App by Acorns Founder merges fintech and gaming – gamers save and micro-earn by playing top mobile games; Zynga, Pocket Gems, and Disruptor Beam sign on as partners.
July 17, 2018 – Blast, a company that helps people micro-save and earn money while playing the games they love, today announced a top-off of its Seed Round at $12 million in conjunction with launching its app in the Google Play Store. New investors include personal growth entrepreneur Tony Robbins, Palo Alto-based fintech fund CreditEase, and RX3, an influencer-focused VC fund based in Orange County. Additionally, Zynga, Pocket Gems, and Disruptor Beam have signed on with Blast to create custom ways for players to micro-earn and save money.
Today’s Android app launch provides a way to save money by playing mobile games, based on in-game triggers set by the user. Gamers also earn real cash dividends by completing Missions to explore new games or achieve higher levels in existing games. In addition, the Leaderboard pays cash to the top 25% of gamers each week, including $1,000 to first place. Blast works with all mobile games in the Google Play Store, and is compatible with PC games beginning with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on the Steam marketplace, with more PC games coming soon. Blast is led by Acorns co-founder and Chairman, Walter Cruttenden.
To get started, users download the Blast app, create an account and link their checking account to their Blast wallet. Savings are magnified in three ways: interest paid on balances, dividends from Missions, and weekly Leaderboard payouts. Gamers can decide how much they want to save based on simple time triggers or more complex achievement triggers. Blast users accumulate money in an FDIC-insured account earning 1% APY. In Blast’s 8-week Beta period, the average user’s account was up more than 7%. Blast’s goal is to make savings so exciting and rewarding that more and more people will be encouraged to start saving early and come to appreciate the power of incremental micro-income.
The app works in the background of millions of games like Candy Crush, Arena of Valor and Clash Royale, so game sessions are never interrupted. Blast will continually add support for additional PC games on Steam, and the company has started a waitlist for games on iOS, which launches this fall.
“It’s tough for most people to save money, so we created Blast to help people start accumulating wealth simply by doing what they already enjoy – playing their favorite games,” Cruttenden said. “Blast takes something hard or boring – like saving money – and makes it fun and easy through gaming. The app is simple to use for both avid and casual gamers and adds a new dynamic that can make games more interesting. Gamers tell us they feel better with the time they spend gaming when they know they are micro-saving or micro-earning in the background.”
“Following my aXiomatic investments in esports, such as Team Liquid and Super League Gaming, I’m committed to pursuing growth opportunities across the gaming spectrum,” said investor and personal growth entrepreneur Tony Robbins. “I believe Walter and his talented team are introducing a unique formula that combines savings with fun that will level-up gamers around the world!”
One of Blast’s key advisors, Behavioral Economist, Shlomo Benartzi of UCLA, commented, “It is hard to save and difficult to change behaviors. But if you can attach a positive outcome to something that people already do and love, like gaming, you can change lives. That’s what we are trying to do at Blast – improving outcomes to change lives for the better.”
“Alongside helping gamers save, Blast can help game publishers and developers retain and re-engage their customers,” said Armin Collosi, VP of Business Development. “Game publishers can design their own Missions to encourage gamers to reach the next level. By enabling players to save while they earn in-game achievements, Blast helps publishers keep players immersed in their favorite games. By helping gamers save, the game companies actually help gamers level-up their real world lives!”
Blast previously raised $5 million from investors including Forbes and Roth families, Core Innovation Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Snowmass Private Equity, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and others. The additional $7 million in funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth through the early marketing phase.
Blast is an early stage technology company focused on using novel game mechanics to improve outcomes for gamers, game companies and the financial services industry. Located in Newport Beach, CA, Blast currently has a team of 32 designers, engineers and research personnel playing games and developing new savings triggers everyday!