Dapper Labs, who believe that their product CryptoKitties is the “world’s first and most successful consumer blockchain product” according to this press release, has raised $15 million from a few venture capital firms including funds run by heavyweights Google and Samsung in order to expand operations, including creating a US subsidiary with executives who formerly worked at Unity and Disney, “with additional hires for the Canada office from Ubisoft, EA Sports, Amazon, ESPN, Hasbro, and Zynga.”
CryptoKitties Has Less Than 500 Daily Active Users
CryptoKitties, at its core, is a collectible cat breeding game. It is one of numerous trading card-style games across blockchains which utilize an important aspect of cryptographic blockchains – true digital ownership.
Dapper Labs believes that games and other friendlier (than exchanges and more business-oriented usages) uses of the blockchain are the key to mass adoption. Certainly, gaming and education hastened other technological revolutions, and the advent of app stores has proven that people are willing to plunk down serious cash for video games.
“Our mission at Dapper Labs is to use games and entertainment to bring the values of decentralization to billions of consumers worldwide. This round of financing was about getting the right partners around the table to bring compelling content to the blockchain – and make sure usability and infrastructure allow for adoption by mainstream consumers.”
The press release adds:
“CryptoKitties is the world’s most used consumer blockchain application outside of exchanges, with 3.2-million transactions and tens of millions of dollars transacted on the platform. The game launched in late 2017 and differentiated itself by not using the ICO-model for funding that most blockchain projects pursued, opting instead to launch a product that showcased an application for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies. By focusing on games and entertainment, CryptoKitties brought mainstream users completely new to blockchain into the industry.”
However, although CryptoKitties ranks favorably among Ethereum’s most popular dApps, no dApp has yet built an impressive user base. According to DappRadar, CryptoKitties, in the last 24 hours at the time of writing, had just 378 daily active users — meaning that Dapper Labs has raised almost $75,000 per user between its two funding rounds, the first having been conducted by Axiom Zen — the company from which Dapper Labs was spun out.
In fact, the most successful dApp across categories is semi-decentralized exchange IDEX, and there is another game called Ethermon which is doing slightly better than CryptoKitties.
Nevertheless, these claims notwithstanding (there were certainly consumer blockchain applications long before the end of 2017), Dapper Labs has raised some capital to do important work: expand the user-friendliness and lower the introductory barriers for cryptocurrencies in general. Their contributions are important even if on the surface they seem a bit silly.