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Polygon-Based Gaming Platform FreshCut Raises $15M

FreshCut CEO James Kuk joins the wave of former Twitch execs starting their own Web3 gaming companies.

4 min read
Image: freshcut.gg

From Justin Kan’s Fractal to Kevin Lin’s Metatheory, former Twitch executives are continuing to make a splash in Web3. 

Now, James Kuk—previously Twitch’s global head of business development and strategic partnerships—is ready to take his Web3 gaming platform FreshCut to the next level. With $15 million in new funding in a round led by Galaxy Interactive, Animoca Brands, and Republic Crypto, FreshCut is continuing to develop its short-form video content platform, which is currently live in browser and app form.

Polygon, Hashed, "PUBG" co-founder CH Kim, NBA star Andre Igoudala, and others also participated in the funding round.

FreshCut will be “watch-and-earn” and “create-and-earn,” meaning that both viewers and content creators will be able to earn the platform’s FreshCut Diamond ($FCD) token. FCD is based on Polygon and launched last week—but anyone looking to earn will have to wait until FreshCut launches its wallet integration sometime this summer or complete "quests" in the FreshCut Discord server.

Image: Screenshots from the FreshCut iOS mobile app. Clips can be viewed full-screen.

The platform will also have a tipping and a membership subscription feature, where viewers can use their FCD tokens to unlock extra perks. 

FreshCut tokenomics

In an interview with Decrypt, Kuk shared his view on Web3 tokenomics—arguing that many projects haven’t locked up their tokens for long enough and haven’t allocated enough to their communities.

He wants to change that with FreshCut, whose token will also act as a governance token of sorts, allowing holders to have a say in what happens on the platform.

“If you’re trying to build something long-term and sustainable and that has real value, it can’t just be a flash in the pan,” Kuk said. “This is why a lot of Web3 gets a bad rap. It’s all about play-to-earn, earn your stuff, dump your stuff before everyone else catches up and catches on… [but] that’s just bad for 1) gaming and 2) just building for people. And that’s what Web3’s all about—it’s actually about people, not companies.”

The FCD tokens held by the FreshCut team and its investors are in a one-year lockup period and have a longer vesting period. FreshCut is also allocating 50% of its tokens to its community.

“We’re going to be building forever,” Kuk said.

When it comes to content, Kuk said FreshCut will be all about curation. He doesn’t want the app to have a chaotic feed filled with spam, clickbait, or low-quality video content. 

The platform has already onboarded roughly 200 content creators; Kevin Lin and longtime Twitch streamer Tucker “JERICHO” Boner are among FreshCut’s investors. 

Twitch partner and Axie Infinity streamer Brycent is an advisor for FreshCut. He told Decrypt via Twitter DM that in his view, FreshCut isn’t a competitor to Twitch because FreshCut is focusing exclusively on short-form VOD (video-on-demand) content. 

“DLive and Theta were great ideas but gaining significant traction in the streaming space is tough because most gamers are loyal to the 'Big 2' (Twitch and YouTube) for streaming,” Brycent said, referring to the space for decentralized video platforms. “I also don’t think many gamers care about decentralization in streaming; they just want to be entertained and spend time with friends. Gaming moments (small clips) on the other hand, no one has owned that market.”

When asked why he didn’t attempt to build FreshCut within Twitch, Kuk shared that Twitch has become more about “optimizing” and less about “building.”

The current market downturn doesn’t phase the FreshCut team, either. “I think that this current recession is much needed to get a lot of the chaff away from the wheat,” Kuk added. 

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