SINGAPORE, Feb. 24, 2022 — Singapore-based game finance (game-fi) blockchain startup, Ethlas, announced today that it has secured US$2.7 million in seed funding from investors such as Sequoia Capital India, Yield Guild Games Southeast Asia, Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, Venturra Capital, Play It Forward DAO, Blockchain Space, Genesis Fund, Deus Ex DAO, Hustle Fund, and executives from Grab, Coinbase, Switcheo and CoinMarketCap. The hitherto stealth start-up has also unveiled the identities of two of its four founders: American Gennady ‘Ari’ Medvinsky and Singaporean Elston Sam, who have both worked in top tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Grab, and Airbnb. The identities of the other two founders – one of whom is a very senior executive with a Big Tech firm – will be disclosed in due course.
The three-month-old Ethlas is the first game-fi startup founded in Singapore to have secured serious investor money, underlining the confidence that VCs have in this fledgling tech startup that first launched quietly in November 2021. Built on the Polygon blockchain, Ethlas has chalked up over 100,000 crypto-wallet users globally and scored some three million gameplays on its platform as of end-January 2022. The rapid scale that Ethlas achieved product market fit has been one of the key reasons for its seed fundraising success.
According to a Bloomberg report in January 2022, the number of blockchain games grew nearly threefold: from about 200 in 2020 to more than 544 in 2021. Most game-fi platforms have a high barrier of entry, requiring gamers to pay subscription fees or have upfront capital. On the contrary, Ethlas – a portmanteau of “Ethereum” and “Atlas” – is a free-to-play, play-to-earn platform which helps the lay person win and encash cryptocurrency, by participating in simple, easily-understood casual games that everyone is familiar with. Think Tetris, Candy Crush and Bubble Popper but way cooler. To start playing, gamers just need to install MetaMask, a software crypto wallet or link their wallets, and they can start playing in the Ethlas metaverse on a PC or mobile phone’s browser. There are no complicated onboarding rules or requirements to sign up with a hefty subscription fee.
“Komo” NFT minted
As part of its product roadmap, Ethlas will mint its first series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) called Komos. Modelled after the Komodo Dragons of Indonesia, the Komo NFTs will benefit both free-to-play gamers and crypto natives: Free-to-play gamers can use the five tiers of the Komo NFT to boost their gameplay and secure more $XGEM (Exchange Genesis Ethlas Medium), the in-game cryptocurrency in the Ethlas metaverse; crypto natives can benefit from the intrinsic value of a well-designed NFT that has in-game utility and facilitates scholarships (NFT rental). The Komo NFT series will be available before end-February 2022. Ethlas is also working with game studios to launch their games on their platform through a revenue-sharing model.
“The unique value proposition of Komo NFTs is that they do not only function as game passes on Ethlas granting players special access to games and features, they are also asset-backed NFTs, which consist of staked tokens wrapped as an ERC-721 token that has recently started gaining popularity. Ethlas’ Komo NFTs possess both intrinsic artistic as well as monetary value, thereby driving up their desirability as a piece of tradeable art. Most game NFTs do not provide such value as Komo,” says Ethlas co-founder, Elston Sam.
Moonshot vision of one billion users
The founders of Ethlas were intrigued by the potential of game-fi when they read of Filipinos earning more money from playing games on game-fi platforms than from their day jobs. With their convictions that Web 3.0 will be powered by cryptocurrency and its social impact, the four founders decided to take the plunge and leave their well-paying jobs to build Ethlas. Their moonshot vision: make crypto inclusive and accessible by onboarding the next billion non-crypto users onto the Ethlas metaverse. Ethlas has plans to work with regulators to develop a framework for game-fi as it believes regulations and consumer education are key to facilitate the growth of this currently nascent but immense game-fi ecosystem in a safe and controlled manner.
“Consumer gaming platforms can amass millions of engaged players – combine that with asset ownership through NFTs and a crypto rewards layer, the network incentives fall back into the hands of the players. This is an immensely powerful flywheel. We also like that Ethlas is onboarding native gamers onto Web 3.0 and that the team is hyper-focused on delivering a delightful gaming experience. We have been very impressed with the platform’s rapid user adoption and high gamer engagement, suggesting strong future growth prospects,” Aakash Kapoor, Vice President, Sequoia India.
“We recognise that blockchain has a high barrier of entry, and currently appeals only to a skewed demographic. While GBIC is always looking out for blockchain startups to invest in, we are looking for those with a serious direction and vision. The direction of Ethlas was very clear and we believe in their vision that games will be a significant channel to onboard the next billion users into crypto. Unlike the current play-to-earn games, Ethlas’ operating model allows even people who do not even know crypto to just do a one-click sign in with MetaMask, and they can play for fun and earn. We are excited to be one of the early VCs to help Ethlas take flight,” says Sinhae Lee, Partner, Global Blockchain Innovation Capital.
Ethlas has built up a team of more than 20 blockchain engineers, game developers, data scientists, cybersecurity experts and designers, based out of Singapore, Philippines and the United States. The startup is founded in Singapore as the country has a good tech ecosystem that fosters and enables innovation, especially in crypto, and has good access to venture capital. It will leverage its seed funding to aggressively hire tech talent in the Web 3.0 space.
Launched in November 2021, Ethlas is a free-to-play/play-to-earn blockchain-based game finance (GameFi) Metaverse built on the Polygon chain, the protocol for enabling interoperability and scalability within the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. Founded by a group of four tech leaders with extensive experience in leading teams across tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Airbnb and Grab, etc, Ethlas is headquartered in Singapore with offices in San Francisco Bay Area and New York, United States, and Manila, Philippines.
Within two months of its beta launch and with minimal marketing, Ethlas chalked up more than three million gameplays with over 100,000 unique wallet IDs to its gamepage. Ethlas minted its first Windblown asset-backed NFTs in December 2021.
The Ethlas GameFi metaverse has been voted “Best NFT Project” by Polygon, and ranked the number one blockchain casual game on PlayToEarn.net, which tracks and ranks the most popular crypto and NFT blockchain games.
Ethlas is backed by Sequoia Capital India, Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, Play It Forward DAO, Genesis Fund, Blockchain Space, Venturra Capital, and executives from Coinbase, CoinMarketCap, Grab and Switcheo.
Boston based Startup Mona Lee Secures $3.25M Seed Round to Redefine the Clean Energy Experience for Consumers
Converting to sustainable energy can be a costly and confusing process for consumers. Mona Lee is moving the clean energy industry forward with its innovative and customer-centric approach, allowing homeowners to install solar panels and storage for 40-50% lower costs than what the competition offers.
Mona Lee, a Boston-based startup founded by former Tesla employee Walid Halty, has announced the successful closure of a $3.25 million seed funding round. The round included investments from prominent players in the technology and consumer sectors, such as Ludlow Ventures, Shrug VC, Palm Tree Crew (founded by Norwegian DJ Kygo), Coalition Operators, Plug and Play Ventures, and The Pags Group, owned by Boston Celtics’ owner Steve Pagliuca.
Mona Lee is on a mission to make solar, storage and EV charging installation for homes affordable and hassle-free. Since its launch, the company has experienced remarkable growth, installing in over 7 states with over 150 new customers per month and an average cost-per-order of $28,000.
The potential for growth in the home solar and storage industry is staggering, with an estimated $250 billion opportunity over the next six years alone. With 142 million homes in the U.S. and only 2 million having switched to solar in the past two decades, Mona Lee aims to tap into the remaining 140 million homes expected to adopt solar power alone by 2029.
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has fueled consumer interest in clean energy in recent years and Mona Lee has met the moment. The company’s unique selling proposition lies in its AI-powered buying experience. Mona Lee’s technology demystifies the process of designing and purchasing a complete solar panel and storage system for homes, while cutting costs for consumers by 40-50%.
Mona Lee’s CEO, Walid Halty, shared his excitement about the company’s recent funding success, stating, “This funding round is a testament to the need for Mona Lee’s innovative approach in the home solar and storage industry. We are committed to making solar and storage installation a no-brainer for all homeowners, and this investment will allow us to further accelerate our growth and expand our reach.”
