Ukrainian startup raises over $10 million through ICO to “match the virtual and real economies”
The Ukrainian startup DMarket, which presents itself as the first global marketplace for in-game content, raised almost $11 million, bonus tokens excluded, in just four days through an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) launched in mid-August.
The first million was secured just 17 minutes after the launch of the public token sale, reports Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA based on its exchanges with the startup.
Nearly $9 million have been contributed in Ethereum (ETH). The rest of the funding have come in bitcoins or through the Skins.cash platform.
Pantera Capital, a San Francisco-based investment firm focused on Blockchain technologies, is one of DMarket’s early backers.
Initially, from 5 to 50 million tokens were expected to be sold as part of the first ICO campaign. Dmarket, however, has managed to sell over 30 million tokens.
“We can already say that this is one of the most successful projects in the CIS (post-Soviet) countries by the amount of the raised funds, even judging by the first fundraising phase. Initially we expected to secure one million dollars, but have managed to pull down over $10 million,” AIN.UA quoted DMarket as saying.
The second tokens distribution phase is scheduled for November: 750 DMarket tokens will be sold for 1 ETH, which is by 25% higher than the initial price.
According to the startup, 94% of gamers in the world are not involved in global trading at all. This is because there is no safe and easy way to trade between game universes.
To address this issue and help gamers “make virtual assets real,” DMarket is creating a decentralized marketplace based on Blockchain and smart contracts, where one can trade all in-game items globally.
Two billion gamers to satisfy
“With DMarket, gamers will be able to make their virtual items available on the global economy, creating a new billion-dollar market. We are utilizing the Blockchain technology to act as a matchmaker between the virtual and the real economies,” DMarket cofounder and CEO Volodymyr Panchenko said in an exchange with VentureBeat.
“DMarket will satisfy the demand of more than two billion gamers across different platforms,” he added.
The platform enables one-click sale, exchange or evaluation of every virtual item between all games on any platform. It connects all game worlds and universes without any third party needed.
The startup’s founders Panchenko and Alexander Kokhanovskyy believe that the DMarket tokens will become the main currency of the new game economy.
“DMarket token will be used across the DMarket platform, and will not be limited by the platform in the future,” the startup says.
DMarket coins which represent the DMarket tokens will be used as a currency to buy and sell in-game items, to deduct fees for trading in-game items, to distribute profits among digital property copyright holders, among other uses.
The startup expects to launch the alpha version in October 2017, while the “first steps of global market influencing” are planned for December 2018.