Gaming startup Lava Labs’ valuation tops $100 million in Series A raise

A London-based gaming studio that hopes to become the ‘Pixar of web3’ has raised fresh funding at an eye-grabbing valuation.

Lava Labs, a blockchain gaming startup launched in 2019 and advised by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, announced a $10 million Series A raise this morning. Its valuation is now upwards of $100 million, according to a person close to the deal.

The funds will go towards developing its first game, a third-person arcade platform called AFAR that pits 25 players against each other in a series of obstacle course and shooting-based challenges.


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“Our vision is entirely around ‘fun’ and creating an enduring world,” said Kaya Tilev, CEO and creative director of Lava Labs, in a statement. “We have been inspired by Pixar and Disney throughout our lives and believe we are in a position to create the next generation of dazzling entertainment through our specialized process.”

Lava’s Series A raise — which closed February 1 — was led by Dialectic, the Swiss investment firm. Other investors in the round included Merit Circle, Dragonfly, DeFiance Capital, Animoca Brands, Razer Computer, Weak Simp Cap, Dapper Labs and Maven 11, as well as angel investors Santiago R Santos, Gabby Dizon and Nick Chong.

The startup had previously been backed by Makers Fund, a venture capital firm focused on interactive entertainment.

According to its announcement, Lava is also preparing a virtual land sale — in the form of NFTs — that will see 10,000 plots hawked to its community. From the second quarter of this year, buyers will be able to use the land in a mini-game while AFAR remains under development.

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Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.