Andris Merkulovs of Monetizr on how blockchain is transforming gaming


How do you reward millions of gamers for their time and skill whilst improving engagement for game developers and reach for brands? How do you do it without compromising the gaming experience? That was the problem that three gamers set out to solve with Monetizr – the first universal game reward engine which intends to turn the gaming industry into a united and democratized space through a blockchain-based tokenized system.

Seeing the potential, we invited Monetizr to share their experience on the Superhero stage at TechChill 2019 after they won 2nd place at the Latvia-based startup brand top finals in October. With still some weeks to go before February chills roll in we checked in with Andris Merkulovs, the Co-founder and CEO of Monetizr to learn more about their story.

What’s going on in the gaming industry right now and what part does Monetizr play in this space?

Monetizr is building universal game currency – used across all games. A united ecosystem that would benefit gamers and publishers alike. We launched Game Reward Engine in 2017. Now we’re working with more than 30 game publishers, reaching 17 million monthly active users. But this is the beginning and our ambition is to reach hundreds of millions more.

Gaming industry is as fascinating as it is fragmented. It’s still about making a great game. Now the challenges are for the game to be found and then retaining player attention for longer than a day. There are around 2.2 billion gamers worldwide, majority playing on the smartphones. Huge audience, huh? But there are also 500 games submitted on iOS App store alone every day. It’s a loud space with very short lifespan for games. Monetizr is here to help publishers with game monetization and player engagement.

How can the Monetizr reward tokens be earned and how are they different from the gaming reward systems that came before them?

Gaming tokens are nothing new. Majority of mobile games have their in-game tokens that are rewarded for completing levels and so on. People spent 40 billion USD buying them in 2017. The problem is, those game tokens lack any real-world value outside the game.

Monetizr token is white label solution so games won’t lose their personality. Imagine playing Candy Crush Saga. Earn tokens for completing levels that go in your player wallet. Then use them to help along with avatar on Fortnite, or exchange earned tokens for real-life goods like game merch (t-shirts, hats, even socks), brand-sponsored rewards (like Nike swag, a.o.) or other cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum). Our difference is the approach and power we give to the token. For the first time players are rewarded with real-value things instead of only using tokens within one game.

Monetizr has graduated two leading startup accelerators: Techstars and UpTech – what roadblocks did you experience as you refined your value proposition?

Before finalizing the working product, we went through a rigorous problem interview process. We had to know our potential customers inside out. More than 500 interviews with game developers, each around an hour and we have 20+ days of material. Took some time to approach all publishers and then round up the information. Thanks to this we have established amazing mentor and advisor network from top gaming companies. Our clients trust us to deliver top-notch service.

You have opened a security token pre-sale at Monetizr, what prompted you to pursue this method of fundraising?  

Looking back at ICO craze we can say that blockchain proved it is useful for fundraising. Security tokens are part of the next fintech wave. They can be offered by privately held companies to accredited investors. For us, STOs are appealing because of programmable token nature. We can implement different features which makes tokens more robust. Smart contracts can help deal with occurring things like automatic dividend payments. We can bake in KYC checks so tokens can only be sent to known personas. Smart contracts allow eliminating the middleman, cutting the administrative costs.

Liquidity is also an appealing promise of the security token markets. Security tokens will be tradable 24/7, with an almost instant settlement. And of course, security and transparency of blockchain and ability to audit the system anytime. This will increase trust and credibility. These features make the company more compliant.

What could we expect from the gaming space in the future?

Gaming is 27 times bigger industry than the crypto market. That’s why gaming is a natural space for it to grow. Monetizr cooperates with Ethereum Classic and GoChain to build a solution on top of them for on-chain off-chain transactions. We’re offering gamers one of top 20 best-known cryptocurrencies not make our own, new currency. We expect gaming space will adapt cryptocurrencies in near future.

To learn more about Monetizr’s story, get your pass and hear Andris share their experience on the Superhero stage.

Prepared by Greta Babarskaite, Content Manager at TechChill 

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