Move-to-earn NFT Stepn To Open Office In HK’s Cyberport
HONG KONG – Stepn, an app wherein people buy shoe non-fungible token (NFT) through which you can earn in-game cryptocurrencies by walking or running in the real world, is poised to open its 1st brick-and-mortar office at Hong Kong’s government-owned start-up accelerator Cyberport, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Monday (5 September).
Stepn’s Hong Kong office represents its 1st regional headquarters outside Australia, said its co-founder Jerry Huang.
The move comes as other crypto firms have been retreating from Hong Kong due to an upcoming new licensing requirement for crypto exchanges. In addition, COVID-related quarantine restrictions have resulted in an exodus in the crypto sector.
Still, Huang said they were persuaded by former Cyberport Chairman George Lam, who travelled to Sydney to invite Stepn to establish a presence in Cyberport.
“I was honoured that he came to see me. We had dinner and Dr Lam enthusiastically invited us to go and help Hong Kong create a Web3 start-up environment together. I felt very happy and encouraged,” said Huang in an online interview during Cyberport’s Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum earlier this month.
Notably, Stepn was established in December 2021 by Australia-based Chinese entrepreneurs Huang and Yawn Rong, and it quickly became a hit in nations including the US and Japan.
In January 2022, the company obtained US$5 million in seed funding from investors including Sequoia Capital. In the first quarter of the year, it generated a US$20 million profit primarily from its share of in-game transactions.
Hong Kong’s Cyberport has sought to take advantage of the growing interest in Web3, which is deemed as the next-generation World Wide Web which is decentralised via the use of tech like blockchain. Animoca Brands, blockchain gaming behemoth that owns metaverse platform The Sandbox is also headquartered in Cyberport.