Former Head of TikTok’s Gaming Unit Ditches Corporate Life to Launch Blockchain Gaming Startup

Jason Fung is launching a blockchain gaming startup, Meta0, to build a blockchain-agnostic protocol for game developers.
Image source: REUTERS/Lam Yik

Quick take:

  • Fung was with TikTok for two years before exiting last month.
  • There are six members in Meta0’s founding team, in addition to the two co-founders.
  • The startup has closed its first funding round.

The former global head of TikTok’s strategy and gaming unit, Jason Fung, has left the short video giant to start a blockchain gaming startup called Meta0, according to an interview with Reuters.

Fung left TikTok last month after two years with the company despite the fact that TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, have been making a push into the $300 billion global gaming market to take on its competitor, Tencent. Last month, Reuters reported that TikTok has been testing out a feature that would allow users to play games on the short video app. 

At TikTok, Fung was a founding member of the gaming team and was in charge of growing the gaming content ecosystem on TikTok and ByteDance’s suite of products. Based in Shenzhen, Fung reported to TikTok’s chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas.

During his time at TikTok and ByteDance, the latter acquired gaming studio Moonton for $4 billion while the former tried out mini-game features on its app.

Fung said he left TikTok to pursue an opportunity that would allow game developers to build interoperable games on multiple blockchains at the same time instead of having to pick just one. 

Speaking to Reuters, Fung said: “Right now, if you look at any developer when they implement NFTs or blockchain in their games, they have to choose a single blockchain, be it Polygon or Solana or Binance Smart Chain. But imagine a more interoperable option.”

In addition to the two co-founders, Meta0’s founding team consists of six members. The startup has already raised its first round of funding. Fung declined to disclose details about the other co-founder, the team, and the funding amount, but said that the startup will raise more funds through token selling, venture capitalists and strategic investors.

Despite the crypto market downturn, blockchain gaming platforms have become an attractive investment opportunity for venture capital firms.

According to investment bank Drake Star Partners, Q1 2022 saw 128 blockchain game companies raise a total of $1.2 billion. Last month, a16z launched a $600 million gaming fund that plans to invest in blockchain games while venture capital firm Sfermion is raising $100 million to invest in blockchain gaming NFTs and in-game items.

“With a protocol that we’re developing, developers can easily build their game leveraging strengths of different blockchains, and allow the user the flexibility of transferring their NFTs cross-chain,” Fung told Reuters. 

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