Final Fantasy's Square Enix Backs Bitcoin Gaming Startup ZEBEDEE in $35M Round
The platform enables payments and small transactions in virtual worlds with near-zero fees.
ZEBEDEE, a fintech and next-generation payment processor for the gaming industry, announced that it has closed a $35 million USD funding round. The Series B round was led by Kingsway Capital, other investors include global merchant bank The Raine Group and gaming giant Square Enix.
“It’s a waste of time to give players an abstracted form of money they can’t get out of the games. You need to give people real money,” says Ben Cousens @bitspooky
— ZEBEDEE (@zebedeeio) July 18, 2022
At the heart of ZEBEDEE is the platform’s ability to help game developers easily add programmable money into their games. Through the platform any event that takes place in a game can trigger a payment, it is then sent instantly and at close to zero cost. For example, if used in competitive gaming a user might shoot another player in a match and a small amount of money can then be taken from them in real-time inside of the live match — as opposed to settlement after.
Another example the platform provided would be a scenario like Super Mario, where players can pick up coins and have real value reflected immediately. To make this possible ZEBEDEE offers both tools for developers as well as an app for gamers. The app itself acts as a wallet for sending and receiving funds between games and players.
“Respect the individual. Give them the money. Don’t give them an abstracted form of money or a difficult form of money where you can’t get it out,” said the ZEBEDEE’s Chief Strategy Officer Ben Cousens when explaining a key goal of the platform.
He went on to add that “you need to give them real money, you need to give them dollars, pounds, euros, yen. That’s why we focus on getting people back to their bank account. It’s not all about Bitcoin. It’s about having this two way value transfer and making it part of the fabric of gaming.”
To make it possible for gamers to receive their funds in various currencies, the platform uses the Bitcoin Lightning Network as a key part of its payments infrastructure. ZEBEDEE has made it a point to create its UX in such a way that users are not required to have any knowledge of crypto, making it a nearly seamless transition from traditional gaming.