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Fractal Raises $35M, Led By Multicoin Capital and Paradigm
Fractal’s $35M Raise
What’s happening: Fractal, an NFT and gaming marketplace led by Justin Kan (the co-founder of Twitch), has raised $35 million, co-led by Multicoin Capital and Paradigm, with participation from a16z crypto, Solana Ventures, Animoca, Coinbase, Play Ventures, Position Ventures, Do Kwon, and Tim Ferriss.
Why it matters: As more venture capital flows into the web3 space, early leaders will emerge across multiple verticals. Fractal aims to become the marketplace for NFTs and gaming enthusiasts to trade NFTs and interact with their favorite games while being able to show off their collections within Fractal.
The upside of a vertically-integrated platform for all of this activity is clear: Integration reduces fees, increases the speed of transactions, and provides an all-in-one experience for users who prefer to engage with many of their favorite IPs under one roof.
As Multicoin notes, the hyper-verticalization of the NFT space is coming. Large marketplaces like OpenSea and LooksRare will be supplanted by marketplaces that cater to a specific vertical or a small group of closely related verticals. Specialized marketplaces will enable a broader and more targeted range of benefits for their users based on the specific activities within the vertical, as opposed to the current set of marketplaces, which more closely resemble open-air NFT bazaars.
The real upside, from my perspective, is discovery within the platform. Fractal users will engage with a curated selection of games but also have the ability to discover new games and NFT collections within the platform. A user may come to the platform initially for a certain NFT collection or game (i.e., they’ll come for the marketplace), but as they spend time within the Fractal universe, they may discover other NFT collections and games (i.e., they’ll stay for the community and discoverability).
This leads to the core incentive for NFT collections and games to list on Fractal. They get a platform to engage with their current players and collectors, but they now have access to a much larger curated audience of gamers and NFT collectors.
What to look for going forward: Watch for more large venture capital raises by verticalized marketplaces that seek to cater to a specific audience utilizing the underlying technology behind NFTs, instead of hype-driven collections that come and go or those that create a community for the sake of having a community as we see in the space currently.
Fractal: The Web3 Amusement Park [Multicoin Capital Blog]