Riot Games Alum Raises Millions for Web3 Studio Battlebound

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.

 A teaser for an upcoming game at web3 studio​ Battlebound
Courtesy of Battlebound

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Battlebound, the stealth gaming startup behind the anonymously launched Web3 game Evaverse, has raised more than $4.8 million in funding and is gearing up to bring its first title to mobile devices, dot.LA has learned.

Backed by at least 14 unnamed investors, according to a filing with the SEC, the Los Angeles-based company is led by founder and CEO Adam Hensel, a former Riot Games technical artist known pseudonymously as Damos. Battlebound’s team also includes former Riot Games concept artist David Ko, per Ko’s Twitter account.


While little else is known about the gaming startup’s founding team, a teaser page shows that they’ve previously worked on titles such as Riot’s “League of Legends,” ArenaNet’s “Guild Wars,” Blizzard’s “Overwatch 2” and Rovio’s “Angry Birds.”

An “Evaverse” character spins a machine for a potential prize.Courtesy of Battlebound

Evaverse, which Battlebound has dubbed a “best in class play-to-earn wonderland,” is part of a wave of blockchain games that reward players with crypto tokens and use NFTs as playable characters. The priciest Evaverse NFT—a bald, magenta-bearded, Thanos-esque character named Yolo McSwagginz—is listed on the NFT marketplace OpenSea for 120 Ethereum, or more than $348,000 as of press time.

Battlebound has described Evaverse as being built for a community of “blockchain players, traditional gamers, and NFT collectors” alike. The game is currently available on both PC and Mac via the Steam gaming platform, while its Discord community features more than 7,000 members.

Though new blockchain gaming entrants like Battlebound and L.A-based Artie seem to launch on a weekly basis, last year the NFT gaming scene was largely dominated by one particular title: “Axie Infinity,” which was launched by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis in 2018 and reportedly accounted for nearly two-thirds of all gaming NFT transactions last year.

Representatives for Battlebound declined to comment.

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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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