Play-to-earn gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG) announced a $4.5M investment round led by legendary venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). This brings up the total funding of YGG to accelerate play-to-earn and NFT games to $22.4 Million.
Founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”) is a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, California. The firm is known for its early bets on companies that are household names today. Its investment portfolio includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Airbnb, Lyft, Stripe, Github, etc.
Details about the Deal
The funding will be used to continue YGG’s investment in digital assets in games and virtual worlds across the play-to-earn ecosystem while expanding its global community of over 45,000 gamers.
The terms of the investment reflect both parties’ long-term commitment. A16Z purchased YGG’s token through a four-year deal with two years lock-up period and two years vesting.
According to YGG, onboarding partners such as a16z will assist them in scaling their mission and impact. In parallel, the funds will make a difference in establishing play-to-earn as the next major innovation in gaming and dominant business model within the industry.
Joining YGG and completing the investment round are Kingsway Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Atelier Ventures, and gaming entrepreneur Gabriel Leydon.
Founder Gabby Dizon describes YGG’s model as a “community of play-to-earn gamers.” He says we can think of what they do as a “massively multiplayer (MMO) guild but operating across several games, investing in yield-generating NFTs within those games and lending those in-game assets and inventory out to their player base.”
Yield Guild Game’s core business is to provide scholarships to Axie Infinity players. In this context, scholarships give players access to play-to-earn gaming where the high cost of NFTs was previously a barrier. To date, YGG onboarded 4,700 scholars, earning over 43 Million (#8.6 Million) SLPs.
According to the game’s July 2021 Asset & Treasury Report, YGG holds substantial positions at the following tokens: YGG, USDC, USDT, ETH, AXS and SLP. Moreover, YGG has a diversified portfolio of assets earning yield across SushiSwap, Yearn and Aave protocols. Finally, YGG owns over $10 Million worth of NFTs from gaming and metaverse projects. For example, Zed Run, F1 Delta, League of Kingdoms and Splinterlands.
Redefining “Jobs” in the Metaverse
Recently, fellow NFT games giant Animoca Brands also contributed to a $4 million investment round a couple of months ago. Additionally, in late July, YGG raised $12.5 million from a public token sale that sold out in 31 seconds.
So what exactly is making YGG stand among the sea of NFT Projects?
In a recent piece, a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen outlined the significance of “permanently divorcing physical location from economic opportunity” in order to provide more people with better ways to make a living.
This is exactly what YGG achieved in the Philippines. Nearly $7.3 Million people lost their job because of the pandemic. Axie Infinity’s play-to-earn mechanism became a saving grace for Filipinos and a means to put food on the table. To illustrate, a competitive player can earn 200 SLP Daily, at $.18, that’s around $38. This may not sound like much, but in the Philippines, this is already triple the minimum daily wage.
A16z believes that “there is a largely untapped economic opportunity in emerging markets to provide jobs by building a virtual economy in the digital world. The way we define a ‘job’ is quickly evolving because of crypto and gaming. We’re just starting to glimpse what’s possible in this realm.”