Heroic Story, a web3 gaming and entertainment studio, has raised $6 million in a seed round led by Upfront Ventures.
Investors in the round, which brings the startup’s total financing to date to $7.4 million, also include Multicoin Capital and Polygon Technology, according to a company release. Angel investors such as Andreessen Horowitz’s Jonathan Lai and Miramax’s head of film Wolfgang Hammer also participated.
Formed at Y Combinator in 2019 by brothers Jay and Scott Rosenkrantz, Heroic Story aims to reimagine traditional tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) — similar to Dungeons & Dragons — for the web3 era.
Reimagining tabletop RPG games
The startup initially focused on trying to solve problems for storytellers with new technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, Jay Rosenkrantz said in an interview. Halfway into the company’s life, however, the team recognized that NFTs could help storytellers capture value.
Heroic Story then launched its first storytelling game, Legends of Fortunata, which enables writers to collaboratively create stories for characters in a shared world then mint them as NFTs. The proceeds from the auction went back into funding the creator community, he said.After seeing the reaction to the shared world, the team started exploring game systems that were really flexible and landed on tabletop RPGs.
Such tabletop RPGs have several pain points in terms of attracting new players, Rosenkrantz explained. They can be very time-consuming and often need to be played with an expert team who can help guide the new player. Heroic Story aims to fix these issues.
“If you wanted to play, you wouldn’t need to know a group of people, you could just come to the platform and meet people that you would enjoy playing with and you wouldn’t even have to play with the same group every week,» Rosenkrantz said.
The tech stack
Legends of Fortunata’s primary assets are on the Ethereum network. Polygon is an investor in the round and the team is in talks with Polygon about building a marketplace for the assets.
Rosenkrantz wants to abstract away a lot of the tech side complexity, meaning that users can choose whether they want to dive deeper and access the web3 elements.
“We really want to protect the game and what makes the game fun and beloved, already, for millions of people around the world as much as we can,” Rosenkrantz said.
The funds from the raise are being used to hire talent and develop the game to scale to more players, Rosenkrantz said. A portion of the funds will also go toward marketing to a mainstream audience once the beta version of the game is ready.
NFT and gaming seed-stage deals have declined for three quarters after reaching a high in the fourth quarter of last year, according to data from The Block Research.
Seed and pre-Series A deal categories from The Block Research