Leading Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden launches Magic Ventures, a new fund for promising blockchain games and gaming infrastructure.
Top Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden announced on Tuesday the launch of a Web3 gaming-centric investment arm called Magic Ventures. Magic Ventures will fund promising blockchain games and gaming infrastructure.
At the same time, Magic Ventures will onboard Web 3 developers through Magic Eden’s infrastructure as the latter expands its internal gaming arm, Eden Games. For this development, the platform has appointed Tony Zhao as Head of Gaming Investments.
Magic Ventures and the Arrival of Tony Zhao
Before joining Magic Eden, Zhao was a key member of Tencent Games’ Business Development and Investment team. While there, his focus was investing in emerging games but acquiring world-class studios and forming strategic partnerships across the entire portfolio of Tencent Games.
According to Zhao, Magic Eden would not reveal the amount of the venture fund, but he implied that the move is “purely strategic in nature.” He also clarified that the company is not looking for a high return on investment but is more focused on helping its partners succeed.
“We’re not thinking about returns—never have and never will,” said Zhao. “It’s just to align our partnership together, right? We truly want to be the go-to partners for these developers.”
“This is part of a package bundle to help developers make sure that they can have the best support from us in building their games,” he continued. “We’re not a VC fund. The purpose of this fund is not to make bets. It is to support and grow the Web 3 ecosystem overall. We’re going to partner with the developers to make them feel comfortable working with us.”
In June, Magic Eden’s valuation was at $1.6 billion after a $130 million funding round. Last March, the platform completed a $27 million fundraising, after which it announced its plans to build a gaming vertical.
Key Hires Concurrent with Magic Ventures
Concurrent with the launch of Magic Ventures, the company announced the onboarding of key hires and new partnerships for its internal gaming division. These people will enter Magic Eden’s ecosystem, offering a launching pad for primary sales of new NFTs and a secondary marketplace for current sales.
Presently, the Solana-based marketplace commands 90% or more of Solana’s entire NFT market share. According to Zhao, the objective is to make these game makers’ entry into the Web3 ecosystem as seamless as possible.
Aside from Zhao, Magic Eden has hired Yoonsup Choi, Harrison Chang, and Matt Biamonte. These men have extensive experience in e-sports and professional gaming and have also launched NFT projects individually. With these three’s knowledge of traditional gaming and NFTs, Magic Eden’s developers would have the customized recommendations and operational support to ensure success.
“With the hiring of Tony, Harrison, Yoon, and Matt, we are building a strong foundation from which we can continue to collaborate with exciting innovators in the Web3 gaming ecosystem. Eden Games is a fast-growing sector of our business, and we’re excited to continue its development,” said Jack Lu, CEO of Magic Eden.
Aside from Magic Ventures and the new hires, Magic Eden’s gaming arm, Eden Games, has finalized partnerships to build marketplaces for blockchain games. These games include, but are not limited to, Aurory, Sugar Realm, Mini Royale: Nations, VBA, Genopets, Yaku, Nekoverse, Halfwish, and Remnants. There are also plans to develop a suite of essential game tooling and services, thereby helping developers focus on building gameplay.
Last month, Magic Eden accounted for over 92% of gaming NFTs traded on Solana despite facing stiff competition from Justin Kan’s Fractal. Eden Games has steered over 50 games and seen more than 310,000 users mint or trade gaming-related NFTs on the company’s marketplace.
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