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Crypto infrastructure startup Openfort has raised $3 million in seed funding to develop its “wallet-as-a-service” software product for game developers and publishers, in a round co-led by Gumi Cryptos Capital and Maven 11. Game7, NGC Ventures, and Newman Capital also participated in the round.
Openfort wants to offer video game studios what the firm describes as "frictionless" wallet technology, which consists of multiple APIs that are compatible with browser games as well as PC games built in Unity and Unreal Engine 5. The firm is also building an option that enables mobile game support, as well.
Co-founder Joan Alavedra told Decrypt that he envisions a user experience in which the cumbersome elements of crypto transactions are “abstracted” away via technology.
“All the cliches around interacting with wallets—they can finally disappear,” Alavedra said. “A very interesting feature that we’re excited about is this idea of game sessions or session keys.”
With sessions, Alavedra explained, users won’t have to interact with the blockchain often—he likened the experience to “cookies” on the internet that recall player activity and information.
“You can even segment those players like, ‘Hey, this is a pro player, this is a bot. This is like a very new player, etc.’ And then craft a user experience for each one of the players,” Alavedra said.
Openfort’s investors see the startup’s approach to “account abstraction,” where smart contracts can initiate some transactions without the user, as a method that simplifies and improves the gaming experience.
To put it simply, smart contracts contain instructional code that powers decentralized apps (dapps). And abstraction means users don’t have to approve as many of the less-important transactions, and more of the crypto gaming experience can be automated in the background.
“Account abstraction offers the best foundation technology for handling Web3 gaming customer accounts, enabling Web3 games to offer Web2-quality user experiences while maintaining Web3 functionality,” said Gumi Cryptos Capital Managing Partner Rui Zhang, in a statement. “Openfort is the technology leader for this emerging vertical and use case.”
Alavedra shared that Openfort’s wallet solution will be white-label, meaning game developers will be able to fully customize the software and design their own user interfaces without a trace of Openfort’s branding.
Openfort’s wallet will support the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), meaning it can be used on games that transact across any Ethereum-compatible network like Polygon, Immutable, Avalanche, Arbitrum, BNB Chain, Optimism, Cronos, and Ethereum itself.
As it looks to solve crypto gaming’s challenges, Openfort is joining an already-competitive market. Its wallet offering will have to compete with other firms like MetaMask, Sequence, Phantom, Immutable Passport, Coinbase Wallet, Ronin Wallet, GameStop’s wallet, and Fractal’s wallet, to name a few.