Atmos Labs has raised $11 million in a seed funding round to develop its "play and earn" metaverse.
Sfermion, an investor focused on non-fungible tokens (NFTs), led the round, according to an announcement on Monday. British hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard, Animoca Brands, Collab+Currency, FBG Capital, GSR, CoinGecko Ventures and Avocado Guild also participated, among several others.
Atmos says it will offer metaverse-native sports, in which players will also be able to own their gear, teams, identities and moments. "Atmos will deliver AAA-quality competitive gameplay and rich narratives that today are not very present in metaverse gaming," Kevin Beauregard, founder and CEO of Atmos Labs, told The Block.
"Atmos will deliver the promise of play-and-earn as opposed to play-to-earn. The game always comes first, with web3 technologies powering players and enabling economic layers," he added.
Beauregard said the round closed in March. He declined to comment on the valuation it gave Atmos or whether it was an equity or a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) round.
The first game
Atmos's first game will be ExoGP, which is described by Beauregard as "Formula 1 meets flight."
Players will race with each other to be among the first to cross the finish line. There will be three core player activities: mining (resource gathering), fabricating (crafting) and competing (initially flight racing), said Beauregard.
Every player will need "exoskeleton suits," called "exos," to compete. Exos will be in the form of NFTs.
"Exos can be staked to mine land with variable mineral distributions to generate resources that players can use to modify and upgrade their composition and capabilities," said Beauregard.
As for Atmos's business model, it will generate revenue from selling NFTs and "receive a portion of racing purses and secondary market sales," according to Beauregard.
Atmos will launch its games in phases, with alpha, beta and production releases. Its early adopters will have first access to games in the fall of this year, said Beauregard.
Atmos is currently building on Ethereum, but the firm is evaluating several Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible Layer 2s and competitive Layer 1s for gameplay, according to Beauregard.
When asked how Atmos was able to onboard high-profile investors, Beauregard said the firm's team is highly experienced in video games, crypto and design, among other factors. Atmos's vice president of game design, for example, is Dylan Bushnell, son of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and VP of product Todd Moffett has a background in streetwear and skater culture.
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