With its innovative technology and commitment to bringing affordable and seamless solar and storage installation to homes across the country, Mona Lee is poised to redefine the clean energy experience for consumers.
About Mona Lee
Mona Lee is a Boston-based startup co-founded by Walid Halty, an ex-Tesla employee. The company is focused on making solar installation affordable and hassle-free for homeowners. With its AI-powered design and buying experience, Mona Lee aims to simplify the process of purchasing and installing a complete solar panel system–enabling every home to fulfill its own energy needs, while contributing to a more sustainable future.
floLIVE Closes on $47M as Demand for its Unique Hyperlocal Global Network Surges
Co-led by Greenfield Partners and 83North, the new funding will further accelerate the company’s growth in delivering unparalleled global connectivity solutions
floLIVE, creator of the world’s first and largest hyperlocal global cellular network and a leading provider of global connectivity, network and Connectivity Management Platforms for IoT, announced today that it has raised $47M in a Series C round of funding. The round was co-led by Greenfield Partners and existing investor 83North, with Qualcomm Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Saban Ventures, and Hazelnut Partners participating in the round.
floLIVE will use the funds to increase its global footprint by partnering with additional MNOs, expand its unique multi-IMSI over eSIM technology, launch an integrated satellite connectivity offering and introduce new and innovative solutions to the market such as advanced location-based applications, network-based cybersecurity services, secure data routing and more.
The global connectivity market has dramatically changed over the last few years, with OEMs and global enterprises becoming more knowledgeable and more demanding in their global IoT connectivity needs. The need for a modern, highly available global connectivity solution that enables real-time visibility, customization of network behaviour, cybersecurity protection and regulatory compliance has become a mandatory requirement.
At the same time, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) who relied on legacy, consumer-oriented platforms are now seeking modern, cloud-based solutions that will not only adhere to the requirements introduced by those global enterprises in a cost-effective way but will also turn their IoT business into a profitable one by generating new business opportunities and achieving better unit economics. Furthermore, they are looking for ways to move away from an over-reliance on roaming agreements, which do not suit all IoT use cases and may be challenged by the wide eSIM adoption.
floLIVE’s unique hyperlocal global network spans across all continents and offers localized connectivity in a streamlined manner. This one-of-a-kind globally distributed and API-driven cellular data network serves as the underlying infrastructure for enterprises, OEMs, IoT Service Providers and MNOs – all who benefit from a modern carrier-grade, secure, robust platform that allows them to build a profitable IoT business while introducing new revenue sources and sophisticated value-added services.
floLIVE’s solutions are based on a unique, advanced, cloud-native software architecture that reduces time to market, guarantees low TCO and provides an unprecedented degree of flexibility. These offerings facilitate high performance and prolonged battery life for LPWA and broadband use cases.
“We look for highly differentiated infrastructure technologies that can support a robust and modern technology stack on top of them”, said Avery Schwartz, Partner at Greenfield Partners. “After tracking the company and space for some time, floLIVE’s rapid growth adds to our conviction that the company has developed a unique solution that elegantly solves for the full matrix of pain points traditionally plaguing the IoT connectivity market. This solution lays the foundation for new and innovative services that will dramatically change the IoT space as we know it; we are delighted to join floLIVE’s promising journey.”
“The value of floLIVE’s offering becomes increasingly clear when global enterprises are looking for a truly unified, sophisticated global connectivity solution and MNOs are searching for more robust and profitable technology partners,” said Yoram Snir, Partner at 83North.
With floLIVE, clients enjoy full management, control and visibility of every network element while supporting all use cases – from one carrier-grade global platform.
