'Welcome to the Artieverse': Mobile Games and NFTs Startup Artie Nabs $35.9 Million

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

'Welcome to the Artieverse': Mobile Games and NFTs Startup Artie Nabs $35.9 Million

Artie, the Los Angeles-based gaming startup backed by NBA star Kevin Durant and Taylor Swift's nemesis Scooter Braun, raised nearly $36 million this month to deliver "mobile games that hit different," according to a regulatory filing made public this week.


Eight months ago, Artie revealed it was building three cross-platform titles and a software development kit (SDK) to help developers create mobile games that play automatically — without requiring a download through Apple or Google's app stores. At the time the company also announced a $10 million seed round from Durant, Braun, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Warner Music Group, and the Winklevoss twins.

"We can deliver something that feels as good as a Nintendo Switch game, but it requires no hardware or app download whatsoever," CEO Ryan Horrigan told GamesBeat in February. Since then, much of the firm's work has been under wraps.

Artie declined to comment on the new funds, but it's likely that some of its preexisting investors chipped in. Early-stage VCs and angel investors often participate in later funding rounds to retain their stakes in companies as they grow. Filings also showed Artie may be looking to raise an additional $805,900.

The three-year-old company's psychedelic website remains sparse on details to this day, teasing "the greatest party on your phone" and "rare digital collectibles (NFTs)." But a peek at Artie's Discord server offers a vivid look at its plans for the "Artieverse" — a name for a series of products that unmistakably taps into the hype of the metaverse (a.k.a. a giant digital or 3D space).

Posts on the server preview two titles, "Run the Table" and "Dance Battle," as well as NFT collaborations with Venezuelan artist Chocotoy and Hollywood-based illustrator Junkyard.

"The Artieverse will contain a multitude of styles so there will be something for everyone! We have huge artist partnerships in the works to share with you soon," said co-founder Armando McIntyre-Kirwin.

But the best look we have yet at Artie's NFT-laden gaming experience is a teaser of Run the Table's intro screen.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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How ‘Funny Water Company’ Liquid Death Made H2O Worth $700 Million

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

How ‘Funny Water Company’ Liquid Death Made H2O Worth $700 Million
Liquid Death Files Paperwork to Raise $15 Million

When Santa Monica-based Liquid Death launched with funding from neighboring venture capital firm Science Inc. in 2018, the Los Angeles startup world – and everyone else – had nothing but jokes. But with the company’s latest $700 million valuation, it appears the joke is on the rest of us.

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