Nonfungible token scaling solution startup Immutable today said it has raised $ 200 million in new funding led by Singapore state investment company Temasek, bringing its valuation to $ 2.5 billion.
The Series C funding round was also joined by the blockchain gaming titan Animoca Brands and Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Immutable develops the Immutable X platform, which is a scaling solution on top of the Ethereum blockchain that allows for faster transactions and lower fees for NFTs. The integration of NFTs into games and applications allows users true ownership of digital assets by giving them the ability to buy, sell and trade their in-game items.
“Immutable is locked in on developing a leading, ambitious and dependable Web3 ecosystem for a new era of creators that desire scalable results in the world’s fastest-growing industry,” said Immutable Chief Executive James Ferguson.
Web3 refers to the decentralized online ecosystem of applications built on blockchain technology that eschews the need for middlemen and centralized services. All interactions happen peer-to-peer using software-driven, self-executing smart contracts that incorporate token economics.
Immutable was an early adopter of the technology and built one of the first blockchain games, “Gods Unchained,” a collectible card game that allows players to own virtual playing cards. Like a physical collectible card game, the virtual cards can be bought, sold and traded between players and possess monetary value as NFTs.
During the “Gods Unchained” beta debut in 2019, the company sold cards to raise money for the game, and it also sold one-of-a-kind cards. One of them, called Hyperion, sold for over $ 62,000 in Ethereum cryptocurrency. In comparison, a rare physical collectible card from “Magic: The Gathering” known as the “Alpha Black Lotus” sold around the same time for a record $ 87,000 at auction.
Blockchain gaming has become an increasingly lucrative industry in the past few years and during the third quarter of 2021, it generated $ 2.32 billion in revenue, according to a report from the Blockchain Gaming Alliance. That represented 22% of all NFT trading volume industry-wide as gaming is still beginning to earn its prominence with the “play-to-earn” model where, as the name suggests, players earn valuable tokens as they play the games.
Immutable recently partnered with game retailer GameStop to provide its Immutable X platform as infrastructure for an upcoming NFT marketplace for gaming-related virtual items. Other companies that build on Immutable X include the social media platform TikTok, the NFT marketplace OpenSea, the blockchain games Ember Sword and Illuvium, and esports venture GreenPark Sports.
The company said it would use the new funding to accelerate its growth by investing in the Immutable X platform and scale the Immutable Gaming Studio, which includes “Gods Unchained” and “Guild of Guardians.”
Immutable also said that it currently has a team of 165 employees but intends to hire 200 more in the coming 12 months with an eye towards sales, marketing, engineering and product. The objective will be to meet the increasing demand for its platform and support its gaming partners and acquire new customers.