Unicorn status reaffirmed: Animoca Brands raises another US$50m, again at US$1 billion valuation
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The NFT craze has shown signs of cooling but Animoca Brands is still red hot.
The Australia-incorporated, Hong Kong-based company, delisted from the ASX last year, has raised another US$50 million at a US$1 billion valuation — reinforcing its “unicorn” status.
Investors included Blue Pool Capital, the family office of Alibaba co-founders Joe Tsai and Jack Ma; Coinbase Ventures, the venture capital arm of the US crypto exchange; Samsung Venture Investment Corp, the global investment arm of Samsung Group.
Other big investor names include Scopely, the video game publisher of WWE Champions and Star Trek Fleet Commander; Korea Investment Partners; Liberty City Ventures; Token Bay Capital; and zVentures, the corporate venture arm of gaming hardware company Razer Inc.
“We are honoured and excited to welcome strategic investors who offer powerful synergy and partnership opportunities,” said Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu.
“The strong demand we saw in this raise is a clear endorsement for Animoca Brands’ mission to deliver digital property rights to gamers and build the Metaverse.”
Emil Woods, managing partner of Liberty City Ventures, said the New York City-based seed-stage fund was thrilled to work with Animoca, “the foremost innovator in NFTs and gaming economies”.
“Animoca Brands’ creations demonstrate the powerful possibilities that unique digital assets bring to the metaverse and the physical realm, heralding a decentralized future in which intellectual property will be able to travel seamlessly between both,” Woods said.
Scopely chief revenue officer Tim O’Brien said that Animoca was “on the forefront of blockchain gaming and a true thought leader in the space”.
Thrown off the local bourse last year in large part because of its involvement with digital tokens, Animoca is the company behind the Sand ERC-20 token, the No. 194 crypto with a market cap of US$177 million, which is used to pay for items on its blockchain game The Sandbox, a Minecraft-like virtual world.
Animoca also publishes F1 Delta Time, a Formula 1 racing game, and Crazy Defense Heroes, a tower defence game. Both games are powered by Ethereum tokens, meaning in-game items are actually owned by players and can be sold and traded.
In April, a two-day sale of NFTs for F1 Delta Time and The Sandbox generated the equivalent of US$9.3 million in cryptographic tokens for Animoca.
Animoca in May raised $88,888,888 in the first tranche of its capital raise. The second tranche of the capital raise completes it, bringing the total raised to US$138,888,888 (about $181.38 million). Animoca will issue 164.8 million new shares at $1.10 per share. Animoca stock was trading at 18c last year when it was delisted.
The new capital will be used to fund investments and acquisitions, product development, and licenses for popular intellectual properties, Animoca said.