Move-to-earn project Walken closed a $4.7M funding round.
The raise was co-led by Infinity Ventures Crypto and Shima Capital, with participation from Morningstar Ventures and other frequent web3 investors.
Walk the Walk
Rewarding movement, Walken leverages crypto to incentivize healthy habits.
Pokémon meets Strava. Each Walken player receives a cartoon “CAThlete” that grows in stamina, speed, and strength based on user movement. Leveling up, CAThletes can be entered into battles, earning users even more WLKN tokens.
Since launching in closed beta, the game has attracted over 10,000 players across 110 countries, with users recording over 830M steps in three months.
The right stuff. Taking a page out of previous playbooks, Walken’s approach integrates elements across various web3 projects — STEPN’s walk-to-earn model, Genopets’ gamified character development, and Axie Infinity’s battle system.
Unlike many other move-to-earn projects though, players can get set up on Walken for free without needing to purchase an NFT.
House of Cards?
The latest crypto craze, “x-to-earn” startups took off this year. Leading the way, play-to-earn giant Axie Infinity notched a whopping $30B valuation at its peak while STEPN amassed 3M MAUs in under a year.
But, a troubling trend, many have begun to raise the ponzinomics flag.
Indeed, hyperinflation has caused various “doom spirals,” from Axie’s 90% plunge last year to STEPN’s 80% fall this May. In the wider web3 world, recent meltdowns have wiped out billions in value.
Still, that’s not stopping new startups. In fact, move-to-earn is more saturated than ever.
- Move-to-earn meets connected fitness, South Korea-based Cardio Health landed $1M this June for its Metabike.
- Founded in 2016, Sweatcoin launched its new SWEAT token to reward all types of activity, from hiking to HIIT to cycling and more.
- DEFY Labs, makers of move-to-earn augmented reality game DEFY, added $3.5M in April.
Takeaway: Battling doubters, move-to-earn startups are pressing on. With millions of engaged and active users, web3 x wellness wants to prove its worth.