What’s Next for Ethereum NFT Game ‘Parallel’ and Solana’s ‘Colony’ After $35 Million Raise

Parallel Studios, the startup behind Ethereum NFT card-battler Parallel, announced late Wednesday that it has raised $35 million in fresh funding from a bevy of major firms around the crypto world and numerous well-known angel investors.

The list includes investment management giant VanEck, Solana Ventures, the Base Ecosystem Fund, Collab + Currency, and The Spartan Group, while the list of angels features Solana co-founders Anatoly Yakovenko and Raj Gokal, Pudgy Penguins owner and CEO Luca Netz, and Yield Guild Games co-founder Gabby Dizon, among others.

Parallel previously raised $50 million from Paradigm in 2021 at what the studio then said was a $500 million valuation. The company did not disclose an updated valuation or the format of the latest funding round.

However, Parallel Studios did share some details with Decrypt’s GG on how it plans to utilize the $35 million infusion, along with more clarity on what’s ahead not only for Parallel—GG’s 2023 game of the year—but also the recently unveiled AI-powered Colony game that it’s building on Solana.

The fundraise comes just weeks after Parallel opened up to the public in a free-to-play beta. A studio representative said that Parallel Studios aims to “start onboarding a ton more users” by expanding its recent Parallel Ambassadors program and working more with influencers broadly, as well as through paid advertising in various markets worldwide.

Furthermore, they aim to roll out some significant moves in the coming months, including launches on the Epic Games Store and Steam, and the impending in-game launch of the Planetfall expansion. They said that mobile versions are also on the roadmap and that it’s a “key area of interest,” but that no timeline has been finalized there.

The rep added that Parallel is already seeing 10 times the website signups recently than in January before the open beta debuted and that it just had its best-ever tally for daily active users. The team says it plans to share such data more openly in the near future once it can better validate the measured stats.

And then there’s the studio’s other major focus, Colony. After plenty of teases, Parallel Studios recently launched an extensive whitepaper detailing the generative AI powered “survival simulation” game, which will utilize the Solana blockchain—instead of Ethereum and scaling network Base, as seen with Parallel.

As noted above, Solana Ventures took part in the latest funding round, and two of the network’s prominent co-founders were counted among the backers too.

Parallel Studios aims to get a beta version out to the public by the end of the year, echoing the target noted in the whitepaper. Funding will also help further development on Wayfinder, the on-chain AI protocol that will power Colony and potential other apps and games ahead.

“Wayfinder is a new artificial intelligence (AI) focused omni-chain tool enabling user-owned, autonomous AI agents to securely and efficiently navigate within and across blockchain ecosystems and applications while independently transacting assets they control via dedicated Web3 wallets,” the protocol whitepaper reads.

A pre-alpha version of Colony has already been tested, but the studio says that it will utilize investment funds to help ramp up the development of the game and launch additional tests beginning this summer. The representative said that Parallel Studios is “moving very, very quickly to hire more people on the Colony side” to reach those goals.

PRIME, the Ethereum-based token of Parallel that will also be bridged to Solana for use in Colony, is up 12% over the last day to a current price of about $23.30 since the funding news was announced. The token has been on a hot streak lately, up 63% over the last 30 days. It set a new all-time high price of $28.00 on March 18 following the latest Colony reveal.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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