Big-name investors back CryptoKitties app

The favorite Ethereum blockchain-based game CryptoKitties has just received $12 million in funding.

Despite claims that the “Bitcoin bubble” is about to burst, big-name investors, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, jumped on board during the first round of funding.

The CryptoKitties creators revealed that it would spin out of its developer, Axiom Zen, and has acquired some serious backing.

Early Facebook investor (Andreessen Horowitz) and early Twitter backer (Union Square) have both invested heavily in the company.

Both investors already have experience in the crypto space with both having shares in cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Taking the blockchain mainstream

Since its release on November 28th, CyrptoKitties has exploded in popularity.

The game involves creating and breeding virtual cats.

As new generations of kitties are created, their unique digital genetic material is stored on the blockchain.

Users can then buy and sell their cats using cryptocurrency Ethereum, which must be purchased by players to enable CryptoKittie trades.

Union Square describes CryptoKitties as “the world’s first and most successful consumer blockchain product,” on its website.

One of the firm’s partners, Fred Wilson, said in a blog post about the investment:

“At Union Square Venture, we think digital collectibles is one of many amazing things that blockchains enable that literally could not be done before this technology emerged.

“We also think digital collectibles and all of the games they enable will be one of the first, if not the first, big consumer use cases for blockchain technologies.”

CryptoKitties’ chief creative officer, also known as “Fat Cat” Mack Flavelle, said that he sees the game as a way of taking the blockchain mainstream, saying:

“We really do believe that decentralization is going to have a dramatic and powerful impact on the human experience and hope to make these wildly new concepts approachable.

“CryptoKitties was an attempt, and an arguable wildly successful attempt, to do that.”

Valuable kitties

One of the reasons behind the game’s success is it’s been an incredibly lucrative venture for some users.

According to estimates, since the CryptoKittie’s launch, players have sold roughly $23.2 million worth of digital cats.

Since November, kitties have been traded over 330,000 times.

The highest price paid for a cat to date was $110,707 worth of Ethereum, at the time of sale.

Additional CryptoKitties’ angel investors include CEO of AngelList Naval Ravikant,  Zynga founder Mark Pincus, and Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase.