Halliday Raises $6M for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Ethereum NFTs

Halliday Raises M for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Ethereum NFTs
Halliday Raises M for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Ethereum NFTs

As more game studios look to incorporate digital assets and collectibles into their properties, Web3 startup Halliday has raised $6 million in a new seed round led by Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) to change how players buy and use digital assets in virtual worlds.

“We started working back in November,” Halliday co-founder Griffin Dunaif told me Decrypt in an interview. “So we built our demo, a pitch deck, and we presented it to Andreessen, and they liked what they saw.”

Joining a16z in the $6 million raise are Hashed, A.Capital, SV Angel and other angel investors.

Launched in November 2021 by Akshay Malhotra and Griffin DunaifHalliday – who shares his name with Ready Player One protagonist James Halliday – gives players a “play now, pay later” option. Halliday aims to make in-game purchases and proof of ownership for NFTs more affordable and convenient for players who may be busting the high prices of non-fungible tokens in their games.

NFTs are cryptographically unique tokens tied to digital (and sometimes physical) content, providing proof of ownership and in-game purchases.

“We want to make gaming and metaverse NFTs much more accessible to players, and you shouldn’t see a very high price tag,” co-founder Malhotra said. “We [allow] players to pay over time and access NFT, and play while they pay.”

Halliday says it is launching its beta with the blockchain game “League of Kingdoms” in the next few weeks, with the official launch later this year.

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Malhotra explains that Halliday gives players access to in-game NFT marketplaces. Without leaving the game, players can select the digital collectible they want and purchase it directly, or agree to a payment plan with Halliday.

“After that, you just click Checkout, we buy the asset and provide access [the player]”, says Malhotra. “We have the ownership while you pay it off. Eventually, eventually, we will transfer ownership.”

Buy now pay later projects are a new aspect of the booming play-to-earn gaming industry. Last month, DeFi lending platform Teller launched its service for NFTs called Ape Now, Pay Later, which runs on the Ethereum scaling platform Polygon.

Halliday integrates directly with games and marketplaces as an alternative checkout option. However, unlike traditional layaway services, Halliday gives the player access to the NFTs from the moment they are purchased.

“Payments will be accepted in a variety [crypto] currencies and traditional payment methods such as credit cards, depending on the game, the chain and how these NFT access rights are actually designed,” says Dunaif. “But whatever the system is, the core principle [is] you can immediately start playing while paying.”

Halliday uses a repo structure: if a player defaults on the payments for NFT, the rights to access the NFT are revoked.

“Our entire system is designed to be extremely player first, and we want to make joining as risk-free as possible,” says Malhotra.

He said a player who defaults on his payments may find it more challenging to use Halliday’s services in the future and is less likely to be approved. But he said defaulting would not affect a player’s credit score like defaulting on a bank loan.

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“We see ourselves as building economic infrastructure to facilitate the emergence of this digital civilization,” Dunaif said. “Every sophisticated and mature economy needs a service like this to facilitate growth and let people jump into worlds and get goods faster.”

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