Mobile game publisher Carry1st has closed a $27 million round of funding to advance its digital content creation and publishing platform in Africa, a region that its backers say is primed for Web3 adoption.
The $27 million funding round was led by Bitkraft Ventures with additional participation from Andreessen Horowitz aka a16z. TTV Capital, Konvoy, Alumni Ventures, Lateral Capital and Kepple Ventures also participated in the financing round.
The latest deal came a year after Carry1st secured $20 million in funding backed by a16z and Google-parent Alphabet. At the time, Carry1st said the funding would go toward expanding internal capacity and increasing its content portfolio. This included exploring Web3’s play-to-win games and integrating non-expendable tokens into the gaming experience.
A Carry1st spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the latest funds will be used to expand the capabilities of Pay1st, the company’s monetization-as-a-service platform, which enables third-party publishers to earn more money in Africa.
As a game publisher, Carry1st offers a complete solution for monetizing and managing mobile games on the African continent. In 2022, the company partnered with Riot Games, the Los Angeles-based creator of League of Legends, to test local payments for its game titles in Africa.
Related: Bitcoin Lightning Network will be used in fiat transfers between Europe and Africa
Africa has become one of the fastest growing markets for digital assets in the world. The continent’s foray into crypto even caught the attention of the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, which released a report in November highlighting growing acceptance in places like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Citing data from Chainalysis, the IMF said that crypto transactions on the mainland peaked at $20 billion per month in mid-2021.
Cryptocurrency adoption in Africa is driven by its young population, government mismanagement of the economy, and lack of efficient banking infrastructure. As a result, more citizens are opting for decentralized payment systems like Bitcoin (BTC) and stablecoins.
When asked about the potential for adoption of Web3 in Africa, a Carry1st spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the region is not unique in its appreciation of gaming, but that mobile technology will play a role in democratizing its access. “Gaming is the dominant form of media in almost the entire world. We do not believe that Africans are fundamentally different from anyone else in the world: we all need to have fun, connect with others and feel a sense of personal progress, they said, and added:
“Mobile devices democratize access to gaming in such a way that a person doesn’t need a $1000 console to enjoy, they can use a gaming device already in their pockets. As a result, mobile gaming adoption has skyrocketed. in Africa due to impressive demographics, increased smartphone penetration and increased revenue.”