Belgian blockchain-based tool provider Venly has raised €23 million ($23m) in a Series A round of funding led by Courtside Ventures and ten other venture capital firms. The company provides NFT solutions for well-established names, including metaverse The Sandbox, Bondly and previously Ubisoft.
The company was founded in 2018, previously under the name of Arkane Network, with the goal of creating tools and products that help companies benefit from and adopt blockchain technology. Initially, it focused on targeting gaming companies and helping incorporate their product into Web3. Now, it is looking to target the eCommerce sector.
Venly currently provides a digital wallet, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, and other NFT tools to facilitate and improve drops. Use cases include onboarding gamers, minting and selling NFTs, digital asset custody, and building a game inventory system. It says its wallet stores more than $1 billion in assets.
The startup also has a product in the Shopify app store to enable users to create and sell digital assets via their Shopify storefront. Its tools support more than a dozen blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Hedera, Polygon and layer 2 solution ImmutableX.
Prior to this round of funding, Venly had raised a total of $2 million. With the new investment, the company is looking to continue expanding its footprint in the gaming industry and making eCommerce integration a bigger priority. In addition, it will launch an accelerator track program where startups will be able to use Venly’s tools at a discount rate and get guidance and investments from Venly’s team.
“The problem today is that most developers and end-users have difficulty interacting with Web3 technology. It needs to be more aligned with Web2 usability, which is exactly what the Venly platform provides. Our APIs and services allow a Web2 company to seamlessly integrate with Web3,” said Venly’s CEP Tim Dierckxsen.
The expansion strategy into commerce may be a strategic move in recognition of competition. Forte, a blockchain tool platform specifically for gaming, raised $725 million at the end of last year in a Series B round of funding from investors including Animoca, Warner Music, and Andreessen Horowitz. Forte also inked a partnership with Zynga, the game publisher behind Farmville.
Other investors in the Venly funding include Transcend Fund, Coinbase Ventures, Tioga Capital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Fortino, Plug and Play, Leadblock Partners, Imec Istart, Powerhouse and Alpaca VC.