“This is a really strong vote of confidence from our existing investors as well as new investor Greenfield Partners, reiterating the value of our solution, especially during a tough economic climate where technology investments have been decreasing substantially,” said Nir Shalom, CEO, floLIVE. “We have already transformed the landscape of global IOT connectivity with our hyperlocal, global platform that addresses the needs of both OEMs and MNOs. We’re excited to use this investment to increase our global footprint and deliver more value to our customers.”
floLIVE operates the first and largest hyperlocal global cellular data network, based on local POPs in dozens of locations worldwide. With the largest global connectivity library of its kind, we provide centrally managed, localized connectivity for any device, anywhere. Global means no limits on where you do business; local means low latency, high performance, and full compliance. Our network has been designed to comply with the emergence of privacy acts, data regulations and roaming restrictions. Best of all, we provide direct access to our network, that lets you control your connectivity as if you were the carrier. Monitor your devices, access real-time network events and usage, switch operators remotely, and troubleshoot failures ahead of time, so your devices never miss a beat.
About Greenfield Partners
Greenfield Partners is an investment firm focused on exceptional early growth stage technology businesses. With a dual presence in Tel Aviv and New York, the Greenfield team fuses deep local Israeli roots and an expansive global network to support entrepreneurs in their quest to build thriving technology companies.
83North is a global venture capital firm with over $2.2B under management. The fund invests across all stages, in exceptional entrepreneurs, whose focus is to build global category leading companies.
Biomaterials startup altM raises $3.5M Seed round from Omnivore’s new fund
altM plans to use these funds to bring forth an engineering- and manufacturing-driven lens to circularity and sustainability. This marks the first investment from the Omnivore Agritech & Climate Sustainability Fund.
7 Sep 2023, National: Biomaterials startup altM announced today that it has raised a USD 3.5 million Seed round led by Omnivore. Other investors include Theia Ventures, Thai Wah Ventures, Sanjiv Rangrass, Neha Mudaliar, Maninder Gulati from OYO, Mirik Gogri from Spectrum Impact, and Paula Mariwala from Aureolis Ventures.
altM is Omnivore’s first investment from its third fund, which recently had a first close at USD 150 million. This is also the firm’s fourth investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, which was setup in 2021 to back early-stage agrifood life science startups.
altM aims to develop and manufacture scalable biomaterials to help large industries reduce their carbon footprints across their supply chains. The startup uses lignocellulosic agricultural residues as their raw material to produce advanced materials as alternatives to unsustainable incumbents. Given its sustainability potential and functional properties, lignocellulosic biomass offers a unique technological appeal to form a family of materials.
altM, which is based in Bengaluru, was founded in 2022 by Apoorv Garg and Yugal Raj Jain, who met while working at Tesla in the US. Before altM, Apoorv served in supply chain and engineering leadership roles at Prometheus Fuels, Tesla, and Maruti Suzuki. He is an alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley (M.Eng.) and Delhi College of Engineering (B.Tech.). Yugal earlier worked at Tesla in engineering leadership roles, managing several factory and product launches. He is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.Eng.) and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (B.E.). The team also includes Dr. Harshad Velankar with over 20 years of academic and industrial experience across India, the US, and South Africa. He previously led bioprocess research at HPCL, with prior stints at Praj Industries and Reliance Life Sciences.
Apoorv Garg, CEO and Co-Founder at altM, said, “The scale-up of a technology from a laboratory bench to commercial production is not a trivial undertaking. Production scale-up is often the death valley for biotech startups. Our focus on go-to-market strategy, execution, and production scale-up will be the differentiator to most endeavors we see in the world of biomaterials today.”
Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore, said, “With Apoorv and Yugal’s background in manufacturing excellence, altM’s entry into industrial alternative materials will hasten the global shift towards sustainability and circularity. Omnivore is very excited to be a part of their journey as we kick off our new fund.”
. . .
About altMaltM aims to develop and manufacture scalable biomaterials to help large industries reduce carbon footprints across their supply chains. The startup uses lignocellulosic agricultural residues as their raw material to produce advanced materials as alternatives to unsustainable incumbents.
Omnivore is a venture capital firm based in India which funds entrepreneurs building the future of agriculture and food systems.
Boston based Startup Mona Lee Secures $3.25M Seed Round to Redefine the Clean Energy Experience for Consumers
Roadzen Secures Nasdaq Listing With $683 Million Equity Value
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