- Animoca Brands, an investor in metaverse startups, has raised nearly $359 million.
- The firm is now valued above $5 billion, up from $2.2 billion in October.
Animoca Brands, a leading investor in games and metaverse startups, announced today that it has raised nearly $359 million at a valuation of more than $5 billion.
The $358,888,888 round was led by Liberty City Ventures. It also featured participation from numerous other firms, including Winklevoss Capital, billionaire investor George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, Sequoia China, Gemini Frontier Fund, and 10T Holdings.
The latest fundraise follows a pair of investment rounds in 2021. The company raised nearly $139 million across two tranches announced in May and July, respectively, at a valuation of $1 billion. That round brought in investors such as Coinbase Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, and Razer’s zVentures.
The firm then added another $65 million at a valuation of $2.2 billion in October. The smaller round was billed as a strategic one with the aim of bringing in new partners, such as gaming giant Ubisoft, which Animoca will co-develop NFT games with. Ubisoft recently launched in-game NFTs via the blockchain in a separate initiative.
Animoca Brands has invested in more than 100 startups, including some of the most prominent builders in the NFT space. Among its investments are leading NFT marketplace OpenSea (valued at $13.3 billion), NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs (valued at $7.6 billion), and Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis (valued near $3 billion).
Beyond investments, Animoca also publishes its own NFT-driven games. Animoca is best known for The Sandbox, an upcoming Ethereum-based metaverse game that has inked alliances with Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Atari, and other brands and celebrities. It also publishes licensed racing game F1 Delta Time, among other crypto game projects.
Animoca invests exclusively in projects that are building towards an open, interoperable metaverse, in which NFT assets can be used across various immersive platforms. An NFT is a type of token that essentially functions as a receipt of ownership over digital items on the internet, including art, music, and video game assets.
Founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu told Decrypt in October that he views tech giants like Facebook and Tencent—both of which are making moves around the metaverse—as a potential “threat” to the open future that many crypto startups are building towards. He believes that such centralized firms may not be building with the same kind of cross-platform, interoperable ethos.
“We're kind of in a hurry to make this happen,” said Siu of investing in open metaverse startups. “The biggest threat is not regulators. I think regulators are necessary to keep the space proper and everything is secure [...] I think the threat is Facebook, and the threat is Tencent.”