Blockchain Gaming Firm Animoca Brands Raises $360mln for Building ‘The Open Metaverse’
Animoca Brands revealed Tuesday that it has secured about $360 million in a fresh investment round, which pegged the valuation of the Hong Kong-headquartered blockchain gaming firm at $5 billion. The investment has lifted the valuation by over 200% from the company’s earlier October 2021 estimate of $2.2 billion and increases its total cash amassed to about $700 million.
It intends to utilize the funds to make acquisitions, create new products, and license more intellectual property. The financing, which extends an aggressive time for blockchain games and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), was headed by Liberty City Ventures with participation from Winklevoss Capital and Soros Fund Management.
As per research from NFT sales monitoring company DappRadar, the market for NFTs will almost double to about $25 billion in 2021, from a mere under $100 million two years back, with gaming-linked crypto assets representing around 20% of total. As per Axios Gaming, blockchain and non-traditional gaming startups attracted investments totaling $3.6 billion in 2021.
“We think we remain in the phase of a new digital revolution, and there are great potential waiting of us this year and even beyond,” Yat Siu, cofounder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said in a statement. Animoca Brands builds, runs, and makes investment in blockchain gaming and NFT-linked businesses. The company is founded on the notion of “true digital possession,” which entails converting all game items into tangible assets in the form of NFTs. The Sandbox and Revv Racing are two of its most famous games.
Additionally, the business has invested in over 150 NFT, metaverse, and blockchain startups, notably OpenSea, Dapper Labs, the creators of NBA Top Shot, Sky Mavis, and, as of this week, the Fan Controlled Football league.
Animoca Brands was co – founded by Siu and split out from digital communications startup Outblaze eight years back to concentrate on its developing mobile gaming business. After shifting its focus to NFTs and blockchain gaming five years back, Animoca Brands finally aroused the fury of the Australian Securities Exchange, which claimed the business violated its listing guidelines owing to its “engagement in cryptocurrency-linked operations,” among many other things. It was taken down from the stock exchange in March 2020.
Since then, it has undergone a remarkable transformation. Animoca Brands secured $88.8 million during foremost installment of a two-part funding deal in May 2021, valuing the firm at $1 billion.
After raising $50 million last July, the company raised an additional $65 million in October 2021 from funds including Sequoia Capital and Ubisoft.
Softbank invested $93 million outright into the Sandbox in the months that followed, while Animoca Brands collaborated with crypto exchange Binance to launch a $200 million blockchain technology based gaming incubator and accelerator program.
The business recorded $141 million in sales and $530 million in other earnings in 3Q21, including profits on investments and digital content. Additionally, it said that by the last leg of November, its digital holdings were worth at $16 billion.
However, Animoca Brands is not the first blockchain gaming firm to get an unexpected capital injection. Mythical Games, a rival firm that produces both blockchain games and the technology that powers them, received $75 million in June, while Sorare secured $680 million almost three months later for the blockchain-powered fantasy soccer game. Also, Sky Mavis and Dapper Labs raised significant amounts of money at the end of 2021, raising $152 million and $250 million, respectively, albeit Animoca Brands holds investments in both.
Siu is unconcerned about his rivals. Indeed, he is wagering on them. “It’s a shared network impact with Web 3.0,” he explained Forbes in November. “While there may be rivalry amongst the parties, they all rely on one another.”