If you haven’t heard about Animoca Brands In the last year or two, you haven’t been paying full attention. With a long and growing list of digital entertainment, blockchain and gaming properties, the eight-year-old, 600-person Hong Kong-based organization has quietly become one of the most active participants in one. World That more and more stakeholders believe is the next iteration of the web.
Just now, there’s an LA costume name fan controlled football league — a sports league where fans vote on real-time decisions for their team — announced $40 million in Series A funding co-led by Animoca. And the organization, which got its start by developing games for smartphones and tablets, has invested in more than 150 other organizations since the blockchain kicked off around 2017.
It was as picturesque as it sounded. For Animoca founder Yat Siu, it also appears to be love at first sight. At the time, Animoca was on its way to acquire a company called fuel powered, which shared an office with Axiom Zen, a venture studio, and Siu became interested with the blockchain game Axiom was working on a blockchain game called “CryptoKing”. He learned about it from the cofounder of Fuel Powered, Mikhail Naeem, who was advising Axiom founder Rohan Gharegozlu.
Shortly thereafter, in early 2018, Animoca struck a deal: a one-year renewable exclusive license and distribution agreement with Axiom Zen to publish “CryptoKitties”. It took off in such a big way that Nayeem and Gharegozalu together formed Dapper Labs (now even better known for its “NBA Top Shot” marketplace), and Animoca became its early backers.
Animoca has been on an impressive tear ever since. As a publisher and increasingly, acting as a buyer of blockchain assets and tokens, its ballooning portfolio includes Sky Mavis, developer of global sensation “Axi Infinity”, which raised nearly $150 million in funding in October. I was closed. $3 billion valuation, and the popular Metaverse startup sandbox, a game where players can create and monetize in-game assets and that stops at $93 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank in November. (Until last week, the sandbox had the smallest share of land users could buy over $11,000,
Animoca has also acquired an initial stake in OpenC, which is currently the largest market for NFTs and is valued at an astonishing $13.3 billion as of last week.
Also underlining that Animoca continues to be close to action, it was recently linked with one of last year’s breakout projects, Bored Apes Yacht Club, for making a bored ape-themed game this year.
Indeed, in a conversation with Siu late last week, he said Animoca’s holdings stood at about $16 billion as of the end of November, with Animoca being valued at $2.2 billion shortly after. $65 million funding round Including Sequoia Capital China.
Interestingly, Sequoia and the rest of the syndicate bought publicly traded shares. As Siu points out, Animoca, formerly traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, was remove In March of 2020 because “it didn’t like the fact that we were dealing with crypto,” he says. It now operates as an unlisted public company. This means it can communicate with shareholders through its site and mailing lists, and its approximately 2,500 shareholders can sell their shares privately to other individuals. (You just have to know that some own them.)
Meanwhile, stakes in OpenSea and Dapper Labs are considered part of the company’s assets. “They will be exactly what you describe as balance sheet items; they basically just accrue to the value of Animoca Brands’ equity,” said Siu, who insisted that Animoca “is not a VC.” , “although it may look the same to outsiders.
Animoca’s success has not been without momentum. On Monday, an Animoca subsidiary that manufactures Sports NFTs (for non-fungible tokens) suffered a loss. security breach This resulted in users losing $18.7 million in tokens and a 92% drop in the price of subsidiary tokens.
This brave new world comes with its own distinctive drawbacks.
Still, Siu, who is today Animoca’s Group Executive Chairman and Managing Director, apparently has a great deal of faith in Web3 and, surprisingly, does not let recent criticisms surface, including the practicality of creating a fully decentralized business. Huh.
Box CEO Aaron Levy recently asked On Twitter, for example, will truly decentralized organizations that rely on input from their communities really be able to innovate if they are always busy trying to build consensus.
When asked about this, Siu said, “We’re not asking that users are all visionaries,” and that “people will know what’s best for them when there’s something to compare.”
We also talked about how Animoca is looking at investments and partnerships in 2022. He added that the company “continues to acquire game studios to take on the blockchain and essentially provide digital asset rights to end users.” From the investment side, he added that the organization is also gearing up for infrastructure that can help grow and develop the network effects of digital assets like NFTs.
What does it mean, it is “Lending, DeFi, Calibration, Protocol and Layer 1” [blockchains], and layer 2 [blockchains],
This is part of Animoca’s broad belief in “cross chains”, which is essential for rapidly growing organizations to keep growing.
“We want to encourage companies when they launch their gaming asset, or NFT, to launch it, say, Ethereum, but they should also consider putting it on the flow. [the blockchain designed by Dapper Labs], and they should also solana and they should put it too HBAR, The whole idea is to encourage people to roll out their assets on as many platforms as possible in as many protocols as possible, because for us, this freedom is really important. We see chains as countries. If you are able to launch a product in only one place, in one country, then you are limited by the culture and capability of that particular place.”
Siu—who grew up ethnically Chinese in Austria, landed his first job as a gangly teenager in Germany with Atari, and landed one of his first startups as a fish. Sold to K Oil Company – You Can Hear the Whole Thing Here, Among other things, we discussed Facebook’s Metaverse plans, Jack Dorsey’s thoughts about Web3, and how the business world is changing in Hong Kong with China redrawing some lines.