Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties and upcoming projects such as NBA Top Shot, today announced $11M in funding and the development of Flow, a new blockchain built to enable decentralized applications at scale in gaming, culture and entertainment.
The largest investor in the round was Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund, with participation from new investors Accomplice, Taiwan’s AppWorks, Autonomous Partners, and Warner Music Group, as well as existing investors Union Square Ventures, Venrock, Digital Currency Group, Animoca Brands, SV Angel, Version One, and CoinFund, among others. Angel investors who participated in this round included Don Mattrick, William Mougayar, James and Glenn Hutchins, Don Mattrick, and Nanon de Gaspe Beaubien-Mattrick.
“For consumers to embrace crypto, we need to stop approaching it as an emerging technology and instead give people products they can use every day,” said Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs. “After two years of research, we’re excited to unveil Flow, a new blockchain built to support entire ecosystems of apps and games without compromising the values of decentralization. Bitcoin and Ethereum show how crypto can make the world of finance more open and transparent; Flow will do the same for consumers of entertainment and culture.”
With this investment round, Dapper Labs joins forces with the largest accelerator in Asia to introduce important global blockchain technology to the region and engage in AppWorks’ extensive developer community in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
Flow is a global network designed to meet the needs of DApp’s massive expansion, so Asia’s market potential cannot be ignored, says Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou.
“Asia has many of the world’s leading consumer technology and game developers, and we want to ensure that Flow meets their needs. Choosing to work with AppWorks not only complies with our long-term vision, it also helps us participate in the huge startup and partner community that is part of Asia’s largest startup accelerator.”
Jessica Liu, the partner at AppWorks who led the team’s investment, pointed out that entertainment and gaming has nearly always brought early adopters to new technologies. The same principle applies to the current development of blockchain. Asia, she says, is the perfect market for a solid team like Dapper Labs to lead this transformation.
She says, “We believe that with their methodical approach to blockchain gaming and entertainment development, Dapper Labs will be the best team to push forward new applications for gaming and entertainment on blockchain. They have the best shot at being able to utilize decentralisation in this environment to lower the costs of generating scale and user acquisition in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.”
Some of the types of experiences Flow will support include: artists or bands using crypto tokens to give music lovers unprecedented new ways to show their fandom; games that reward players for adding value and enable interoperability with assets and identities that users can take across environments; or platforms for sports fans around the world to trade verified, authentic, limited-edition digital memorabilia in real-time. The company will begin its first partnerships with Ubisoft and Warner Music.
“Warner Music is always searching for new opportunities for our artists and has dedicated itself to exploring emerging technologies to enable these,” said Jeff Bronikowski, SVP, Global Digital Business Development and Head of Innovation and Emerging Technology at Warner Music Group. “When we met with Dapper Labs, they immediately understood our vision so we sought to solidify the partnership through this strategic investment. We are thrilled to be part of their next phase of innovation, and look forward to working alongside them to help identify and capitalize on ground-breaking technologies on our artists’ behalf.”
In addition to the new investment, Dapper Labs is announcing partnerships with leading entertainment publishers to ensure Flow is ready for enterprise-scale use-cases. Ubisoft, well known for developing games like Far Cry, Just Dance and Assassin’s Creed, is advising on Flow, providing valuable industry feedback.
Flow was designed by Dieter Shirley, CTO of Dapper Labs and the technical mind behind CryptoKitties and Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “The architecture for Flow was inspired by modern CPUs.” Shirley said. “Flow pipelines the work of running a blockchain across four different node types, instead of following the typical approach of requiring all nodes, or ‘miners’, to do everything. This lets us maintain the decentralization needed to make the network trustworthy while achieving the kind of scale needed to serve billions of users.”
“An internet governed by open, trustworthy services has only recently become possible, thanks to advances in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.” said Chris Dixon, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “With Flow, the Dapper Labs team has developed a solution to the problem of scalability without losing decentralization or sharding the network. This means a better environment for application developers and ultimately more network effects that benefit consumers.”
Flow will launch in 2020, in time to support many of the company’s large-scale, consumer-facing entertainment, music, and gaming projects in the works. For more information about Flow, please visit www.buildwithflow.com.
About Dapper Labs
Formed in February 2018, Dapper Labs mission is to make the world more open and trustworthy by introducing consumers to the value of blockchain technology through fun and games. Dapper Labs is the team behind CryptoKitties, one of the first and most successful blockchain applications outside of cryptocurrency, and Dapper, the world’s first publicly available smart wallet. Upcoming Dapper Labs projects include Cheeze Wizards, the world’s first blockchain-based battle royale, NBA Top Shot, a platform created in partnership with the NBA and NBPA, and Flow, a consumer-based blockchain for decentralized applications. With over $40M in financing, notable investors in Dapper Labs include Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Venrock, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), and the founders of Dreamworks, Reddit, Coinbase, Zynga, and AngelList, among others. For more information on Dapper Labs, visit www.dapperlabs.com.