In brief

  • The new fund will focus on the intersection of Web 3 and gaming and consumer apps.
  • Its founders are video game veterans.

Web 3—the popular term for a decentralized internet powered by tokens—is trickling not just into video games, but into a growing number of other applications ranging from education to fitness to finance.

That's the view of Brian Cho and Jason Yeh, two veterans of gaming giant Riot Games, who have launched a new firm called Patron that has raised $90 million to invest in what they call the "spectrum of play."

"It's our conviction that games will shape the future," said Patron in a statement. "It will be built for the gaming-natives who not only grew up with games such as Roblox and RuneScape, but also consumer apps like Discord, TikTok, Robinhood, and digital assets like NFTs and crypto."

In an interview with Decrypt, Cho and Yeh said the notion of "gamification," or bringing video game design into other spheres, has been around for a while. But in recent years, it's moved beyond obvious elements like creating leaderboards or awarding badges, and into Web 3 experiences like NFTs.

Today, they say, many consumers are encountering Web 3 while playing games and that it's a matter of time until other apps incorporate such elements. Patron has created the following graphic to illustrate their thesis of consumers migrating from earlier web elements to Web 3 experiences across a variety of applications:

Cho and Yeh say Patron has already invested in four projects, including two that have strong crypto and "play to earn" elements, and that the fund's focus is on gaming, crypto and consumer apps.

The new fund's list of limited partners include a who's who of Web 3 and crypto figures, including Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz, Compound CEO Robert Leshner and Roham Gharegozlou of Dapper Labs—the company behind early NFT project Crypto Kitties and NFT sports franchises like NBA TopShots.

Cho and Yeh say their investors are betting on their experience working on mega-platforms like Riot Games, which introduce new technologies to mass audiences.