This tech company trades sweat for crypto and NFTs

OliveX wants you to earn while you burn. The Hong Kong-based digital fitness company rewards gamers with crypto and NFTs as they flee pirates and marauding monsters across a dystopian wasteland.


OWork can be good for your waistline and your results at the same time. This is the proposal that OliveX offers players of its mobile blockchain games.

Players can earn DOSE tokens and NFTs by completing missions in OliveX’s adventure game that requires them to travel varying distances in the real world with their smartphone in hand. The virtual rewards they accumulate can be used to improve games or traded on crypto exchanges and NFT marketplaces.

“Move-to-earn is a game-changer,” Keith Rumjahn, 37-year-old founder and CEO of OliveX, said in a video interview. “For the first time ever, gamers have true digital ownership of their games, and game developers also earn more because there’s no middleman. So it’s a win-win.”

OliveX said its strategy allows it to tap into three booming industries by combining fitness with mobile video games that incorporate blockchain technology. The company’s longer-term goal is to create an ecosystem of fitness games integrated into Animoca Brands’ metaverse title. the sandboxa virtual world where players can create, buy and sell their in-game assets while interacting with other users and brands.

As NFTs continue to attract a growing mainstream audience, Rumjahn’s strategy seems timely. His Australian-listed company raised A$8 million ($5.7 million) from a November equity placement that was used to develop Dusty Land Runner, its first blockchain title to earn which was launched at the end of March. Players take on the role of “dust couriers” who are hired as freelancers to collect and then deliver mysterious contraband in a post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by bandits and monsters.

Dusty Land Runner is based on an old smartphone game called Zombies, flee!which reportedly has an average of 300,000 monthly active users, of which around 50,000 are paid subscribers. Zombies, flee! was the brainchild of London-based game developer Six to Start, which was acquired by OliveX for $9.5 million in March 2021.

Now, OliveX is leveraging another newly acquired product design from the Sol Cycle fitness gaming platform for the launch of its upcoming title, Dusty Land Rider. The blockchain game, which could arrive as soon as June, replaces running with cycling. After that, the company wants to incorporate more sports, such as boxing and rowing, and start using motion-sensing technology in games.

“Our mission is to get a billion people on board,” Rumjahn said. “In doing so, I want them to earn their first NFT and crypto token by exercising.”

OliveX’s decision to jump on the crypto bandwagon has caught the attention of investors. The company has seen its market capitalization double over the past year to its current level of A$190.5 million. OliveX posted revenue of A$1.3 million in the six months to December, a 10x jump from the same period last year. Its net loss was down 55% year-on-year to A$2.3 million. OliveX said it is considering plans for a second listing in Canada.

OliveX is a spin-off of Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong-based gaming and blockchain powerhouse that was valued at $5.4 billion in its last funding round in January. Animoca said its portfolio has grown to more than 170 investments in NFT-related businesses and decentralized projects, including Dapper Labs, the pioneering blockchain game developer. CryptoKittiesas well as Sky Mavis, who made the Axie Infinity online game.

OliveX said it is currently building a virtual fitness world by the sandbox, which will allow players to bring their NFT rewards from the Dustland series into the larger metaverse platform. The virtual playground will feature companies such as German fitness apparel retailer Gym Aesthetics, UK playground manufacturer Playinnovation, boutique fitness studio operator Trib3 and others. These partnerships are helping traditional brands pivot into what could be the future of the internet, while OliveX in turn manages to reach not just crypto users, but exercise enthusiasts who haven’t yet. knowledge of emerging technologies, Rumjahn said.

“In this fitness metaverse where everything is interconnected, I can play my first game and keep the weapons, and I can continue to use them in multiple games,” he said. “How cool would that be? That’s the dream we want to build.

Interest in the Metaverse skyrocketed after Facebook last October rebranded itself as Meta as part of its strategy to focus on the “next frontier” of the internet. The metaverse became the latest buzzword on Wall Street as investment poured in from global tech giants like Microsoft and Google, as well as big game companies like Epic Games and Roblox. Even the biggest mainstream brands like Nike, Disney, and Gucci are now racing to establish a presence in the metaverse.

Some analysts have already started publishing market size estimates. Grayscale said in a report in November that the Metaverse would become a trillion-dollar sales opportunity in advertising, social commerce, digital events and other categories, but failed to mention a timeline for that figure. . Goldman Sachs is even more optimistic. The investment bank said in January that the digital domain could hit $8 trillion in revenue.

Fitness apps will be a “very, very big market” in the metaverse as people are still investing in their health, especially when the pandemic has heightened their health awareness, said Allen Ng, co-founder and CEO of Everest. Ventures Group, which invested in OliveX. . Ring shaped adventurea Nintendo-developed video game that combines exercise and role-playing, saw sales hit 7.4 million units between April 2020 and March 2021, when the coronavirus outbreak closed gyms and kept people stuck at home home, according to the Japanese company’s earnings report.

“When Rumjahn came to us and said they could combine the elements of crypto and blockchain with the fitness market, we thought that made perfect sense. It’s like combining two of the fastest growing markets. said Ng. “The potential is huge and the space is in its infancy, so OliveX has a good chance of becoming the leader in this space.”

Founded in 2017, OliveX was originally a subsidiary of Animoca Brands which developed fitness apps and interactive mirrors for training. The company is run by Rumjahn, a Chinese-Canadian basketball coach and software developer who found success when he created CoachBase, an application for creating diagrams and sharing games. OliveX parted ways with Animoca after raising A$2.2 million in an initial public offering on the Australian National Stock Exchange in August 2020.

OliveX’s first foray into the crypto space was an app that rewarded users with digital tokens for performing squats in 2018, but the company struggled as cryptocurrencies were not widely used in the time.

Rumjahn said it’s important to design “play reservoirs” that keep users engrossed in activity backed by a well-designed economy where they can spend money as part of a sustainable system.

“The next ten years will be blockchain and crypto,” Rumjahn said. “Over the last year or so, you’ve seen user adoption of NFTs and crypto really increase… We’ve gone from early adoption to mainstream, and based on that, we think it’s now is the time to do it.”

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