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Ecosystem Roundup: Chinese VCs eying SG expansion, Modalku gets US$50M from HSBC, PayMongo ex-CFO speaks out

MetaverseGo, a Web3 mobile gaming platform that onboards new players via a mobile phone login, has raised US$4.2 million in seed capital led by New York-based VC fund Galaxy Interactive.

The round has also been joined by Delphi Digital, Dragonfly Capital, Mechanism Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC), Shima Capital, Com2uS, Akatsuki, Ascensive Assets, BitScale Capital, Yield Guild Games (YGG), BreederDAO, Mentha Partners and Emfarsis.

MetaverseGo will use the money for ​​software development, partnerships with telecommunication providers, and strategic hires.

Over the past year, Web3 gaming has seen remarkable adoption, with gaming DApps now driving 52 per cent of all blockchain activity. However, the long, complex, and risk-laden processes of onboarding new users to blockchain-based platforms remains a barrier for would-be players.

To accelerate adoption with mainstream markets and non-crypto natives, MetaverseGo provides access to Web3 games without the usual prerequisite of understanding how to use cryptocurrencies.

Established by Ash Mandhyan, Jake San Diego and JC Velasquez, MetaverseGo is a network and discovery platform for play-and-earn games and game assets.

Mandhyan (CEO) has more than 15 years of digital retail experience, having held leadership positions at Lazada Philippines (VP), Facebook and Bytedance. San Diego (CBO) has previously built The founder of Artphorce, a creative freelancing marketplace, and he also has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry, including roles at Level Up! and PlayPark Games, and most recently at Globe, the Philippines’ leading telecommunications company.

Velasquez (CTO) has 20 years of experience building software and 12 years building technology teams for high-growth startups. He is also the founder of Smartwave Studios, a Philippines-based mobile software consulting and engineering firm, and co-founder of Partyphile, a nightlife app in Asia, and Chatbot PH, a chatbot developer.

MetaverseGo enables users to discover and play a range of NFT games while earning MetaverseGo credits using only their mobile phone number and upon validation by a verification code. They can use these credits on mobile data, utility bills, and shopping vouchers.

“Crypto has always been hard, and blockchain games are even harder since there are significant upfront costs to buy the NFTs needed to play. Play-to-earn only took off in 2021 after scholarships popularised the idea of renting those NFTs so that NFT ownership wasn’t a requirement to get started. Since then, we’ve seen rapid adoption worldwide, but as long as crypto onboarding is as arduous as it is today, that growth can only go so far. MetaverseGo is solving this by making Web3 games accessible via a technology everyone knows how to use — a mobile phone number,” said Mandhyan.

“Digital ownership not only deployed blockchain technology at scale, but it also unlocked new gaming audiences. However, significant friction exists at the initial stages of the user experience to tap into this growth in the interactive sector. MetaverseGo helps to democratise blockchain gaming with an accessible Web3 platform that simplifies the onboarding, discovery, learning, and payout processes needed to foster meaningful connections and realise commerce gains around quality content,” said Richard Kim, General Partner at Galaxy Interactive.

Chinese VCs eying SG expansion, Modalku gets US$50M from HSBC, PayMongo ex-CFO speaks out. Congratulations to the entire team. I wish you great success in this endeavour.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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