DMarket, a Ukraine-born startup that uses blockchain to “build a user-owned gaming economy,” has just attracted $6.5 million in equity funding. The round was led by Almaz Capital with participation from video game company Xsolla. No details of the deal were disclosed.
Now headquartered in California, DMarket has developed a platform that “enables transparent and secure buying, selling, and trading of in-game items.”
The company claims it lets “billions of gamers safely exchange virtual items across titles and platforms while making money from gameplay.”
“There has never been a better time for technology and gaming. The abilities of in-game content will become a crucial part of the new gaming worlds – which is why we are creating a suitable and transparent ecosystem for them,” said DMarket’s founder Vlad Panchenko.
Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins has become a board member of DMarket. He said: “I love that DMarket is at the intersection of five growth trends in the game industry: advanced social games, virtual goods trading, fashion, eSports, and blockchain. DMarket has a big opportunity to be a new kind of leader in the game industry. They have the leadership, ideas, and resources to succeed and it is fun for me to help a talented executive like Vlad. “
“DMarket is a pioneer in the open market trading of game-related virtual goods, a market that will explode in the next decade,” he believes.
“Today gamers don’t really own the virtual goods they pay real money for. It inhibits the adoption of virtual game worlds and economies. DMarket enables innovative game developers to change that. In-game virtual item is a perfect 100% digital good for distributed ledger trading, which enables true ownership of virtual assets,” said Daniil Stolyarov, Partner at Almaz Capital.
DMarket raised $19 million through an ICO in 2017, just months after its inception.
The company now has offices in Los Angeles, London and Kyiv. Its partners and customers include Xsolla, Unity, 4A Games, GSC Game World, Darewise, Playkey, Kiss Ltd., and Tatem Games.
The company is planning to increase its engineering force and hire additional executives in the next three months.
Founded in 2008, Almaz Capital is a global VC fund investing in early-stage, capital-efficient technology companies in high-growth sectors. Disruptive deep tech companies in the B2B software space are its sweet spots. Bridging the Silicon Valley ecosystem and Europe, the fund has a particular taste for Eastern-European startup entrepreneurs whom it helps reach the global marketplace. Almaz Capital’s backers include Cisco, the EBRD and the IFC.