Crypto Gaming Startup Stardust Raises $30 Million


May 9, 2023

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A $30 million fundraising round led by crypto venture capital company Framework Ventures was announced by Stardust, which offers developer tools for creating blockchain-based games.

Participating in the Series A round were Distributed Global, Blockchain Capital, and Acrew Capital. While Stardust refused to disclose its worth, it did claim that it had increased from its prior fundraising round.

Canaan Linder, the company's CEO, started the Palo Alto, California-based startup in 2018. In an interview, he said that he first learned about blockchain when he came across the online game CryptoKitties, which lets players own, sell, and breed cats represented by nonfungible tokens. He had previously worked at Bloomberg LP as a software engineer.

He claimed that his lifelong passion for collecting—he adores Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards and named his business after his favorite Stardust Dragon card—was what initially drew him to the game.

However, he wasn't always successful at playing CryptoKitties. Even I, a software developer and engineer, found the user experience to be challenging.

To make it simpler for developers to create more inclusive virtual games that are based on blockchains like Solana and Polygon and use crypto components like NFTs, he created Stardust. Stardust, which is run by a 40-person team, bills game developers a monthly fee per participant in addition to a price for each blockchain transaction.

Although VC financing for cryptocurrency firms is generally declining, funding for NFT gaming startups has been rather stable. Framework Ventures co-founder Michael Anderson stated that his organization invested in Stardust because he believes the latter will aid in the expansion of blockchain gaming, even to those involved in traditional gaming.

He stated that "there isn't the type of infrastructure that will be able to bridge web2 players and web 3 without a business like Stardust.

Players have expressed concern about the usage of NFTs and blockchain in games, but Linder argued that it's crucial to include conventional game producers in the conversation.  In the past, Stardust and developer Tilting Point have partnered to support blockchain game development. Michael  declared that "Web3 is an industry that is not going away."