British esports organisation Fnatic has announced a strategic partnership, as well as investment, from cryptocurrency asset manager Hivemind Capital.
The deal is part of a funding round that includes a raft of other cryptocurrency organisations, ranging from metaverse platform GuildFi to gaming and Web3 investment fund WW Ventures.
The organisation claims that its new investors will help ‘further tech ambitions’ and allow Fnatic to develop its own Web3 applications. The team will explore scaling digital economies to enhance gaming performance and the quality of gaming experiences.
The deal builds on Fnatic’s existing work with Web3. The organisation agreed to an £11m partnership deal with industry giant Crypto.com in September 2021, and has since created its own blockchain-based fan membership programme.
Fnatic has historically been enthusiastic about diversifying its opportunities in efforts to become a gaming lifestyle brand. Fnatic has its own line of native gaming peripherals, including a line of upcycled chopstick desks in partnership with ChopValue. The organisation also recently released a lengthy lo-fi hip-hop album in collaboration with 40 music producers.
Hivemind is a relatively new company, founded in late 2021 by ex-Citi Bank executive Matt Zhang. The company primarily invests in crypto infrastructure, metaverse, and other Web3 projects. However, Zhang claimed that Fnatic’s global fan base and its place in gaming culture made the team a ‘natural candidate’ for sponsored acceleration of its Web3 efforts.
Fnatic CEO Sam Matthews commented in a press release that blockchain-enabled digital assets had the potential to be an ‘accelerant’ for gaming communities.
He said: “The partnership with Hivemind represents a big step for us towards a world where every gamer owns their digital assets and most games have an App-store-like developer-user ecosystem that’s transparent, thriving and enables millions more gamers to make a living from gaming.”