Zebedee Secures $35M To Further Blockchain Payments In Gaming

Square Enix - Square Enix HQ ( Shinjuku Eastside Square), tags: zebedee - CC BY-SA

UK-based Zebedee Inc., whose platform allows game developers to add cryptocurrency-powered micropayments into their games with low fees and transaction times, has raised $35 million in funding during its Series B round thanks to Kingsway Capital, a cryptocurrency trading outfit.

Square Enix, a game company most well known for its Final Fantasy series which includes the critically acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy XIV, has joined Zebedee’s investors alongside the global merchant bank Raine Group. This new investment, combined with prior funding from Lakestar as well as Inner Capital, brings the total amount raised by Zebedee to $50 million.

About Zebedee and Nanopayments

Zebedee works with developers to incentivise play by creating in-game triggers that reward players with micropayments. The triggers can be as simple as progressing and exploring through a game world, or as intricate as a secret achievement. The micropayments reward these in-game achievements or effort to increase player enjoyment and act as additional incentive for better player retention. Developers, for instance, can reward players micropayments for completing quest lines or achieving a certain performance in a competitive match.

The company uses the Bitcoin Lightning Network for its infrastructure which offers instant, low-free transfers. Usual payment methods for Bitcoin take up to minutes at a time and generally have higher fees. The Lightning Network helps to scale Bitcoin payments to increase the speed of transactions and reduce the cost as much as possible.

The company has coined the term “Nanopayments” to refer to the type of payments available on the Zebedee platform. Nanopayments average at 8 cents and can go as low as $0.0002. The ultra-small nature of the payments make it ideal for the play-based incentives and microtransactions that games support.

Future plans

Currently, Zebedee is focusing on creating a simple and seamless interface for payments in games and virtual worlds. User Experience is the current biggest hurdle when it comes to integrating Bitcoin and blockchain-related technology in games as most players have a hard time understanding blockchain technology.

Zebedee is planning on using its newfound funding to grow the company and support a larger number of gaming partners. Currently, cryptocurrency is experiencing a bit of a slump but Zebedee is confident in its ability to survive and grow. The company has more than 50 global employees in a fully remote environment and has only been growing since its start in 2019.

The company currently supports three games: SaruTobi, ZBD Card as well as Counter Strike: Global Offensive. SaruTobi is a mobile game where the player flings a monkey across the jungle to collect bananas. The players can also collect Bitcoin payments by playing the game. ZBD Cart is a racing game where the players can make a choice between using in-game coins to improve their performance or cash them out for Bitcoin. Finally, Zebedee supports micropayment in Valve’s popular first person shooter Counter Strike: Global Offensive through the ZBD Infuse platform. Players can earn Bitcoin by competing in three different modes. The amount that a player earns is dependent on how well they perform in the match.