Announcing our investment in CryptoKitties – the wildly popular, blockchain-based pet

We are very pleased to announce our investment in Axiom Zen, the maker of CryptoKitties. We participated in the $12M Series A alongside our friends at USV and a16z. And, we are excited to be working with the CryptoKitties team to create the leading crypto collectible platform.

If you’ve missed the CryptoKitty mania, it’s a game that lets users breed, raise and trade digital kitties. Each kitty is created on the distributed ledger and has a unique genome that defines its appearance and traits (“cattributes”). Each CryptoKitty is a unique object on the Ethereum blockchain, and can be bought or sold on the game’s marketplace. At one point, CryptoKitties accounted for nearly 30% of all transactions on Ethereum.

There are three things that got us really excited about CryptoKitties. First, it’s native to the blockchain. Crypto Collectibles is a powerful up-and-coming use case for blockchain. With CryptoKitties, people can create and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art thanks blockchain technology.

Another thing that drew us to CryptoKitties is that the team has taken an incredibly thoughtful approach to building products that put the user at the center, and thinking about what ownership and decentralization mean in the digital/crypto age. You can read co-founder Mack Flavelle’s post on Medium for more on this. It has been so impressive to see a product team deeply thinking through the tradeoffs of centralized and decentralized systems when designing a product and the industry will need more of this in order to use the advantages of decentralized systems in a broader way.

And lastly, CryptoKitties is powered by a rockstar team: Roham Gharegozlou, Mack Flavelle, Dieter Shirley, and Mik Naayem. They represent some of the best talent in the crypto space right now, combining product, blockchain/ crypto, and business building talents.

We are in the early innings when it comes to blockchain apps, but the earliest adoption of new technology platforms has often been driven by games and gaming companies. We believe that CryptoKitties can play a leading role in the mass adoption of blockchain going forward.

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