Pixelmon, the first truly decentralized web3 gaming IP delivering ownership of IP and in-game assets through its unique fractionalized IP ecosystem, Mon Protocol, announced that it had raised a seed investment of $8 million. The round saw participation from Animoca Brands, Delphi Ventures, Amber Group, Bing Ventures, Bitscale Capital, Cypher Capital, Foresight Ventures, Mechanism Capital, Sfermion, Spartan Labs, VistaLabs, and others. Prior to the cash injection, Pixelmon already boasted a healthy treasury with a runway extending to 2027 at the current burn rate. Pixelmon will use the funding to continue development across its differentiated portfolio of casual and mid-core games.
The round also saw participation from a long list of founders, angels, KOLs, and ecosystem partners. Angels who invested included Ray Chan, founder of 9GAG Inc., Kun Gao, founder of Crunchyroll, Robbie Ferguson, co-founder of Immutable, Gabby Dizon, co-founder of Yield Guild Games (YGG), and founders of cryptocurrency exchanges, Bit2Me and Tokocrypto, as well as web3 advisory firm, Emfarsis. High-profile KOLs Alex Becker, FaZe Banks, Gorilla, Seatin, Loopify, NFTboi, EllioTrades, and Zeneca also participated. Ecosystem support came from Mask Network, Merit Circle, and Ordzaar.
“The decentralized IP system that Mon Protocol is establishing is significant because it will empower creative communities and IP core fan bases to participate actively in the long-term success of a consumer franchise, taking full advantage of true digital ownership and network effects. I am thrilled to see Pixelmon further develop its ecosystem of games and become the leading global 18-35 monster collecting IP,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands.
The funding follows the highly successful launch of Kevin the Adventurer (KTA), Pixelmon’s first hypercasual game. Deployed in October 2023 on Coinbase’s native Layer 2, Base, the addictive side-scroller saw 36,000 active players and 10,100 hours played in its launch month. A second hypercasual game, PixelPals, which features pet and habitat management blended with trading card mechanics, is set to launch on Mantle this first quarter of 2024.
Pixelmon’s regular hypercasual releases have kept the community engaged while the team focuses on their major release for the core Pixelmon IP, including a rebuild of its free-to-play desktop title, Arena, to introduce survival-based horde gameplay, new Pixelmon abilities, and core game loops, targeting a 2024 release. Further, Hunting Grounds, an open-world adventure game with RPG elements and PvP autobattler tournaments, is set for open beta in 2024 and a full release in early 2025, with three distinct modes: combat, social hub/metaverse, and exploration. Pixelmon plans to grow its decentralized IP across verticals, including merchandise, trading card games (TCG), animated series, comic books, and more, via franchises, sublicenses, and joint ventures.
“We are very excited to be backing Pixelmon on the next chapter of their journey. The ecosystem has shown massive resilience in accumulating its early battle scars and lore, and we believe the team led by Giulio is strongly positioned to show the world what IP forged in the fiery flames of crypto is capable of,” said Piers Kicks, Founding Partner, Delphi Ventures.
Spearheading the Pixelmon team is Giulio Xiloyannis, co-founder and CEO of LiquidX, who was part of the founding team of the Southeast Asian online fashion retailer, ZALORA, where he served as a co-founder and member of the executive team from inception through IPO. Bringing together top talent from gaming studios globally, Executive Producer Izzal Ibrahim and Gaming Engineering Director Sean-Li Murmann both previously worked at Streamline Studios on titles such as Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel vs. Capcom, Street Fighter V, and Final Fantasy XV. Art Director Stefan Ivanov brings 16 years of experience at EA and Ubisoft, having worked on Formula 1 and Mortal Kombat, among others.
“Mon Protocol opens a new and exciting phase in the Pixelmon journey, with $MON as the ecosystem token powering all of our games as well as our fractionalized IP ecosystem. We all know that the Pixelmon journey was a nonlinear one, so we are honored to have such high caliber founders and experienced ecosystem partners joining us now. The level of support we’ve received is proof that Pixelmon has truly ‘respawned’ from its tumultuous initial mint and it is a demonstration of Web3’s relentless drive to make this industry a success,” said Xiloyannis.
Following its initial NFT mint in February 2022 and acquisition by Singapore-based LiquidX in September 2022, the project’s art and 3D creatures have been revamped and polished while the team continues to develop the expansive gaming world ahead of its major launch in Q1. The team also introduced evolutions to the Genesis Pixelmon collection, providing ownership rights and access to a sub-pool of licensing revenue for each creature’s IP. Today, Pixelmon has 200,000 followers on X, 30,000 members on Discord, and over 25,000 unique NFT holders, with more than 60,000 wallets engaged on-chain across its NFT collections and minigames.