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Belarusian-Ukrainian startup Caer Sidi attracted the first investments from the founder of the largest coffeehouse network

Friday, February 7, 2020

Caer Sidi is a cross-real ecosystem that combines the mechanics of online games with offline objects (we published a long-read about the project not so long ago). The project attracted first investments from a Belarussian businessman Alexey Betimirzaev, a co-founder of a coffeehouse network. This perspective project from West Europe keeps fundraising now.

Startup Jedi

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What is Caer Sidi

It is a comprehensive infrastructure solution for game developers and their audience. The company connects offline items with online characters and accounts with the help of NFC chips and their own virtual platform. Game stats, collectible value, ownership history, bonuses for activating the “ artifact” come into play as soon as you bring your smartphone to the merch, and the reality reliably connects with the virtuality.

With the help of Caer Sidi, game creators will be able to earn more by keeping gamers in the game longer and selling them unique artifacts. And the latter (gamers) will be able to dive deeper into the game universes and protect their accounts and artifacts from theft. The database uses the technology of the distributed ledger, so it can’t be hacked in order to delete or fake records.

Caer Sidi is a software, first of all. Merch production and distribution are assigned to the partners. Caer Sidi ensures:

  • interaction with gamers (here they can purchase inventory, activate it, see in-game stats and activities);

  • products management (anybody can track the artifact’s story and verify its authenticity and collection value);

  • the work of game creators (developers get instruments for the creation of virtual artifacts and for contacting the players).

If the customer doesn’t have his own merch production, Caer Sidi takes responsibility for the supply chain management.


How much money does the startup need

“We didn’t attract any investments so far, as we worked on our own money and sales revenue. Now we are gradually closing the seed round. During the year, we will have various events that will increase the company’s valuation — the conclusion of some major contracts, revenue growth. Therefore, we divided the round into 2–3 stages, each of which will have different conditions for investors,” — explains Pavel Shlapak, CEO of Caer Sidi.

The money received in the first stage of the round will be spent on the client onboarding and hypothesis testing.

Besides, the participation of the first investor is not limited to financing: Alexey Betimirzaev joined the Caer Sidi team as a Director of Business Development.


caer sidi

What attracts investors

1. Demanded product

The demand for such a platform has existed before, but the technical prerequisites for its creation came into place only recently with the smartphones with NFC readers appearing on the market. Some major players managed to create “local” solutions within their products (for example, Nintendo). But the interests of both corporations and gamers include the creation of a universal multiverse where artifacts from different games are collected in one place.

2. Impressive traction

Caer Sidi focused on the B2C market a year ago and managed to make sales of $1 mln+. But the cost of attracting new customers began to grow gradually, so the economic model was changed. After the pivot in the fall of 2019, the startup entered the market with a B2B solution. And now it is in the final stages of negotiations with major companies in the gaming industry. The company can tell interested investors in detail about its sales funnel. Among Caer Sidi’s clients who produce merch for game development companies are Heavy Metal.Toys (based on Wargaming games), Niko Farm and Nikonovich Studio, etc.

3. The quality of the pitch

A passionate pitch, high-quality visualization and a clear example of how an offline item becomes an online artifact: the team worked well on the presentation of their product.

4. Market size

The global game merch market is growing by 15% a year and now accounts for $ 60 billion. For example, there are about 200 mln of active users in the USA nowadays. 47% of them buy game merch, total sales volume from which equals to $ 6.7 billion a year.


Role of the Rocket DAO’s acceleration program and expert evaluation

Caer Sidi became the first “portfolio” project for Rocket DAO, that went through the entire ecosystem: from selection and acceleration in Startup Training Camp to evaluation by a large VC Fund Associate and assistance with attracting investments. Successful fundraising was an expected result.

“Rocket DAO experts helped us set priorities, organize the sales process and build up the right strategy for working with investors. An overview of the Belarussian investment ecosystem was also very worthy: we found out what players are on the market, their investing terms and conditions, their reputation, — says Pavel Shlapak.

Caer Sidi
Click the image to see the results of the evaluation

Evaluation will be useful for any startup interested in active development and growth. That’s how it helps us:

  1. While working together, we have strengthened some aspects of the project, improved our pitch and studied the market more deeply.

  2. The document makes a good impression on investors. It helps you start a conversation with them and pitch.

  3. The very fact of passing the assessment is a good press event and a milestone, it shows the maturity of the project”.



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