‘Now Is Not the Time To Take Our Foot Off the Pedal,’ Says Immutable Co-founder
Layer-2 Ethereum startup behind the trading card game Gods Unchained says GameFi projects are uncorrelated to the broader crypto market
Immutable founders, James and Robbie Ferguson | Source: Immutable
- Immutable has a four-year funding runway, co-founder Robbie Ferguson told Blockworks
- Top-tier tech talent is flooding into Web3 gaming this year, he said
As traditional crypto companies pause hires, high-profile investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into blockchain games and NFT projects. Immutable, a layer-2 scaling solution for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on Ethereum, is on a hiring spree and has expanded earlier plans to grow its workforce. This year, it intends to more than double its headcount from 170 to 400.
“Immutable is on a mission to power the next generation of Web3 games — and now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal,” Robbie Ferguson, president and co-founder, told Blockworks.
“From a cash perspective, we are fortunate enough to have more than four years’ runway projected even with aggressive hiring, so we feel comfortable with this approach,” he added.
The company is currently focused on building its gaming studio, engineering and partnerships team as its growth accelerates.
Asked about the knock-on effects of the recent market downturn, Ferguson said companies involved in blockchain gaming are fundamentally uncorrelated to the broader crypto market. He said a player’s decision to trade a card in Gods Unchained, or a character in Illuvium, or a planet in Ember Sword should be driven by how many players the game has and the utility of those items.
“Of course, there will be some impact, but the goal is the same: to change the $100 billion players spend on in-game items every year into assets they can truly own and trade with,” he said. “That number is not going to go down despite the markets, and therefore neither should our mission.”
The layer-2 protocol scored $200 million in a Series C funding round at a $2.5 billion valuation in March. At the time, the company announced plans to grow its team to 350 people, but that goal has recently been bumped to 400, Ferguson told Blockworks. Layer-2 solutions are networks that help relieve some of the pressure off the Ethereum blockchain by handling transactions off the mainnet.
Immutable has recruited a flood of talent from tech companies including Uber, Unity and other leading software and gaming businesses. Recent hires include Chief Studio Officer Justin Hulog, a former Riot Games exec, and Senior Vice President Jason Suen, an ex-Shopify regional head.
The firm expects to release a flurry of games on its platform in the next three months and make marketplace integration announcements similar to its partnerships with GameStop and Rarible.
“Our global order book is growing in integrations exponentially since the start of the year,” the co-founder said.
Immutable is among a string of firms in the crypto space that are still hiring. Fidelity Investments’ digital asset arm is looking to double its headcount by the end of the year, while crypto exchange FTX plans to continue hiring at a “sustainable rate.”
DeFi lending protocol Maple, which recently gave a $77.5 million loan to Alameda Research, is hiring across operations, product design and marketing. Singapore-based Liminal, which just raised $4.7 million in a seed round, has openings in engineering, marketing, product and security.
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