Apr 6, 2022 - Economy

Axie Infinity maker raises $150 million to make hacker victims whole

Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis

Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sky Mavis, the crypto gaming studio behind Axie Infinity, raised $150 million to reimburse users affected by the recent Ronin Bridge hack.

Why it matters: Ronin was one of the largest crypto thefts in history, totaling over $600 million, and this appears to be the first time a hacked crypto company has raised outside funding to make users whole.

Investors: Binance led, and was joined by Animoca Brands, Andreessen Horowitz, Dialectic, Paradigm and Accel. In quasi-related news, Binance.US just closed its own massive funding round ($200m on a $4.5b valuation).

Details: Sky Mavis co-founder and COO Aleksander Larsen tells me that around $200 million of the $600 million belonged to the Axie Infinity treasury and that the company can get a forbearance on that and let the DAO decide what to do next. The other $400 million was stolen from users, and Sky Mavis will cover that via this new $150 million, plus fiat and tokens on its balance sheet.

Of note: Sky Mavis, whose flagship game has seen declining play (thus depressing its in-game economy), tomorrow launches its first free-to-play Axie Infinity game. It first will appear on the Sky Mavis app, with plans to be in the Apple and Google Play app stores by this summer.

The bottom line: "We needed to take responsibility for this and be transparent because we failed to live up to the expectations of our users. It didn't really matter if anyone's ever done this before." — Larsen

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