Dapper Labs makes investment in Web3 gaming company GameOn

GameOn is powering Karateka, a game for collecting digital fighters.

Vancouver-based Web3 game developer GameOn has raised $1.7 million in funding from Lightning Capital and Dapper Labs for its own gaming platform for digital collectibles, PLAYN3XT.

Of the $1.7 million, digital-asset investment firm Lightning Capital provided $1.2 million in a series of convertible notes. Dapper Labs’ contribution came in the form of a non-dilutive grant from its $725-million Flow Ecosystem Fund, which invests in developers building apps and games on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain.

Dapper Labs has made several investments through the Flow fund since its launch last year. This includes JUKE and NFT Genius, two American companies also in the digital collectibles space.

The amount that Dapper Labs contributed was not disclosed. Subtracting Lightning Capital’s portion, $500,000 makes up the rest of the funding.

GameOn’s product team was previously led by Santi Jaramillo, former head of sports at Dapper Labs and creator of NBA Top Shot.

According to GameOn, the funding will be used to further develop its PLAYN3XT gaming platform, which is powering a game for collecting digital fighters called Karateka.

Founded in 2018 by CEO Matt Bailey, GameOn builds games, predictive gaming, and fantasy sports products for companies. It is a publicly-traded company, listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange and the OTCQB Venture Market in 2021.

GameOn’s PLAYN3XT platform allows sports and gaming fans to own and use their digital collectibles through interactive gameplay. Some of its users include the likes of NBCUniversal, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

In Karateka, for example, users can play with their digital fighters for a chance to win prizes related to Karate Combat, a sports league for professional combat. Prizes could include VIP tickets to shows, joining the broadcast booth with commentators, fighter meet-and-greets, and signed merchandise, among others.

GameOn’s team comprises experienced leaders across the sports, media, and gaming industries. Its product team was previously led by Santi Jaramillo, former head of sports at Dapper Labs and creator of NBA Top Shot. Jaramillo left GameOn in 2022 to join Ioconic, a venture studio based in the United Kingdom.

Prior to creating GameOn, Bailey had a sales and marketing career in sports business. He previously worked for brands like the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center.

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Under Bailey’s leadership, he said GameOn has secured more than $6 million in funding. He said this investment from Lightning Capital and Dapper Labs, which he called “Web3 powerhouses,” is a nod to GameOn’s team, product, and business.

With this raise, Bailey added that GameOn is “aggressively honing in on major league [intellectual property] acquisition that will return scaled profitability.”

GameOn previously received funding from Polygon Studios in 2021 as part of a partnership. In that deal, Polygon would fund 50 percent of GameOn’s ongoing product development costs.

GameOn also received an undisclosed amount of non-dilutive funding from the HBAR foundation in March 2023 to help launch Karateka on the Hedera network, which presents itself as a faster and more secure alternative to blockchains.

Featured image courtesy GameOn.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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