Metaverse Magna (MVM), a blockchain gaming platform, has raised a $3.2 million seed sale token round to expand its efforts to build Africa’s largest gaming DAO and provide gamers with access to world-class opportunities. The second venture to be publicly announced by Nestcoin, Metaverse Magna, was incubated in partnership with Old Fashion Research, a multi-strategy blockchain investment fund.

Launched in December 2021, Metaverse Magna is building its community of gamers as a gaming guild. With this model, Metaverse Magna offers play-to-earn scholarships to over 1,000 gamers to play crypto games like Axie Infinity and Pegaxy. Since its launch, the venture has grown to over 100,000 members across its products and community. 

According to a report by Newzoo, a game analytics company, gamers in sub-Saharan Africa increased to 186 million in 2021 from 77 million in 2015. The report also states that 95% of the market is on mobile phones, reflecting the continent’s improved internet access and affordable smartphones. 

On a call with TechCabal, Nestcoin’s CEO and co-founder, Yele Bademosi, said that the opportunity for Metaverse Magna came from the number of gamers on the continent, combined with the absence of any platform that operated at the intersection of cryptocurrency and gaming on the continent.

Bademosi added that his main driving force has been to see digital assets adopted more widely in the mainstream and used as a tool for economic transformation. As a founding partner at Microtraction, Bademosi has invested in several Web 3-based African companies like Buycoins, Yellow Card, and Bitsika. He also helped Binance’s expansion into Africa before founding Bundle, a social payment platform for cash and cryptocurrencies.

According to him, his previous contributions to the African blockchain ecosystem are not enough to drive mainstream adoption. “The evolution of crypto utility adoption in Africa is going to be driven by these applications that the everyday person can use,” he said. 

Gaming is an efficient way to introduce people to digital assets, crypto wallets, and financial rewards. The global mobile gaming industry generated $93 billion in revenue in 2021, making it bigger than other digital industries like music and online movie streaming. While giving gamers access to crypto, Metaverse Magna empowers competitive and casual gamers to earn an income from the opportunities within this growing industry.

The round saw participation from Wemade, Tess Ventures, LD Capital, Taureon, Gumi Cryptos Capital, HashKey, AFF, Polygon Studios, Casper Johansen (Spartan), and IndiGG. Bademosi said that approaching this diverse group of investors was strategic and necessary for making MVM’s vision a reality. 

In a statement shared with TechCabal, Henry Chang, CEO of Wemade, a South Korean video game developer, said: “Gaming guilds will be one of the mainstream DAOs and play a pivotal role in game tokenomics, and our partnership with MVM is an opportunity to expand the ecosystem of WEMIX in Africa, a continent with a rapidly growing market and a young population.”

MVM’s raise is coming at an interesting time when investors are not so eager to deploy funds, while those taking the risk are doing so at reduced valuations of startups. Speaking to this, Bademosi told TechCabal that in the round, MVM  optimised for value rather than for towering valuations.

“I have never been one to optimise for valuations. Having the right mix of investors and partners on board is more important than achieving sky-high valuations. At the end of the day, I want my investors to be convinced that they are getting a good deal; a fair price. For the MVM raise, the valuation I had in mind was what we eventually raised. We may have been able to push for a higher valuation, but that’s not my mentality, and this is something I always try to tell entrepreneurs,” Bademosi said.

The entrepreneur-cum-investor also spoke about MVM’s intention to create a sustainable digital economy for gamers. According to him, Africa’s 60% unemployment rate is a problem that doubles as an opportunity for the over 186 million gamers on the continent if the right infrastructure is built. 

Despite Africa’s 24% internet penetration rate, Bademosi believes the continent is ripe for a crypto-driven product like MVM. He argues that internet penetration in Africa is growing exponentially and that in the coming years, hundreds of millions of Africans will be plugged into the internet, and then into gaming and Web3.  

With this raise, MVM is pushing to cement itself as Africa’s pioneering and largest gaming network. Speaking about the firm’s ambitions, Bademosi said: “ By next year, we would love to see MVM leading the social gaming conversation in Africa, unlocking opportunities not just for gamers, but also for game developers. And in a decade, I would love for us to have the kind of impact that Tencent has had on the gaming industry in Asia. If we can do up to 2% of that, it will be incredible.”

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