Three-Month-Old Singaporean Stealth Game-Fi Startup Raises $2.7M Seed Funding
EThree-month-old Ethlas is the first game-fi startup founded in Singapore having secured money from serious investors, underscoring the confidence that VCs have in this fledgling tech startup that first launched quietly in November 2021. Built on the Polygon blockchain, Ethlas has had over 100,000 crypto wallet users globally and scored some three million plays on its platform as of end of January 2022. The rapid scale with which Ethlas managed to adapt to the product market was a major reason for the success of its seed fundraising.
Accordering a Bloomberg report in January 2022, the number of blockchain games has almost tripled: from around 200 in 2020 to more than 544 in 2021. Most video game platforms have a high barrier to entry, requiring players to pay subscription fees or to have an initial capital. On the contrary, Ethlas – a portmanteau of “Ethereum” and “Atlas” – is a free play-to-earn platform that helps the layman to earn and cash out cryptocurrency, by participating in simple and easy casual games. to understand. games that everyone knows. Think Tetris, Candy Crush and Bubble Popper but much cooler. To start playing, players only need to install MetaMask, a software crypto wallet or link their wallets, and they can start playing in the Ethlas metaverse on a PC or mobile phone browser. There are no complicated onboarding rules or requirements to sign up with high subscription fees.
“Komo” NFT hit
As As part of its product roadmap, Ethlas will mint its first series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called Komos. Inspired by Komodo dragons from Indonesia, Komo NFTs will benefit both free-to-play players and crypto natives: Free-to-play players can use the five tiers of the Komo NFT to enhance their gameplay and secure more $XGEM (Exchange Genesis Ethlas Medium), the in-la in-game cryptocurrency in the Ethlas metaverse; crypto natives can benefit from the intrinsic value of a well-designed NFT that has in-game utility and facilitates trading (NFT rental). The Komo NFT series will be available before end of February 2022. Ethlas also works with game studios to launch their games on their platform through a revenue share model.
“The The unique value proposition of Komo NFTs is that they not only function as game passes on Ethlas, granting players special access to games and features, they are also asset-backed NFTs, which consist of staked tokens wrapped like an ERC-721 token which has recently started to gain popularity. Ethlas’ Komo NFTs possess both intrinsic artistic value and monetary value, which enhances their appeal as tradable works of art. Most gaming NFTs don’t offer such value as Komo,” says the co-founder of Ethlas, Sam Elston.
Lunar vision of a billion users
the The founders of Ethlas were intrigued by the potential of game-fi when they read that Filipinos made more money playing games on game-fi platforms than from their day jobs. Convinced that Web 3.0 will be powered by cryptocurrency and its social impact, the four founders decided to take the plunge and quit their high-paying jobs to build Ethlas. Their lunar vision: to make crypto inclusive and accessible by integrating the next billion non-crypto users into the Ethlas metaverse. Ethlas intends to work with regulators to develop a framework for game-fi as it believes that regulations and consumer education are key to facilitating the growth of this huge but nascent game-fi ecosystem in a safe way. and controlled.
“Consumer gaming platforms can garner millions of engaged players – combine this with asset ownership through NFTs and a layer of crypto rewards, the network incentives fall back into the hands of players. This is an extremely powerful flywheel. We also like that Ethlas is integrating native players on Web 3.0 and the team is focused on providing a delightful gaming experience. We have been very impressed with the platform’s rapid user adoption and high player engagement, which bodes well for strong future growth prospects,” Aakash KapoorVice President, Sequoia India.
“We recognize that blockchain has a high barrier to entry and currently only appeals to a biased demographic. While GBIC is always looking for blockchain startups to invest in, we are looking for those with serious direction and vision. The leadership of Ethlas was very clear and we believe in their vision that games will be an important channel to bring the next billion users into crypto. Unlike current play-to-earn games, Ethlas’ operating model allows even people who don’t even know crypto to connect with MetaMask in one click, and they can play for fun and win. We are thrilled to be one of the first VCs to help Ethlas take off,” says Sinhae Lee, Partner, Global Blockchain Innovation Capital.
Ethlas has built a team of over 20 blockchain engineers, game developers, data scientists, cybersecurity experts and designers, based on Singapore, Philippines and United States. The startup is founded in Singapore as the country has a good tech ecosystem that promotes and enables innovation, especially in crypto, and has good access to venture capital. It will leverage its seed funding to aggressively hire tech talent in the Web 3.0 space.
Launched in November 2021, Ethlas is a free-to-play/play-to-win blockchain-based (GameFi) game funding metaverse built on the Polygon Chain, the protocol enabling interoperability and scalability within the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem . Founded by a group of four tech leaders with extensive experience leading teams of tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Airbnb and Grab, etc., Ethlas is headquartered in Singapore with offices at San Francisco Bay Area and new York, United Statesand Manila, Philippines.
Within two months of its beta launch and with minimal marketing, Ethlas had over three million plays with over 100,000 unique wallet IDs on its play page. Ethlas hit its first Windblown asset-backed NFTs in December 2021.
The Ethlas GameFi metaverse was voted Polygon’s “Best NFT Project” and ranked number one in blockchain casual games on PlayToEarn.net, which tracks and ranks the most popular blockchain crypto and NFT games.
Ethlas is backed by Sequoia Capital India, Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, Play It Forward DAO, Genesis Fund, Blockchain Space, Venturra Capital and executives from Coinbase, CoinMarketCap, Grab and Switcheo.
For media inquiries and interviews, please contact [email protected]
Media pack: https://bit.ly/ethlasmediapack
Biographies of the founders
A founding member of Grab’s growth team, Elston is Ethlas’ “growth hacker”, drawing on his expertise and experience growing products with Grab, Airbnb and Chinese e-commerce platform, Jumei. .com. At Grab, Elston led the expansion of the Grab Daily news feed into major markets such as Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysiawho played a central role in shaping Grab’s “everyday app” strategy.
The avid gamer – he once played for 12 hours straight on his Playstation until his TV started emitting smoke – seeks to change the status quo where current access to crypto is disproportionate in favor of wallet expenses and academic qualifications, and believes that games could be a channel to help expand the appeal and accessibility of blockchain to the mass consumer market.
the that of Singapore Nanyang Technological University graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce, Data Analytics, helped Ethlas garner over 2.5 million games and over 80,000 unique wallet holders within 10 weeks of launch. He will lead Ethlas’ growth strategy and product roadmap as it strives to achieve its vision of one billion users.
Gennady “Ari” Medvinsky
Based in Redmond, United StatesAri has over 20 years of experience in software engineering and security architecture, having built products and platforms with some of the world’s largest technology companies such as Microsoft, Grab and more recently Google.
During his time at Google – over two stints that saw an interlude with Grab – Ari’s contribution included leading a team responsible for integrating and integrating Cloud IAM service with Google Cloud Platform. As Grab’s Head of Engineering, IAM from 2017-2020, he founded and grew a team of 20 IAM engineers in Grab’s office in Redmond. His team created GrabID – Grab’s proprietary authentication and login system – which now supports hundreds of millions of Grab accounts across South East Asia and enabled third-party integrations on GrabPay and merchant partner interfaces. During his eight years at Microsoft, some of his accomplishments included co-designing an anti-piracy solution for Microsoft Xbox for PC and console gaming, as well as co-architecting the security design for the now defunct Microsoft Kin One phone.
United States citizen has a doctorate. in computer science University of Southern California. His publications and his thesis (1997) on “NetCash: a framework for electronic money” have been cited by more than 160 academic articles; NetCash was one of the first experimental systems from the 90s that foreshadowed the current wave of cryptocurrency. Ari’s technical skills and knowledge of cryptography will be key to realizing Ethlas’ lunar vision of becoming the world’s premier gaming-fi platform.