Framework co-founders unpack their $400 million gaming fund's investment thesis

Episode 35 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Michael Anderson & Vance Spencer, cofounders of Framework Ventures.

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After experiencing early success as one of the first VC firms to “go all-in on DeFi,” San-Francisco-based Framework Ventures is looking to expand its footprint in blockchain gaming, which is one of the main focal points of its recently-announced $400 million fund.

In this episode of The Scoop, Framework co-founders Michael Anderson and Vance Spencer sat down with host Frank Chaparro to explain their new fund’s investment thesis which centers around the idea that blockchain gaming is “getting to the point of mass-market appeal.”

As Anderson explained during the interview, the combination of AAA quality game design and in-game ‘play-to-earn’ economies is the key to mass adoption:

“That combinatorial effect is the transition that we predict will move from ‘play-to-earn’ into ‘play-and-earn’ where it’s more that you want to be playing the game because it’s a really fun and engaging game. You get to compete at the highest levels, and you get to play in the economy in the same ways that you get to with Axie.”

Despite surging in popularity in 2021, the ‘play-to-earn’ game Axie Infinity has recently seen declining activity, something exacerbated by a $600 million hack earlier this year.

According to the Framework co-founders, the remedy to the complexities and risks of blockchain gaming is in custodial solutions — another big theme of their new fund which the two co-founders hope will lead to mass adoption.

As Spencer explained:

“All of the game loops, all of the things that are super important to these game developers, break without these custodial experiences. And so this is going to be the kind of paradigm through which all of the people will initially come in.”

Framework Ventures isn’t the only VC firm that sees blockchain gaming as crypto’s next major development: South Korean VC firm Hashed also shared with The Scoop how they are betting big on gaming with their own $200 million fund deployed last December.

During this episode, Chaparro, Anderson, and Spencer also discuss:

  • Blockchain game economies
  • Growth hacking vs. ‘ponzinomics’
  • Earning income in a Web3 world

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