NFT gaming platform Balthazar DAO has secured a further US$2 million (AU$3.01 million) in its Private Round Token Sale, with a fully diluted valuation of US$60 million (AU$90.3 million).
The funds will be used to accelerate its software development kit (SDK), Babylon, including the pioneering technology noncustodial wallet system, by bringing on key product experts and engineers.
Balthazar has now raised a total of US$5.6 million (AU$8.5 million) in the past year, following pre-seed and seed round Token Sales.
Included in the Private Round Token Sale were world-leading private equity investment institution IDG Capital, Tezos Foundation, Kucoin Labs, Hive Empire Capital (led by Finder’s Fred Schebesta), Digital Asset Capital Management (DACM), Gandel Invest, Fantom Foundation, Yolo Investments, Red Building Capital, Vendetta, Pluto Digital and several others.
It follows Balthazar’s successful pre-seed US$600,000 (AU$906,000) token sale and US$3 million (AU$4.5 million) Seed Round Token Sale earlier this year, which was led by Animoca Brands and included other token purchasers such as DACM, Hive Empire Capital, Zip co-founder Larry Diamond, Darling Ventures, ZED Run, Side Door Ventures, Algorand, Rising Capital, Pluto Digital, Saltwater Ventures, Fantom Foundation, eFrontier, TPS Capital, and more.
John Stefanidis, CEO and Co-Founder of Balthazar said digital ownership and its application through Web3 gaming is the future evolution of the video game industry, which is expected to reach US$294 billion by 2024.
“We’re building technology that’s applicable to not only the gaming space, but the entire crypto industry. We’re starting with gaming, to solve the problems of easy onboarding, opening accounts, in-game marketplace, peer-to-peer transactions, Web3 inventory management systems and on-chain in-game transactions in real time. We will expand into solving problems around password and credential recovery, which will unlock categories such as DeFi, and other products that are really good but hard to access for Web2 users. And products that still require decentralization.
“We’re very clear in our mission to allow people to own their assets. That’s the underlying value that we’re adding.”
According to the PwC H1 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Mergers and Acquisitions Fundraising Report (October 2022), crypto fundraising in 2022 looks set to outperform the 2021 total of US$36.6 billion (AU$54.9 billion). The total funds raised in the crypto market was US$24.2 billion (AU$36.3 billion) in H1 2022 according to the report, 20 percent more than H1 2021 (US$10.3 billion (AU$15.4 billion)) with an expected continued growth for metaverse and NFT M&A and fundraising activity in 2022.
Interestingly, NFT and metaverse projects received one-third of all deals in H1 2022 (34%), compared with 4% in H1 2021.
“NFT gaming is growing quickly in terms of the number of games that are entering the space and the number of gaming funds and funds being raised. Even in this market,” said Mr Stefanidis. “That’s why Balthazar is such a solid player in this space.”
Balthazar is focusing on its infrastructure platform, pioneering a noncustodial credential recovery system that will allow people to hold their own assets but removes the risk of losing passwords.
“Babylon is a suite of infrastructure that game developers need to create Web3 games. We’re building a noncustodial wallet system with built-in credential recovery. No one has solved credential recovery yet. It’s a core focus and we believe we’re on the right track.
“With a noncustodial system, you’re responsible for your own assets, meaning if a centralized exchange gets hacked you won’t be exposed. But the problem is, if you lose your private key or your recovery phrase, you can never recover that wallet. That’s why it’s important to have a system that allows you to recover that wallet or that account, without anyone else actually owning it. This is one of the key features we’re working on building into Babylon.”
Mr Stefanidis said Balthazar is building a node system that can be used on any chain.
“With an initial focus on EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible chains including Fantom, we’re also working closely with the Tezos ecosystem team, to support projects by providing our infrastructure. We’re also in talks with over 200 games regarding using Babylon SDK. The cross-chain functionality means that any developer building on any chain can use our SDK.
“The biggest issues in the NFT gaming industry are access to customers and building on the blockchain. We are solving both of these issues by creating a great user experience for games to easily onboard gamers, and a safe and secure way for gamers to play-and-earn with a self-custody system.”