Blockchain unicorn Animoca brands raises USD70 million despite a crypto winter
Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands, well known for its virtual gaming world the Sandbox, has raised USD75 million in a new round of financing despite failing non-fungible tokens (NFT) sales amid a crypto winter.
The fundraise is Animoca’s fifth round of fundraising and the second tranche of the previous funding round in January, giving the company a valuation of US$5.9 billion,
The company said in statement that it will use the capital to fund acquisitions, investments and product development as well as obtain licenses for popular intellectual properties in order to further develop its metaverse.
“Digital property rights represent a society-defining generational shift that impacts everyone online and will set the stage for the emergence of the open metaverse,” said executive chairman and cofounder Yat Siu.
Animoca continues to push for what it calls an “open metaverse”, Yat Siu said any kind dominance by tech giants such as Meta and Tencent will hurt the development of metaverse because the principles of the metaverse will be openness and interoperability.
Founded in 2014, Hong-Kong based Animoca Brands focuses on bring digital property rights to video gamers utilizing NFTs, it owns popular blockchain game the Sandbox after it acquired the game developer Pixowl in 2018, it has also developed a number of blockchain game project like Formula E: High Voltage, F1 Delta Time, and REVV Racing.
Non-fungible token (NFT) has fueled the development of Metaverse because NFT collectibles are 3D avatars in the metaverse with asset ownership enabling new kinds of income streams for users.
In order to expand its influence in the NFT sector and achieve its goal to build powerful metaverse ecosystem, Animoca Brands make more than 200 investments in NFT-related platform and companies, most notable case including the world’s largest NFT marketplace OpenSea and the creator of trendy and hit Etherum-based play-to-earn blockchain game Axie Infinity, Dapper Labs ( the owner of Cyrpokitties and NBA top shot).
The company is also a partner of Yuga Labs, the creator of the popular NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Citing industry research, Animoca also indicated that the global video game market is expected to reach USD829 billion in 2028, a giant leap from USD180.3 billion in 2021. GameFi, a broad concept that combines game, NFTs, and Defi (decentralized finance), has lots of room to grow because it will benefit a lot from the sizeable growth of the global game market.
Investors backing Animoca include Liberty City Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Alpha Wave Ventures, 10T, SG Spring Limited Partnership Fund, Generation Highway Ltd, Cosmic Summit Investments Limited.
Animoca’s latest fundraise comes at the time when a cryptocurrency market winter wiped billions of dollars from the value of popular tokens. The tightening of monetary policies in major Western economies contributed to a global sell-off in a range of risky assets.
NFT sales volumes on Opensea fell by more than 70 per cent in June from the previous month, according to Dune Analytics.