GameFi company Digital Entertainment Asset (DEA) is feeling richer today after closing on a seed funding round worth $12 million led by JAFCO Investment.
Spartan Group, a number of corporate participants and individual angel investors, plus seven unnamed but publicly-listed companies also participated in the round.
DEA is an influential player in Asia’s emerging GameFi sector, working to create a gaming economy that’s centered on blockchain, cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens. It’s known as the creator of the PlayMining metaverse, a play-to-earn gaming ecosystem where players are rewarded for their efforts with digital assets, as opposed to spending their hard-earned cash to compete in traditional “free-to-play” mobile games.
With PlayMining games, players can earn in-game assets in the form of NFTs that can later be traded on third-party marketplaces for cryptocurrency. Those tokens can then be sold for real-world money, resulting in the concept of play-to-earn gaming.
DEA launched the PlayMining platform in May 2020 and has already made strong progress, with popular titles such as JobTribes, its flagship trading card battle game that boasts more than 40,000 monthly active users and ranks ninth on DappRadar. It has also created other titles such as PlayMining Puzzle×JobTribes and Lucky Farmer, as well as its own NFT marketplace, NFT: DEP.
“From its inception, DEA’s mission has focused on the concept of play-to-earn, helping make gaming a sustainable livelihood for people around the world,” DEA’s co-founder and chief executive officer Naohito Yoshida said in a statement. “The latest funding and support from investors bring us one step closer to realizing this ambitious vision.”
DEA has already come a long way, with its PlayMining universe growing to encompass more than 2.4 million registered players from countries including Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. It’s only just getting started though, for DEA has promised to use the funds raised today to create new content for the PlayMining metaverse. The money will also go towards building out PlayMining’s infrastructure, refining its platform and on new hires for its development and marketing teams. The goal, DEA said, is to accelerate user acquisition while expanding PlayMining’s footprint in the GameFi and NFT markets.
JAFCO Investment President and CEO Yoshiyuki Shibusawa said he was drawn to DEA by its close connection with famous Japanese artists and its ambition to corner the Asian GameFi market.
“We decided to invest in DEA because we want to work with it in the midst of the ‘big swell of the times’ symbolized by Web3, which has been created by the will of individuals and technology,” Shibusawa added.
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