'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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March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

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.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

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Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
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