Game streaming and esports platform Loco has launched a non-fungible token (NFT) platform for esports called Loco Legends, making its foray into Web3 gaming space.
The company, which claims to have 52 million users, said the platform would allow users to own and trade esports collectible assets.
"We are excited about providing users an easy-to-use experience so that they can enjoy the power of web3 without dealing with the complexities that other products are often plagued with" Loco founders Anirudh Pandita and Ashwin Suresh said in a joint statement.
The startup claims to have exclusive partnerships with more than 50 Indian esports teams including 8bit, s0ul, Godlike, Revenant, Blind, and XO across popular games like Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), FreeFire Max, and Valorant. The platform is in beta mode, with a public rollout expected in July.
The first asset on the Loco Legends platform will be NFT esports cards, which combine NFTs and free-to-play esports fantasy gaming. Users will be able to buy and sell NFT trading cards and also participate in free-to-play fantasy pools.
As part of this launch, the top 1,000 users who waitlist themselves on the platform will get access to free NFTs worth approximately Rs 500 each, the company said.
The startup said that Legends will be powered by a proprietary data system it has built using the data generated by the large number of tournaments empowered by Loco. It has also signed exclusive partnerships with major esports tournament organisers, including Villager esports and Upthrust esports, for this initiative.
"We are passionate about the potential of web3 to empower creators and create new fan experiences in the gaming community. Gamers are the earliest adopters of new technology and our community has shown a strong acceptance for these initiatives," Pandita and Suresh said.
The launch comes a few months after Loco raised $42 million funding, led by South Korea-based crypto venture capital firm Hashed and participation from NR Narayana Murthy-led Catamaran Ventures, Makers Fund, and Korea Investment Partners in March.
Existing investors Krafton, Lumikai, Korea Investment Partners and Hiro Capital also participated in the funding round.
It also comes at a time when NFT sales have dropped sharply across the world amid an ongoing crypto winter. The space, however, is attracting a growing number of tech companies such as Meta, Spotify, Twitter and eBay who are testing their own NFT offerings. YouTube recently said it was exploring NFTs to help creators make money on the platform.
NFTs are digital assets that can be bought and sold like a piece of property but have no tangible form of their own. NFTs exist on a blockchain, which serves as a public ledger, allowing anyone to verify the authenticity and the ownership of these digital tokens.