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How Sipher won high-profile VCs’ hearts even before its blockchain games hit the market


The Sipher team

As passionate gamers, their vision was to create a high-quality and action-packed blockchain game. They wanted to think beyond the idle, farming, clicker, turn-based games available in the market that came with no proper graphics and animation or even music and sound.

“We were determined that our games should be what they are actually meant to be — fun. So, we came up with a business plan and presented it to several regional investors. We were lucky that they all shared the same opinion and even recommended us to big investors in the west. The rest is history,” recounts Tin Nguyen.

With the confidence gained from their meeting with the investors, Nguyen and the team went on to start Sipher.

A blockchain gaming studio based in Vietnam, Sipher aims to provide compelling gaming experiences. Here, players control avatars to interact with each other through PvE (player vs environment) co-operative dungeons and battle each other in PvP (player vs player) multiplayer battle arenas, engaging with the virtual world, battling for virtual lands, and earning items and rewards.

Sipher’s founders come from varied backgrounds. Nguyen is the CEO of Trung Thuy, a real-estate firm in Vietnam and on the Vietnam Forbes 30 Under 30 list of 2015. His partner Loi Luu is CEO and Co-Founder of Kyber Network. This on-chain liquidity protocol powers decentralised applications, including exchanges, funds, lending protocols, and payments wallets.

The third co-founder is Victor Tran, CTO and Co-Founder of Kyber Network. Tran has been involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency development since early 2016.

Also Read: Sipher closes US$6.8M seed round to develop metaverse game World of Sipheria

Unlike most blockchain games available in the market, the Sipher team not only aims to onboard the crypto- and NFT-savvy crowd but to introduce Sipher to the traditional gaming community to play a fun game worthy of e-sports.

“We are in the process of developing and onboarding experiences for the traditional gaming market to make it as smooth as possible. Think of it as mixing web2 practices with web3 technologies,” says Nguyen.

As Nguyen mentioned, Sipher’s games are yet to hit the market. Once they are launched, the company will introduce SIPHER as the governance tokens, which can be used for staking, cloning new characters, and crafting new rare equipment. Users will also have a share of the marketplace fees and voting rights on future decisions of the game development team.

ATHER will be the reward token, which will be burnt to level up characters, skills, equipment and other in-game items and features.

“We plan to target the global markets with our games titles. We don’t want to attack the markets such as Southeast Asia, which have taken the blockchain gaming industry mainstream. We aim for worldwide adoption,” Sipher CEO Nguyen tells e27.

Sipher Founder and CEO Tin Nguyen

Even though Sipher’s games are not launched yet, its community has grown with 108,000 followers on Twitter and 163,000 members on Discord.

Last October, Sipher closed a US$6.8 million seed financing round, co-led by Arrington Capital, Hashed and Konvoy Ventures. Defiance Capital, Signum Capital, Dragonfly Capital, CMT Digital, BITKRAFT Ventures, Delphi Digital, Alameda Research, Fenbushi Capital, Sfermion, Hyperchain, GBV, Kyber Network, Coin98 Ventures, YGG and Merit Circle, also joined the round.

Angels, including Holly Liu (Kabam), Kun Gao (Crunchy Roll) and Alex Svanevik (Nansen.ai), also co-invested.

The capital is being used to develop its upcoming ‘World of Sipheria’ game.

The gaming startup is now looking for a follow-on round. The goal is to onboard strategic partners that could help Sipher grow further. “We will prioritise investors with a good reputation and partners, who help us conquer new emerging markets outside of SEA like Latin America, Africa and India,” he remarks.

According to Nguyen, Southeast Asia is leading the charge toward the future of blockchain gaming. Vietnam, in particular, is consistently developing very innovative and state of the art technology. The region will continue to be a leader in this space.

Also Read: Metaverse is around the corner and you should play a role in it

Although the blockchain/metaverse gaming industry is still in its early stages in the region, its vulnerabilities have started manifesting.

The recent Axie Infinity hacking incident is a case in point. The hackers stole about US$615 million in USDC and ethereum from the metaverse game’s Ronin Network. As per media reports, the FBI and the US Department Of the Treasury investigation have found out that Lazarus Group, a hacking organisation based in North Korea, was behind this attack.

Nguyen feels that the highest priority should be given to cyber security to prevent such possible events in the future. “To prevent hacks and exploits affecting the users should always be our priority. Thanks to our connections at Sipher, we are consulting experts with experience providing cyber security services for the US National Defense,” he concluded.

Image Credit: Sipher

This article was first published on April 19, 2022

The post How Sipher won high-profile VCs’ hearts even before its blockchain games hit the market appeared first on e27.



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