Square Enix Backs Zebedee in a $35M Round to Bring Bitcoin-Based Payments to Gaming

Zebedee has completed a $35 million funding round led by Kingsway Capital and backed by Square Enix, and Initial Capital to enable bitcoin-based payments in games.
Image source: Zebedee via VentureBeat

Quick take:

  • Zebedee has raised $35 million to develop its bitcoin-based payment system for games.
  • The company wants to transform mainstream gaming by adding new revenue streams powered by crypto and blockchain technology.
  • The company provides a payment platform that enables transactions in virtual worlds at low fees.

Zebedee has raised $35 million in new funding round to develop its bitcoin-based payment system for games and form new partnerships. The company wants to transform mainstream gaming by introducing new revenue streams built on blockchain technology. The payments platform will enable transactions in virtual worlds at near-zero fees.

The funding round was led by Kingsway Capital with participation from Japanese video game giant Square Enix, Lakestar, The Raine Group and Initial Capital, among others.

According to Zebedee, the platform allows any game developer to add programmable money to their gaming ecosystems. Zebedee’s payment system allows players to make money from any activity in the game.

The company gave the example of a player shooting a competitor in the CS:GO game to gain a fraction of a $cent in real-time, while the opponent loses a similar amount.

It also gave an example of coin collection games like Super Mario, in which case, every coin collected can instantly be transformed into real money, allowing the player to spend it on real items.

Zebedee has adopted the Bitcoin Lightning Network to power its payment system. The company considers itself a Fintech focused on the gaming industry, rather than a blockchain gaming platform.

As such, the company is leveraging the technology that powers the world’s most popular cryptocurrency to provide an infrastructure for the most dynamic payment system in video games.

Zebedee maintains that users do not need any knowledge of crypto to use its payments ecosystem.

Commenting on his company’s latest fundraising, Simon Cowell, CEO of Zebedee, said in a statement “This funding round gives us the ability to meet our highly ambitious roadmap both in terms of building out our infrastructure to support the hundreds of millions of users that play our partners’ games, as well as hire the top-level talent needed to ensure every partner has the best possible experience working with Zebedee.”

Zebedee’s payment system gives mainstream video game developers an interesting alternative to user monetisation and player gaming rewards. Several game developers that have expressed an intention to pivot to blockchain gaming have faced massive backlash from their communities forcing them to fold their plans.

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