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Web3 Gaming-Focused Marketplace AQUA Raises $10M From Steve Cohen-Backed Firm DIGITAL

Posted September 29, 2022 3:27 pm
4 min
By Jethro Sandico

Blockchain gaming-focused community platform AQUA launched on September 28, 2022, a digital marketplace dedicated for in-game assets. Along with the launch, the company also announced that it has raised $10 million from Steve Cohen-backed investment firm DIGITAL.

AQUA is designed as a blockchain-agnostic marketplace that can operate with various networks including Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, and Ethereum. The platform already has partnerships with games such as Gods Unchained and Guild of Guardians. The team will add new titles every month to further expand AQUA’s game portfolio.

“Gaming is going to be the primary venue for the next 300 million people to get into Web3,” AQUA CEO Sean Ryan said in a recent interview. “Gaming is the biggest, fastest-growing media on the planet and has some pretty technically adept folks who can put up with some of the friction that we see right now if they’re really excited about the game.”

NFTs and Games

Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are the central element that drives virtually all games on the blockchain. In fact, these digital assets are usually a prerequisite for players who wish to enter some games. 

For example, in Play-to-Earn (P2E) game Crabada, participants must obtain hermit crab NFTs called “Crabadas.” Holders can use these in-game assets to battle other teams and possibly earn rewards. 

The utility of NFTs in games has expanded since its inception. Today, it is possible to acquire NFTs of lands, potions, weapons, armors, characters, vehicles, and everything in between. 

Despite unfavorable market conditions (see “bear market”), it is impossible to overlook blockchain gaming’s continuous progress. With the inevitable growth of the community, a player-dedicated NFT marketplace like AQUA can help provide better Web3 experiences for gamers worldwide.

About AQUA

AQUA is a marketplace built exclusively for Web3 gaming. The platform allows players to explore the growing blockchain gaming space, while providing them with vital insights and statistics. AQUA offers the content and the tools that users need to acquire, sell, or swap in-game assets from various games.

“The current Web3 game landscape is rapidly changing, with frequent updates and new titles on the way, so it’s our mission to highlight great games from studios big and small, and across a wide variety of blockchains, starting with Immutable, Polygon and Ronin,” Ryan said in a statement in mid-June. 

The company’s core team is composed of:

Sean Ryan (CEO)

Before becoming AQUA’s CEO in April 2022, Sean Ryan spent over a decade as Facebook’s (now Meta) VP of Business Platform Partnerships. During his term with the company, Ryan led a 600-person “global partnerships and partner engineering organization” that manages various facets of the brand including payments and blockchain, gaming, audience network, developer platform, and many more.

John Cahill (CTO)

AQUA CTO John Cahill is a tech executive with a wealth of experience in “driving success for technology enterprises.” He uses his background in software development and product management to help projects from an engineering standpoint.

Alay Joglekar (Head of Marketing)

When Alay Joglekar became a founding member of AQUA, he brought with him years of experience working as global content head for companies such as Revolut, Riot Games, and Ayzenberg.

About DIGITAL

DIGITAL is an investment firm founded by Mark Daniel, Benjamin Milstein (OhhShiny), and billionaire Steve Cohen (owner of Major League Baseball team the New York Mets). The company works with infrastructure projects such as blockchain protocols and developer tools, as well as cultural applications such as Web3 games and NFT platforms.

According to the group, DIGITAL supports projects regardless of stage and size (with investments ranging from $250k to $50 million). Some of the blockchain entities that the firm has invested in include AQUA, Dapper Labs, Guild of Guardians, Immutable X, MoonPay, Recur, Sky Mavis, and Yuga Labs, to name a few.

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