We recently welcomed Freeverse.io to the Adara family, a Barcelona-based startup and pioneer in the fast-growing non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) ecosystem. The Freeverse.io team has developed a technology that permits the creation and management of blockchain-based Living Assets, an evolved version of NFTs with the potential to power more scalable and sustainable business models in the virtual goods space.
The $1 million seed round was led by Adara Ventures and 4Founders Capital, with participation from Seedway Ventures, Key Wolf, and several angel investors, including Luis Fernández, co-founder of Playgiga, another Adara portfolio company acquired by Facebook in 2019, and David Xicota, co-founder of Gamesdonia, a company acquired by GSN Games in 2016.
NFTs are a type of digital asset designed to prove a person has ownership of a unique virtual item or collectible, such as a piece of online artwork, a video, or even a sports trading card. In the online gaming world, this could include assets such as weapons or skins. Unlike other digital tokens, such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs are not interchangeable, i.e., they cannot be replaced by another identical item. Each one has a clear trace of ownership preserved on the blockchain.
Over the past year, we’ve seen an explosion of interest in NFTs, with sales (primarily of artwork and collectibles) soaring to more than $2 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone. However, collectibles and static assets represent only a tiny fraction of NFTs potential. There is a significant opportunity for NFTs to be Living Assets that can evolve over time as users engage with them.
Opposed to regular NFTs, a Living Asset may change in response to its age, certain events, seasons, number of social interactions, or any other activity imaginable. As a result, instead of remaining a passive, immutable collectible, an NFT becomes an active, mutable asset. The asset owner has a motivation to interact with it on a regular basis, whether it’s viewing, sharing, or trading with it, and creators have unprecedented ways to boost user engagement, retention, and monetization.
The evolving nature of Living Assets (“NFT 2.0”) presents new technical challenges as most blockchains cannot readily support the countless transactions required to create, but constantly evolve, NFTs, especially in the videogame industry. Living Assets require a new agreement between creators and users — one that grants users full ownership of the asset, while the creator retains the ability to evolve the asset’s state. For example, a user could acquire a new weapon in a videogame only if that weapon has properties certified by the game’s creator.
Freeverse.io has developed a patent-pending Layer-2 blockchain technology that facilitates transactions between creators and users of Living Assets in a way that addresses the needs of this fast-growing market.
The startup was founded by a team of technology-industry veterans in 2019 and was brought together by Dr. Toni Mateos, co-founder of ImmSound, which Dolby Laboratories acquired in 2012. The rest of the founding team includes Dr. Alun Evans, Alessandro Siniscalchi, and Fernando Estalella, who have decades of experience in technology and startups.
The global video gaming market is on track to pass the $200 billion mark by 2023 and is among the first to exploit the enormous potential of NFTs. However, NFTs that can evolve based on creator-authored evolution or real-life events will unleash limitless possibilities for the next generation of gaming and digital asset ownership.
We’re thrilled to partner with the Freeverse.io team and support them on their mission of bringing these virtual assets to life without removing the core properties of verified ownership and rareness.