Yolo-backed NFT gaming start-up secures $2m funding in latest private token sale

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Australian NFT gaming platform Balthazar DAO has secured a further $2m in a Private Round Token Sale, bringing its fully diluted valuation to $60m.

The funds will be used to recruit product experts and engineers to build its software development kit, Babylon, which includes a proprietary noncustodial wallet system.

The start-up has now raised a total of $5.6m over the past year, following both pre-seed and seed-round Token Sales.

Tim Heath’s Yolo Investments were included in the Private Round Taken Sale, along with private equity institutions such as IDG Capital, Tezos Foundation and Kucoin Labs.

“The NFT gaming niche will ripple through the video games industry at large and the future may belong to NFT gaming entirely,” said Heath.

Additional investors included Hive Empire Capital, led by Finder’s Fred Schebesta, as well as Digital Asset Capital Management (DACM), Gandel Invest, Fantom Foundation, Red Building Capital, Vendetta and Pluto Digital, among others.

NFT-led horse racing project ZED Run invested in Balthazar during a previous round, as did Zip co-founder Larry Diamond.

Despite a turbulent end to the year for crypto assets and NFTs, Balthazar CEO John Stefanidis insisted that digital ownership, and its application through Web3, was the future of the gaming industry, which is expected to reach $294bn by 2024.

Yolo Investments general partner Tim Heath: “The NFT gaming niche will ripple through the video games industry at large and the future may belong to NFT gaming entirely.”

“We’re building technology that’s applicable to not only the gaming space, but the entire crypto industry,” said Stefanidis in a press release.

“We’re starting with gaming, to solve the problems of easy onboarding, opening accounts, in-game marketplace, peer-to-peer transactions, Web3 inventory management systems and on-chain in-game transactions in real time.

“We will expand into solving problems around password and credential recovery, which will unlock categories such as DeFi, and other products that are really good but hard to access for Web2 users.

“We’re very clear in our mission to allow people to own their assets. That’s the underlying value that we’re adding,” he added.

According to the PwC H1 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Mergers and Acquisitions Fundraising Report, crypto fundraising in 2022 looks set to outperform last year’s total of $36.6bn.

Total funds raised in the crypto market reached $24.2bn in H1 2022 according to the October report, which is 20% higher than H1 2021.

The report states that NFT and metaverse projects received one-third of all deals in H1 2022 (34%), compared with just 4% during the same period of last year.

Even in this market, NFT gaming is growing quickly in terms of the number of games that are entering the space and the number of gaming funds and funds being raised,” added Stefanidis.

Balthazar is now focused on building a noncustodial credential recovery system that will allow people to hold on to their own assets but remove the risk of losing passwords.

On its official website, Balthazar is described as an NFT gaming platform for the metaverse designed to make NFTs, cryptocurrency and gaming more accessible for people.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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