Vietnamese GameFi startup Ancient8 gets $6 million in tightening VC market

A Vietnam-based blockchain gaming guild named Ancient8 has secured another capital injection, despite growing caution among venture capital firms that saw at least one prior investor decline to participate.

Ancient8 has raised $6 million in a private token sale led by Makers Fund and C² Ventures, according to a statement on Thursday. New and existing backers including Pantera Capital, 6th Man Ventures, IOSG Ventures, Folius Ventures, Morningstar Ventures, Th3ia Capital, Sky9 Capital and Play Ventures also participated. The company didn’t disclose the valuation the latest funding gives it. 

However, at least one investor in Ancient8’s last round declined to back this deal as VC firms reassess their investments following May’s dramatic collapse of the Terra ecosystem, according to people familiar with the matter.

Dragonfly Capital — which co-led in Ancient8’s $4 million raise in January — tried to renegotiate a possible investment before backing out altogether, people familiar with the talks told The Block. No term sheet or deal-related documents had been signed when the negotiations collapsed, according to one person. Crypto.com Capital also pulled back from the Ancient8 deal over its valuation, according to two sources.

“We continue investing in the best entrepreneurs helping build the future of crypto every week. We never comment on any specific transactions other than to say that we honor all our signed commitments,” said a Crypto.com Capital spokesperson. “In general, we recognize that the macro environment has changed and this has an impact on valuations and it has to be reflected in ongoing investment discussions.”

The spokesperson added that Crypto.com’s $500 million fund, which launched in March 2021, invested in more than 70 deals in its first 12 months — including 20 in the last three months alone.

Ultimately, Ancient8 raised the $6 million at the original valuation it had sought, according to one person with knowledge of the deal.

GameFi infrastructure

Founded less than a year ago, Ancient8 builds software for GameFi operations. It helps studios home in on promising gamers and target them with “web3-native” ads. Gamers themselves can use Ancient8’s technology to burnish their profiles, showcase achievements, and so on.

So far, Ancient8 has built a community of more than 200,000 members, it said in the press release. It manages the largest blockchain gaming guild in Vietnam, which boasts over 3,500 so-called “scholars.”

The cash injection will be used to speed up the development of its GameFi infrastructure products.

“We will continue to expand our product offerings, partner with more innovative projects and games, and grow our influence and reach with a large global community,” Howard Xu, co-founder of Ancient8, said in the statement. “As cultivators of the first native generation of metaverse citizens, we are excited to be building the foundational infrastructure that will drive mainstream GameFi adoption.”

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