of Sfermion’s Collider, please don't forget to subscribe below and follow Sfermion on Twitter to get the latest! Check out our Seam (💰) bio here.

Web3 Updates

Coinbase | Base L2 Solution : Coinbases announces Base, an Ethereum L2 that offers a secure, low-cost, developer-friendly way for anyone, anywhere, to build decentralized apps. There will be NO network token launched. Read more here.

Futureverse & MasterCard | Web3 Payments : The Mastercard-Immersve partnership uses decentralized protocols to settle real-time cryptocurrency transactions on outlets accepting Mastercard payments online. Users will be able to use their existing Web3 wallets to make direct crypto payments without relying on a third party for collateral.

Spotify | Token-Gated Playlists : Spotify is testing a new feature around NFT token-gating of playlists in select regions. Another big web2 player entering the space! Currently, the service is available to token holders within the FlufMoonbirdsKingship, and Overlord communities. See the partnership with NFT project Kingship here.

Google Cloud & Tezos | Partnership : Google Cloud is to become a validator on the Tezos network, marking the tech giant’s latest integration with a blockchain network following similar moves with Ethereum and Solana late last year. Corporate customers of Google’s cloud computing service will be able to deploy Tezos nodes in order to build Web3 applications on the network.

YouTube | Web3-friendly CEO : New YouTube CEO Neal Mohan previously outlined potential use cases for NFTs on the leading video streaming platform. Early last year, incoming CEO Mohan hinted at potential future plans for NFTs, saying YouTube believes in the underlying technology’s potential for helping creators develop deeper relationships with fans.

Sony & Astar Network | Web3 Incubator : Sony Network Communications, a business division of The Sony Group, has teamed up with multi-chain smart contract network Astar Network to launch a Web3 incubation program for projects that focus on the utility of NFTs and DAOs.

French Museum | NFT Exhibit : Leading French art museum, The Centre Pompidou, is set to display top NFT artwork starting this spring. The goal is to cater to the rapidly growing Web3 art space where blockchain intersects with art in the form of NFTs.

Fox | The Masked Singer NFT Content : Fans of the popular Fox Entertainment production ‘The Masked Singer‘ are set to enjoy exclusive content by owning NFTs. This comes after the show introduced a digital fan experience that features generative art. These NFTs will also allow fans to vote on live shows and access any other token-gated material.

Dragon Ball Z & TheSandbox | Toei Animations Partnership : decentralized game developer The Sandbox announced a new partnership with Japanese animation giant Toei Animation to bring its iconic intellectual property to its virtual world. The new Toei Animation partnership will add the IP to its LANDs Web3 gaming parcel.

DraftKings & PGA | Digital Collectible Cards : DraftKing’s Reignmakers PGA TOUR, will be a digital player card-based, fantasy golf-style game, and will offer golf fans opportunities to collect tiered digital golfer cards featuring some of the biggest names in golf and draft weekly fantasy golf lineups. Reignmakers PGA TOUR marks the third iteration of DraftKings’ Reignmakers franchise, following the release of Reignmakers Football and Reignmakers UFC.

Pudgy Penguins & Retail Monsters | Partnership : Pudgy Penguins partners with Retail Monster for their upcoming Pudgy Toyline. This partnership will help in getting the toys on the shelves of retailers all around the world while leveraging the pudgy IP to enable licensing opportunities with other name-brands.

ON1 Force | Acquisition : 0N1 Force, an anime-themed blue-chip NFT collection, has been acquired by a group of crypto industry veterans. The collective is led by Old Fashion Research (OFR), a blockchain investment firm. Following the acquisition, most of the original team behind 0N1 Force is set to leave, except for Henry Finn (”Starlordy” and new CEO) and community moderators.

MakersPlace | Phygital NFT Gallery : NFT marketplace MakersPlace launches a new “phygital” NFT category. To introduce the new category, MakersPlace partnered with the phygital store-focused platform Aioray, which enables creators to link physical items to unlockable non-fungible tokens.

Uniswap | NFT Feature : Uniswap NFT releases a killer new feature allowing users to buy NFTs with ANY single ERC-20 token. No need to purchase with just ETH/WETH anymore!

Layoffs : Polygon (20%), Dapper Labs (20%), Messari (15%), Immutable (11%)

Gaming Updates

Tencent & AVAX | Partnership : Ava Labs announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Tencent Cloud to support projects and developers across the Avalanche ecosystem. In addition to providing developers with rapid node deployment, both parties will also explore Avalanche Subnets for enterprises to help accelerate adoption of Web3 technologies across traditional businesses.

Loco & AVAX | Partnership : Loco, a leading independent esports and live-streaming platform, is building a suite of Web3 products that will bring innovative fan experiences utilizing a custom Avalanche Subnet.

Ubisoft & Sandbox | Rabbids Partnership : Ubisoft is releasing 2,066 of the Rabbids avatars via Polygon, with each NFT selling for 100 SAND. On February 28, then, The Sandbox will launch a Rabbids game world in the current open alpha test, which houses a limited number of playable experiences.

Nvidia & Microsoft | 10y Gaming Partnership : Nvidia and Microsoft announced today they’ve signed a deal bringing Xbox PC games to the GeForce Now cloud gaming platform.

Hiroba | Marketplace Aggregator Launch : Check out the launch of Hiroba, a verticalized NFT aggregator purpose-built for gaming NFTs. Hiroba aggregates in-game and 3rd-party marketplaces to provide players with the best discovery experience for gaming NFTs. Our white-label solution makes deploying a custom marketplace easy for game studios, who benefit from being in control (e.g. royalties, UX).

