Blockchain think tank Salad Ventures has been hard at work developing its unique NFT-focused operating system GuildOS, and investors have now given the project a ringing endorsement following the conclusion of a private sale round.
An array of high-profile firms – Alameda Research, Alan Howard and BH Digital, C2 Ventures, Foundation Capital, Gemini Frontier Fund, Winklevoss Capital, Crossbeam Venture Partners, Rarestone Capital, and Polygon Studios among others – wrote checks to finance the venture, with a total of $13.5 million raised. The capital will be deployed to enhance the web-based platform that enables users to create, manage and scale up a play-to-earn gaming guild in any blockchain-based release.
Salad Ventures is no stranger to gamefi, of course: it manages one of the world’s best-known guilds, Apollo Squad, an entity largely devoted to the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
Guild-based gaming has exploded in popularity over the past year, with players teaming up to complete quests, source and trade in-game assets such as skins, clothing and weapons, and compete in tournaments. Of course, these community-based alliances predate the gamefi world – they were a major part of the success of MORPGs such as World of Warcraft in the mid 2000s.
Thanks in large part to the number of active guilds operating in the space, transaction volumes have soared as players busily engage in various in-game activities. In the last 30 days alone, Axie Infinity has achieved volume of $590.7 million with Bomb Crypto recording $131.9 million, per Dapp Radar.
With more and more guilds spawning around the world, a number of companies have focused their efforts on building the necessary infrastructure to meet such demand. Salad Ventures is one such example: GuildOS claims to be the only web-based tool that allows individuals to manage scholar accounts, Web3 wallets and private keys, as well as participate in activities such as “breeding” or “cloning” from a single dashboard across multiple titles.
Special NFTs released by the platform will represent a gateway to the GuildOS operating system, with a launch earmarked for the first half of 2022.
Salad Ventures’ Co-Founder Felix Sim referenced the industry’s runaway success story, Axie Infinity, while reflecting on the raise: “Despite the fact that a deep ecosystem has developed over the last 12 months, most play-to-earn game tools are focused solely on Axie Infinity and provide ‘read-only’ dashboards, therefore not solving the real challenges related to operating a P2E guild.
At Salad Ventures, we are addressing this problem head-on by decentralising the gaming guild model and developing a guild operating system that can interact directly with game APIs and blockchains, allowing game managers to coordinate multiple scholar accounts across different blockchain games.
While the bulk of the funds will go towards refining GuildOS, capital will also be allocated to scaling Salad Academy, a dedicated online learning platform for people looking to level up their P2E gaming skills. Despite launching as recently as December 2021, over 6,000 students have already enrolled.
The success of Salad Ventures’ latest raise should come as no surprise: institutional capital has been flooding into the gamefi sector, as investors grasp the potential upside of such a fast-moving scene. During Q3 of 2021, investments in gamefi projects surpassed $1 billion – double the figure of the previous six months. One landmark pledge that pushed the sum beyond the symbolic billion mark was Tron Foundation’s $300m Tron Arcade fund, which will support gamefi startups over the next three years.
If the industry continues on its current trajectory, guild management will be big business – and Salad Ventures’ GuildOS could be a godsend for gamefi’s hardcore players.
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