Move-to-Earn Developer DEFY Labs Lands $3.5M


DEFY Labs, makers of move-to-earn augmented reality game DEFY, added $3.5M in a seed round led by Animoca Brands, OliveX, and Spartan Group.

Combining crypto, exercise, and gamification, DEFY joins a wave of activity in pay-for-fitness.

Fun and Games

Pitting good versus evil, DEFY creates missions for players, requiring them to explore their physical surroundings.

Aided by AR, the location-based game rewards activity with cryptocurrency and NFTs.

With the DEFY’s alpha version slated to launch in mid-April, this latest funding will support game development and AR features in the app.

Appealing to users beyond the already fit, gamification is reimagining exercise. To that end, according to Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu, DEFY is well-positioned:

“DEFY has the potential to serve as a bridge for the massive casual mobile gaming community to enter the world of NFTs.” 

web3 x Fitness

From proof-of-workout to membership NFTs and the fitness metaverse, web3 startups are scaling up to get more people moving.

  • After raising $5M in January, STEPN partnered with ASICS on NFT sneakers.
  • Outside’s “anti-metaverse” NFT marketplace, The Outerverse, aims to promote outdoor adventure.
  • Genopets, a mobile game combining IRL physical activity and digital upgrades, raised $8.3M last October.

Looking ahead: Moving the fitness industry beyond competition-based or instructor-led options alone, gamification and Social+ Fitness represent an alternative to traditional exercise. Far from an either-or choice between gyms, digital, or gamified, the future of fitness will offer more workouts for more people.

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