Research & Interesting Reads

NFTBank (💰) | UnboxingLab’s BendDAO Breakdown #5 : UnboxingLab, NFTBank’s arm that specializes in providing web3 financial reports, continues its deep-dive into BendDAO’s protocol design, financials, and usability. This part goes deep into BendDAO's credit risk management to allow one to understand how the protocol manages the risk associated with lending. For any DeFi, NFTFi, or related protocols looking to get a similar financial deep-dive/breakdown published, feel free to reach out to the team here!

NFTGo | 2023 Annual Report : NFT market aggregator and analytics platform, NFTGo, has published its latest annual market report. The comprehensive 187-page document reviews the events that took place in the NFT market over the past 12 months and offers some insights on new trends to expect this year, along with a few predictions.

Deconstructor of Fun | 2023 Blockchain Games Prediction : Funding activity in 2022, recent and upcoming trends, and predictions for 2023 web3 gaming.

Shima Capital | Web3 Gaming Token Economy

BoredElon | What Makes a Blockchain Game “Fun?”

InvestGame | Gaming Deals Activity Report for 2020-2022

NFT Drops & Updates

BAYC | Dookey Dash - Toad Mode Live Until 3/8 : Yuga releases a new Dookey Dash mode for holders to experience as they await the 3/8 mint date. During this period, achieve a certain rank/score in order to qualify for a custom trait on the upcoming mint. Those with a “0” score on their current passes (previously ineligible) can play and become eligible for the lowest-tier mint on 3/8.

Storyverse | Free BAYC Story NFT : Check out Storyverse’s first bored ape collectible story from award nominated @TroyCaylak. All BAYC character pass holders will receive royalties on this collection. Check out this tweet to enter the giveaway!

Notable Raises

StriderDAO (💰) | $5.5m raise : Strider has raised $5.5 million so that it can co-create story-driven games with players using Web3 technology. Makers Fund and Fabric Ventures led the funding, with participation from Shima Capital, Sfermion, Magic Eden and other notable funds The Strider team has deep roots in narrative games and world-class entertainment intellectual properties. Strider’s mission is to give everyone the gift of being a creative storyteller. Strider will bring people into the heart of story creation through a powerful, fun toolset that includes social features centered around creating a “storyworld.”

YGG (💰) | Raising $75m Venture Fund : Yield Guild Games is entering the venture capital space, raising $75m for its first fund. The fund's mandate is to invest in early-stage token and equity deals in web3, gaming studios and the infrastructure that supports the growth of the industry.

Here Not There | $25m raise : Here Not There Labs’ first product Towns has closed a $25.5m Series A round led by A16z crypto. The startup is building a protocol and app that aims to enable better digital town squares. The Towns network itself is an end-to-end encrypted near real-time communication system powered by a distributed proof-of-stake network of nodes, and the app will be a seamless encrypted chat experience.

Spheriod | $25m raise : Spheroid secures $25m in an investment commitment from ABO Digital as a strategic financing partner. Spheroid is an AR/XR platform that uses the SPH utility token for powering all the activities in its ecosystem.

Kratos Studios & IndiGG | $20m raise : Kratos Studios raises a $20m seed round led by Accel, and also acquired IndiGG, a sub-DAO of Yield Guild Games DAO. Kratos's business model brings game developers and gamers onto its platform by creating on-chain profiles of gamers in the form of cohorts, and letting game developers design quests for gamers. Kratos launched the IndiGG app earlier this week and it aims to increase the number of participants on both sides with more games and more gamers.

Worldwide Web3 | $10m raise : Worldwide Webb, creator of a pixel art-based metaverse game, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round from crypto-focused investment firm Pantera Capital. Worldwide Webb offers an interoperable MMORPG where players can bring their own NFTs from multiple blockchains to use as avatars engaging in battles, quests and raids. Worldwide Webb will launch the browser-based player-versus-player game called Blockbusterz. The company is also working to bring more brands into its ecosystem.

Azra Games | $10m raise : Azra Games has raised another $10m led by A16z. Azra Games is on a mission to create deep, immersive game universes, with a specialized in-game economy and virtual collectibles, powered by Web3 technology such as NFTs. The studio is currently working on a game called Legions & Legends

TipLink | $6m raise : Tiplink raises $6m in seed funding co-led by Sequoia and Multicoin Capital to build one of the most important distribution mechanisms in crypto. With TipLink, users can send crypto or NFTs with just a link.

Million on Mars | $3.5m raise : Million on Mars has raises $3.5m to bolster its blockchain-based space simulation about how the human race could one day colonize the Red Planet.

PaprMeme | $3.5m raise : Four former Coinbase employees have launched an NFT lending platform called PaprMeme with $3m in funding from Coinbase Ventures. The platform doesn’t offer direct peer-to-peer lending but instead adopts a novel mechanism built around its native token.

Curio | $2.9m raise : Curio raises $2.9m led by Bain Capital and TCG Crypto to build the next generation of crypto games hyper focused on composable user-generated content and on-chain games. The company's first game, Treaty, is an on-chain strategy game where users can write and deploy smart contracts.

ChainMonsters | $1.5m raise : ChainMonsters has raised $1.5m, and is moving to IMX ecosystem and launching on the Epic Games Store.

Mo & Andrew's Curated

Metaverse Live | How Crypto Breaks Out of the Bearish Cycle Episode #8 :

Naavik | Bringing Web3 Games to Mobile :

💰 = Sfermion Portfolio Company

Curated by @mopat1214 + @AndrewSteinwold

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