WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
When it comes to the future of money we could be talking about moves, reading articles, or any kind of “value” – not just the US Dollar or Sterling.
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Since its launch in December, StepN, an app that lets users walk and run to earn tokens which they can trade for crypto, has quickly become a household name in the so called Play-to-Earn Web 3.0 blockchain gaming, or GameFi, world. Two to three million users worldwide are now active on the app every month, StepN’s co-founder Jerry Huang recently told reporters.
That number is nowhere close to the hundred-million player size enjoyed by popular Web 2.0 titles, but in the world of crypto, it’s a meaningful breakthrough for a five-month-old app. As of May 22, the market cap of StepN’s native token GMT stood at around $860 million.
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Founded by Huang and his co-founder Yawn Rong in Adelaide, Australia, StepN debuted at a Solana hackathon in October. After coming in fourth, its exposure at the event helped land its first batch of beta users. When it officially launched two months later, words about the app that let one earn by staying fit had already spread within the blockchain community. Without any splashy ad campaign, scores of users signed up.
In weeks, StepN was growing so fast that the team needed to cap the number of daily registrations. Now, tens of thousands of new users are joining the app per day, according to Huang.
Huang, a serial entrepreneur, and Rong, a blockchain venture capitalist, were self-funding the project at first for the pair were “financially stable.” But in September, they decided that fundraising could bring in other meaningful resources such as partnerships and publicity. The founders spoke to over 100 investors and revised their pitch deck over 40 times before closing a $5 million seed round from Sequoia Capital and others in November.
“We didn’t have a product at the time, and many investors couldn’t understand what we were doing. Sequoia did. The process of addressing investor questions also helped us refine the product to where it was later,” said Huang.
Indeed, the fast-growing app appears to be self-sustainable for now. It’s generating $3 million-$5 million in net profit from trading fees a day and earning up to $100 million every month. In April, it picked up another round of strategic investment from Binance.