Asia Digest: Animoca to acquire Skytree; SoftBank Ventures backs Class101

Animoca Brands is going to acquire a 75 per cent stake in Hong Kong-based mobile games developer Skytree, while SoftBank Ventures Asia has led a $10.53 million round in Class101, a South Korean hobby-based social networking platform operator startup.

Animoca Brands to acquire 75% stake in Skytree 

ASX-listed Animoca Brands Corporation Limited has initiated the acquisition of 75 per cent stake in Hong Kong-based mobile games developer Skytree for upfront consideration of A$850,000 (approximately $605,700), according to an announcement.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by 3 June 2019, subject to due diligence and final closing conditions.

Established in 2013 Skytree is a mobile game developer and publisher, founded by entrepreneurs Silver Yu and Andy Chan.

In addition to producing gamification products for third parties such as SmarTone’s Birdie Farm, Skytree has developed original award-winning titles including Hachi Hachi and Trillionia, which together have accumulated 5 million downloads on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

“Skytree is a company with a history of delivering high-quality products and who shares our vision on the future of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), so it’s a great fit with Animoca Brands,” Yat Siu, chairman and co-founder, Animoca Brands said. “We’re extremely excited about the opportunity to bring Trillionia to blockchain – not just because it’s a polished game that recently won the top digital entertainment award in Hong Kong, but also because its board game and collectible trading card game elements make it an ideal candidate for blockchain and NFTs,” he added.

SoftBank Ventures Asia leads $10.53m funding in Class101 

South Korea’s hobby-based social networking platform operator startup Class101 has raised 2 billion won ($10.53 million) in a series A round from a host of investors led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, per an announcement.

Mirae Asset Venture Investment, KT Investment, Naver affiliate Spring Camp and California-based Strong Ventures also joined the round.

Founded in 2015 by Ko Ji-yeon, Class101 is an online platform where people can make and enjoy hobbies.

Online users of Class101 can subscribe to a “class” to share hobbies with other users and hone related skills. It provides classes for various hobbies from illustration, calligraphy and handicrafts to cooking.

Class101 received 550 million won seed investment from Spring Camp in June 2018.

SoftBank Group Corp recently was said that it has expanded its appetite for early-stage startups, with a venture capital unit set to launch its biggest fund for early investments as it opens new offices in Asia.

The global fund from newly rebranded Seoul-based SoftBank Ventures Asia will be worth as much as $500 million and could launch next month, its CEO JP Lee told Reuters in an interview.

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