Decentralized gaming platform Ajuna Network has raised $5 million in a new private funding round led by blockchain-focused venture capital firm CMCC Global. The announcement coincided with the Friday launch of the startup’s “Awesome Ajuna Avatars” non-fungible token (NFT) game collection, which is inspired by the company’s flagship game, BattleMogs.
The gaming platform previously raised $2 million in February 2022 seed round, led by Fundamental Labs. Other investors, for that funding round, included OKX Blockdream Ventures, Signum Capital and Animoca Brands – which investment in Ajuna’s parent company BloGa Tech AG.
Ajuna offers a product suite that makes it possible for developers to use leading game development engines – Unreal and Unity – to create decentralized games, making it easier for both traditional developers and gamers to enter Web 3 gaming, according to a statement seen by CoinDesk on Friday. The game engines are run in off-chain, trusted execution environments (TEEs) linked to the Polkadot blockchain to reduce latency, the statement said.
Web3 gaming is an umbrella term to describe games that use cryptocurrency, NFTs or blockchain technology to augment the user experience. The goal of these blockchain-based projects is to empower players and offer them more control over their digital identities and assets.
The funding will help Ajuna add support for additional game engines, build out the TEEs and continue expanding on Polkadot, Ethereum and Polygon. Ajuna will also help support projects building and launching on its network, according to the press release.
“We are thrilled to be leading this funding round into Ajuna. The platform empowers studios to incorporate immutable digital assets into their games, resulting in powerful new experiences for gamers,” said CMCC Global founding partner Charlie Morris in the press release.
Investing in Web3-related projects has gained traction this year, even as volume of investment in cryptocurrency companies plunged 91% in January from a year earlier, as reported by CoinDesk. The analysis showed that Web3 industry received the second most investments dollars, after Infrastructure projects, last month.
In fact, in a December interview with CoinDesk, David Pakman, managing partner and venture investing head at crypto-focused VC firm CoinFund, said that he expects crypto investments to be continue to focus on areas including layer 1 and layer 2 blockchains, NFTs, gaming and the Web3 development stack that’s maturing enough to entice Web2 developers to make the jump.