Startups

Tatsumeeko wants to bring the metaverse to Discord

Comment

Close-up of woman's hands playing a computer game, used in a story about MMORPG-lite Tatsumeeko
Image Credits: AndreyPopov (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Tatsumeeko, an “MMORPG-lite” game on Ethereum and Solana developed by the team behind cross-gaming platform ecosystem Tatsu.GG, announced today that it has raised $7.5 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by DeFiance Capital, Delphi Ventures and BITKRAFT Ventures, with participation from investors including Binance Labs, Animoca Brands, Dialectic and GuilldFi. The funding will be used to continue development on Tatsumeeko.

This brings the company’s total raised to $8.1 million in two rounds.

Tatsu.GG, created for Discord community gamification and engagement, currently claims 60 million users and 1.4 million Discord communities. It was launched in 2016, when its founding team saw an opportunity to create a web3 gaming community on Discord, increasing user retention, acquisition and interaction.

Tatsumeeko will be a role-playing game available through Discord, plus iOS, Android and the web. It centers around a world called Ielia, where players can fight against monsters, build communities and meet other gamers. In the process, they are also introduced to crypto and NFTs in what the team calls a “seamless” way.

With an introductory version of the game reaching 60,000 monthly active users and 4.5 million in traded items, Tatsumeeko is now set to launch a broader version with main and side story quests, co-op raids, dimensional invasions and player versus environments combat with in-game token rewards.

NFT projects can integrate directly into Tatsumeeko through their Discord. At the beginning of July, it will start the initial sale of Aethereal Parcels, or pieces of land that provide utility and special attributes to collectors and the players who interact with them. Last November, the game launched Meekolony Pass, a series of 10,000 genesis NFTs on Solana that give holders benefits, rewards and airdrops for items in Tatsumeeko.

Tatsumeeko’s goal is to expand to other social platforms like QQ, WeChat and Telegram, as well as Ethereum and Solana communities.

Co-founder David Lim said he wanted to create an MMORPG-lite because he grew up playing traditional MMORPGs, like Everquest, Guild Wards, Maplestory and, most recently, FInal Fantasy XIV.

But MMORPGs take up a lot of time and effort for players to fully enjoy the entire experience, he added. On the other hand, Tatsumeeko is meant to combine the best parts of an MMORPG — like a strong storyline, social features, exploration, character progression, quests and combat — without time-consuming tasks like grinding for levels. Instead, those are automated for players.

“MMORPGs have always been really good at one thing — helping organic communities to form,” Lim told TechCrunch. “What we’re doing with Tatsumeeko is we’re taking this concept and applying it to Discord where many communities already exist and helping those communities to supercharge their growth in areas of community engagement, retention and user acquisition.”

Tatsumeeko is meant to be used not only by players, but also companies, games and NFT projects as an infrastructure to integrate their own projects into Discord’s ecosystem and build a community, provide utility for their NFTs and increase brand awareness through the communities that the game is available on.

“Perhaps you can think of it as instead of building a metaverse and trying to move entire communities of Discord into the metaverse, we’re bringing the metaverse to Discord itself with Tatsumeeko,” said Lim.

For people who are unfamiliar with crypto and NFTs, Tatsumeeko will serve as an introduction by targeting both Web 2,0 and web3 players. Lim said people can start playing the game without having to create a wallet, buy NFTs or crypto. “You can think of us as using crypto and NFT technology behind the scenes to ensure that our players have more control over their in-game assets if they so choose,” he said.

“For a long time, games have been really good at teaching players entirely new concepts,” Lim added. “That also includes trading and buying in-game assets and currency within Tatsumeeko’s own marketplace.”

4 questions every CISO should be asking about the metaverse

More TechCrunch

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads. Designed as an independent appeals board that hears cases and then makes precedent-setting content…

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine