Virtual goods in games have been around since the 2000s and they have generally provided some sort of hedonistic or functional advantage in games or a combination thereof. The emergence of MMO games made it possible to conduct transactions in these game assets for the first time. The advent of games in Web3 and the incorporation of NFTs opened another market for increased tangible value for these assets large-scale transactions, with immutable rights of ownership and provenance. Souk G-Commerce is a portfolio management platform that allows players to track and monitor these gaming assets. The platform works on any blockchain or wallet and centralizes performance monitoring of these sometimes disparate digital assets while providing health information and market information of individual gambling economies. The blockchain gaming industry has grown 2000% in the last year alone, popularizing the play-to-win model and Souq is positioning itself as the resource to handle this growth and booming market.
Alley Watch met the CEO of Souq G-Commerce JonPaul Vega to learn more about the company, the company’s strategic plans, the recent round of funding and much more…
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Pre-seed, $3.3 million; Round includes participation from Kickstart, IVC, Operate, Moon Holdings, Ellipti Ventures, Perpetual Value Partners, Himanshu Sahay & Partners, Sterling VC, Evernew Capital, BBQ Capital, Mike del Balso, Chris Chang, BlockØ, Aleph One, Gautam Shah , and Miko Matsumura.
Tell us about the product or service offered by Souq G-Commerce.
We are the financial markets focused on Web3 game savers, like Robinhood for video game assets. Our first product is a portfolio manager that helps gamers track and monitor the value of their gaming assets, as well as the health of the gaming economies in which they participate.
What inspired the launch of Souq G-Commerce?
We are passionate about video games, stocks, economics and crypto. It’s a perfect intersection of our interests and we know the market well.
How is Souq G-Commerce different?
We are building a path for players to become shareholders in the games they love and participate in the economic growth of these virtual worlds.
What Souq G-Commerce target market and how big is it?
We focus on open economy web3 games, it’s an emerging industry, there are about 10 million active users, but it’s growing and over the next 5-10 years many gamers from 4, 5 billion will play this new game format.
What is your business model?
We are an investment platform, we help holders deploy their assets to grow in-game economies and generate returns. Our business model is to connect digital assets to our platform, whether cryptocurrency or digital goods (NFT), to manage pools of return.
What are your post-COVID office plans?
NYC and MIA.
How was the funding process?
It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur, market conditions have changed, but quality projects, teams and founders may demand a premium as investors look for bets that will return multiples of their fund. Excellent opportunity to execute, stand out and be recognized for this value.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced when raising funds?
Find investors who believe in founders to navigate the evolving crypto landscape. The vision is firm, but the details tend to be flexible through the ebbs and flows of this fledgling industry. Investors who recognize this is an adventure and can help you navigate it are invaluable. Capital is cheap.
What factors about your business made your investors sign the check?
Today, gamers spend $60 billion on digital assets they don’t own. This is a natural portable market for open-economy Web3 games. Gaming globally is a $180 billion industry and the largest form of entertainment. Souq allows players to engage in economic play and highlights a bet on the larger ecosystem while being insulated from the success or failure of any game. It is a layered investment very unique infrastructure that actually retains the end user, these enterprise instances are rarer.
What milestones do you expect to achieve over the next six months?
- 50-100k active wallets
- 95% of games covered on our platform
- $100 million in assets connected to our platform
- Blockchain agnostic support for ETH, L2s, Solana, Flow, Avalanche
What advice can you give to New York businesses that don’t have a fresh injection of capital into the bank?
Pre-financing: Validate your idea and your market so that you have a personal conviction in your vision of where the world is heading before seeking capital. Once you have a firm vision, look for like-minded angels who can help you refine that into a digestible story for startup investors, look for like-minded investors who agree with your worldview evolving but can challenge you to refine the steps to get there.
Post-funding: Identify short-term milestones that you can achieve to justify a bridge lap bringing your crowning glory to the track at 24-30 months. If you are approaching or exceeding 24 months, slow spending, extend your track, and focus only on milestones, usually a few will create more than 50% of the business value needed.
Where do you see the business going now in the short term?
We will be the one-stop-shop for information on owned assets, in-game economies, and investment opportunities. The loyalty of virtual economies.
What’s your favorite outdoor restaurant in New York?
Botinos garden or 12 chairs in Williamsburg.