Bling, a mobile-game platform that enables bitcoin rewards, announced on Friday that it closed a seed funding round with participation from Coinbase Ventures.
Bling’s platform currently consists of six games, as well as a software development kit (SDK) it will begin offering to other mobile game developers that includes a bitcoin rewards system, fraud detection and user value detection. Bling’s bitcoin rewards system uses Coinbase as a cash-out mechanism, and users must create a Coinbase wallet before they can earn any bitcoin rewards.
Amy Wan, Bling’s co-founder and CEO, told CoinDesk the strategic investment from Coinbase Ventures was less about money and more about formalizing the partnership between the two companies and ensuring an “open line of communication” between them.
Coinbase Ventures’ participation in Bling’s seed round is part of a growing trend of investment into companies that have a user base that is crypto-curious but not yet crypto-savvy.
As crypto exchanges compete for market share, newcomers to the space are a hot commodity. And for Coinbase, which derives most of its revenue through comparatively high trading fees, it needs to win the loyalty of new users to keep shareholders happy.
Bling will use the money generated from the seed round to grow its team and make more games.
Wan also told CoinDesk that Bling, which currently has over 5 million registered users, will also begin advertising its games for the first time.
In January 2020, Bling’s first game, Bitcoin Blast, was removed from the Google Play Store but reinstated after Wan and fans of the game took to Twitter.
“The third-party platforms continue to exercise a lot of influence in how crypto startups can or cannot take off,” Wan told CoinDesk. “With third-party platforms, there’s a lot of enclosed space, and there’s always risk. But so far we’ve been pretty much able to manage all that.”
Correction (July 2, 13:51 UTC): Coinbase Ventures invested in the round but did not lead it, as was previously reported. The headline has been modified.
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