Bicameral Ventures Makes Strategic Investment in ClanPlay to Create Marketplace for Gamer Skills on The Aion Platform
What makes a Bicameral investment? True to our name and mandate, something that makes a world class standalone value proposition, but also drives real tangible value for the Aion interoperability platform. Our first portfolio company to be announced ClanPlay couldn’t be a better encapsulation of this thesis.
Let’s look at ClanPlay from a standalone investment lens first. Recently profiled in VentureBeat, ClanPlay is the essential intersection between stakeholders on a gaming platform. A marketplace where gamer skills are assigned monetary value and participants can directly incent and monetize in game actions and accomplishments. Coming from a company that built the highest rated app for gamers in the world, the platform is already trusted by leading game developers. With tournaments to be launched on Fortnite, PUBG and Clash Royale in Q4 2018 and PvP challenges and the full in-game action marketplace to be launched in Q1 2019, we’re confident the Good Game Marketplace is going to change the gaming industry.
In the months leading up to our investment, the ClanPlay team walked us step by step through their ambitious vision. A vision in which anyone can pay players for services inside games, where any gamer can put their skill to the test against each other, where game developers pay players to try out and engage with their games and where advertisers can hone in on hyper-granular target player segments. That’s big. Really big. By itself that’s a super enticing platform, but we love teams with existing products and domain expertise and ClanPlay’s current platform boasts nearly two million users! With the founders Leonard and Asaf’s, deep executive experience in successful game companies (Plarium, Dragonplay), we couldn’t have a better team at the helm to bring this home.
From a blockchain perspective, there are several blockchain gaming platforms that offer to add value transfer to games, but where ClanPlay differentiates itself is the ability to add logic to this value. To us that’s one of the key things differentiating a mediocre token strategy from a good one; is there a targeted, in-app logic that triggers this transfer of value and adds an extra layer of abstraction away from just using the underlying coin (ie. AION). ClanPlay’s ability to reach in games and pull out actions and outcomes to trigger value transfer makes this platform unique. Gaming is tailor made to have blockchain be a meaningful plus in the short term not only because there is already a simulation of value running through almost every game (points, XP, items etc), but also because there are an enormous universe of actions that a player takes that are already digital and are already able to be used to create a valuable, monetizable profile of that player that they control. We believe ClanPlay is the first blockchain gaming platform to go beyond simply transferring value and into creating a fulsome ecosystem that allows a player to monetize and exchange all types of in platform engagement.
We find ClanPlay to have a unique offering that caters to existing, enormous communities of the largest games we know. The other area ClanPlay really appeals to us as investors is the inclusion of a broader participant base than merely peer to peer interaction. ClanPlay has engaged with multiple high profile game developers that are extremely excited to participate in what ClanPlay’s CEO, Leonard describes as “the natural evolution of rewarded advertising”. This is where instead of paying Facebook or Google for the right to display ads on their platform, developers will be able to pay players directly to try out their game, based on the player’s gaming legacy and in relation to their engagement with the game. The very intriguing advertisers already in discussions with the platform give us confidence that this view is shared, and their inclusion provides a level of institutional demand for the token that we believe is missing from many projects.
Forgive me for a quick side-bar that I’ll expand into a full post eventually: there’s an evolving angle here around the immutable nature of data created on blockchain platforms and its ability to reduce the cost of acquiring trust. Any data driven service or product providers (advertisers, insurance companies, manufacturers, etc) has a certain miss rate in their models due to bad or incomplete data. They only trust their models a certain percent and a “model miss” (ie a certain consumer segment doesn’t like the car you’ve manufactured) requires capital to plug that deadweight loss. Capital is expensive and therefore prices are higher. If you can implement a system that allows you to materially reduce the cost of acquiring trust in your model, you have fewer misses, you need less capital and prices are lower without compromising returns. The pie is grown and value is created for the system in a manner that’s completely unable to be effected in either the analog world or in a digital world without immutable data integrity. This value is the institutional willingness to pay or “underwrite” a platform. ClanPlay giving developers and advertisers the ability to directly incent and accumulate their own hyper-granular data is an example of this and one reason why we think that there is so much early enthusiasm for this platform from some massive potential partners!
Plus, did we mention two million users? Access to a quickly expanding list of games featuring hundreds of millions of users? The stacked advisory board filled with gaming veterans? The 4.8 rating on Android and IOS and the multiple VentureBeat features including an awesome one just yesterday that featured Bicameral’s investment as well? We did? Ok just checking!!
Now, not to pat ourselves on our (super muscly) back, but notice that NONE of that mentioned strategic benefits to Aion at all as justification? Not to get all “don’t call me an ecosystem fund bro” on you, but first and foremost our investments need to make sense on a stand alone basis for our Rational Ecosystem Model to work. ClanPlay does.
Now for the Aion side. We are delighted that ClanPlay has chosen to build its logic, tournaments and Good Game token on the Aion platform! They are among the inaugural cohort of pioneers building on Aion. The low cost of transactions, speed of the network, roadmap towards seamlessly integrating several chains into their operations and the ability to go to market in the immediate term were all differentiating factors for the network.
ClanPlay aims to host massive scale tournaments and PvP matches governed by the GG token in the short term and the in-game actions market place following shortly after that. All of these will feature an AION wallet transacting in an AION based ATS token and generate meaningful transactions on the Aion blockchain. Picture this new oasis, thousands of players joining each tournament, competing in the most popular games you know and winning valuable GG tokens that go directly to their AION wallets. Top performers get paid to join clans and interesting games are offering hefty compensation for spending time discovering and engaging with them. A well-designed and incented way to capture value in gaming actions and let players monetize it. Such a scalable consumer facing platform also naturally leads to vast amounts of wallets and transactions for the Aion chain in the near term. We like where this is going!!
Kesem and I will be joining ClanPlay’s already stacked advisory board and we couldn’t be more excited to get in the trenches and work with the ClanPlay team to bring this vision to reality!!
About Bicameral Ventures
Bicameral Ventures is an innovative Venture Capital fund which both raises and deploys capital directly in cryptocurrency and invests in early stage projects leveraging the Aion interoperability blockchain platform. Bicameral Ventures was co-founded by Kesem Frank, co-founder of Aion and Nuco Inc. and Alex McDougall, fintech and M&A investment banking veteran with Bank of Montreal Capital Markets.