Cryptoys is raising multi-million dollars to develop an NFT toy firm that will introduce younger users to digital ownership and NFT mechanics. The platform, which will be publicly available in the next months, will include cuddly big-eyed animal figures with caps, sunglasses, and cryptographically guaranteed uniqueness. Cryptoys has raised $23 million in funding recently.
While transaction volume hasn’t slowed considerably in recent months, the dollar amount spent in the industry has been in free fall as cryptocurrency values have undergone a record plunge. Given this context, it may not appear to be the greatest moment to establish an NFT platform, let alone one aimed toward children.
Nonetheless, NFT startup Cryptoys is seeking tens of millions of dollars in order to establish a blockchain-based toy firm that can introduce younger users to the concepts of digital ownership and NFT mechanics. The platform, which will be publicly available in the next months, will include cuddly big-eyed animal figures with caps, sunglasses, and cryptographically guaranteed uniqueness.
Platforms for trading non-fungible tokens have frequently proven difficult for even adult users to navigate, so the notion of developing an onboarding process for younger users is intimidating. Cryptoys will avoid some of this conflict by collaborating with Dapper Labs and releasing their product on the startup’s Flow blockchain. Flow, on which Dapper’s NBA Top Shot is built, provides a blockchain-lite experience that allows users to avoid some of the most common stumbling stones in NFT land, such as exorbitant gas prices, complicated wallet onboarding, and the inability to interact with payment methods such as credit cards.
Even so, making a blockchain user-friendly for children is a moot point for the time being, as users signing up for the platform must be 18 or older, though CEO Will Weinraub says that parent-controlled wallets are on the way, allowing younger users to interact more directly with the platform and learn about NFTs. “You have to pull back from all of this web3 maximalism,” adds Weinraub.
“You have to take baby steps in order to get millions and millions of people to accept these new ideas.”
Cryptoys is receiving assistance on the journey. The firm recently raised a $23 million Series A investment led by a16z Crypto, with participation from Mattel, Dapper Labs, Draper & Associates, Acrew Capital, CoinFund, Animoca Brands, and Sound Ventures. In October, the startup announced a $7.5 million seed round led by a16z Crypto.
The money will provide Cryptoys’ parent business, OnChain Studios, with funds to realize their vision, which includes a number of NFT-related opportunities, such as games in which players may earn NFTs through gaming. Weinraub also mentions that the company is planning to build experiences that don’t require users to interact with NFTs, which could be useful as the startup looks to reach out to younger users on platforms like iOS, which hasn’t been very welcoming to the crypto industry — though Weinraub believes that could change.
“Apple’s thinking about these things is always shifting,” he explains.
One of the most pressing concerns posed by an NFT-for-kids platform is why children would care if their in-app purchases were sanctioned by blockchain.
Weinraub believes that youngsters jumping from platform to platform lose a lot of digital asset value, and he believes his own children might be interested in exchanging in-game stuff they’ve grown weary of to fund new digital purchases. Weinraub feels that the phenomena of parents investing large sums on cartoon animal NFTs has left a lot of room for parents to bond with their children about investments and what digital ownership entails.
For those parents who have become engaged in the NFT arena in the last few months, it’s fair to say that many investments haven’t been as beneficial as expected, despite the fact that many of the firms involved have received large payouts.
When asked if the firm missed a historic window of NFT razzmatazz, Weinraub dismisses the notion, saying, “it’s a much better time to introduce goods, a lot of the froth has been driven out of the market.”