HK’s blockchain-based gaming company Animoca Brands nets $50m

Photo: Seam Do/Unsplash

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based firm that develops digital property rights for games through non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has raised $50 million in the second tranche of its unicorn funding round.

The latest round was joined by Blue Pool Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment firm co-founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joe Tsai in 2014; Gobi Partners; Korea Investment Partners; Samsung Venture Investment Corporation; and Token Bay Capital.

A slew of US investors also participated in the fresh funding round including Coinbase Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, Scopely, and Razer’s corporate venture arm zVentures, among others.

The total corpus raised by Animoca in the two tranches of its unicorn funding round now stands at $139 million.

Animoca achieved unicorn status in May this year when it raised $89 million at a valuation of $1 billion. The round was participated by the UK alternative asset manager Kingsway Capital, digital asset manager and financial technology group Hashkey Fintech Investment Fund, and RIT Capital Partners (Formerly Rothschild Investment Trust), a British investment trust with a focus on quoted securities and quoted special situations.

Animoca will use the proceeds for strategic investments and acquisitions, product development, and licences for popular intellectual properties.

As part of the deal, Animoca will issue NFTs to its investors and partners, it said.

Animoca, which was founded in 2014 by Yat Siu and got listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2020, brings digital property rights to video gamers and the Metaverse through blockchain and NFTs that provide true digital ownership, play-to-earn capabilities, and digital asset interoperability. It also conducts investment activities in startups such as Dapper Labs, and Opensea.

Some of its portfolio games include F1® Delta Time, The Sandbox, and MotoGP™ Ignition, as well as associated tokens, including REVV, and SAND.

“By creating games and worlds around ownership of digital goods, Animoca Brands has introduced a true paradigm shift, placing power with users instead of developers. We’re seeing the emergence of a completely new ecosystem — a true metaverse,” said Gobi Partners managing partner Chibo Tang in the statement.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.