When Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin chose to leave the company in 2020, he promised to “build again.” Two years later, he is assembling the building blocks of an ambitious new company. Lin is the founder and CEO of Metatheory, a Web3 entertainment company that just raised a $24 million Series A funding round led by deep-pocketed firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Metatheory, which launched last year, approaches the buzzy field of blockchain development with an eye toward pop culture. The company’s first project, a game called Duskbreakers, uses a “play to mint” model that rewards gamers with NFTs. In a post announcing the investment, Andreessen Horowitz said that Duskbreakers now has a community of 20,000 players. Meanwhile, in a press release, Metatheory noted that the initial run of 10,000 Duskbreakers NFTs sold out in just six days.
Lin spent more than 12 years at Twitch, dating back to when the streaming platform was still known as Justin.tv. “Building immersive digital experiences has always been a passion of mine, and after stepping away from Twitch to explore what’s next in the industry, I truly believe blockchain will open the door to even more possibilities and have a major impact in the gaming, storytelling and community building space,” Lin said in a statement. “At Metatheory, we’ve built a team of industry vets who are focused on embracing blockchain across multiple media categories with a focus on elevating standards of customer experience and shared ownership.”
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The storytelling element of Metatheory plays a crucial role in its approach to blockchain development. The company is looking to turn its games and interactive stories into franchises that will thrive in the era of the metaverse. “Metatheory’s mission is to inspire imagination by connecting people worldwide through immersive worlds built on cross-generational IP,” reads the company’s About page.
Andreessen Horowitz, which previously made a massive investment in Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs, is bullish about the cultural potential of NFTs. In announcing its support of Metatheory, the VC firm asserted its belief that “the next major creative franchise will be built from the bottom up through games and web3 primitives.”
In addition to Andreessen Horowitz, other entities that contributed to Metatheory’s Series A include cryptocurrency firms Pantera Capital and FTX Ventures, as well as Breyer Capital, Merit Circle, Recharge Thematic Ventures, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Daedalus, Sfermion, and Global Coin Research.