- Amazon has announced a multi-faceted partnership with Superplastic.
- Its venture capital arm, Amazon Alexa Fund also led the character design studio’s $20 million fundraising.
- The partnership will see Amazon Studios create an animated comedy series based on Superplastic’s synthetic celebrity characters.
Amazon has invested in Superplastic’s $20 million funding round. The global e-commerce giant led the round, which also serves as part of a multi-faceted partnership with the character design studio.
The Series A extension round also attracted participation from web3 and tech-focused investment companies including Craft Ventures, Google Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Kering, Sony Japan, Scribble Ventures, Kakao, Animoca Brands, Day One Ventures, and Betaworks.
Superplastic has now raised a total of $58 million across pre-seed, seed and Series A rounds. The company plans to use some of the fresh capital to expand its character universe.
As part of this partnership, Amazon Studios is developing “The Janky & Guggimon Show” an animated comedy series based on Superplastic’s synthetic celebrity characters Janky and Guggimon.
According to the announcement, this show will be the first of many to come after the two companies signed a “first-look deal” to bring more characters from the Superplastic universe into Amazon Studios.
Janky and Guggimon are two of Superplastic’s most famous characters. The two synthetic celebrities built a huge fan base on social media that saw them land the first-look deal on a major streaming service. If Prime Video orders the show to a Series, it could be streamed in 240 countries and regions, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.
The comedy series brings to life the story of two lazy friends determined “to get rich and famous, who leave a trail of chaos and destruction in their wake.”
Amazon Studios and Superplastic are taking a new approach to merging the metaverse, gaming and TV series. Normally, metaverse character designers are inspired by legacy animated TV series. A good example here is The Smurfs, which last year teamed up with the Sandbox to launch a virtual village in the metaverse.
In Amazon’s case, the studio is tapping onto Superplastic’s synthetic characters to create an animated TV show.
Last year, Time Studios teamed up with Waheed’s Smilesssvrs and Doug’s Toy Boogers NFT collections to create a kids’ TV show based on the NFT characters.
Commenting on the Amazon partnership, Superplastic founder and CEO Paul Budnitz praised his company’s work on synthetic celebrity characters for establishing “a cult following in every medium they’ve touched.”
“The new collaboration partnership with Amazon Studios reaches a massive audience and provides a new playground for us to wreak havoc worldwide. We’re grateful for the investment the Amazon Alexa Fund gave us to help us continue to grow the Superplastic Universe!” added Budnitz.
For Amazon, this partnership comes at a time when the company is said to be planning to launch its NFT plan by Spring this year. Superplastic has already collaborated with multiple brands including Gucci to create NFTs based on its characters
The company has previously announced partnerships with web3 companies, including Avalanche developer Ava Labs, and was recently looking for a senior web3 Go-to-Market specialist who has a clear understanding of blockchain architecture and web3 games.
Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund commented: “As we expand the Alexa Fund to address a wider range of consumer technologies that include ambient computing, smart devices, and the future of entertainment, we’re very excited to add Superplastic to our portfolio.”
“Superplastic’s virtual celebrities delight audiences and meet their customers where they are, and we see them as demonstrative of a new class of IP that is going to be increasingly relevant with younger generations. We are excited to be an investor and to continue to help Superplastic and Amazon’s Media and Entertainment teams identify more ways to delight customers,” added Bernard.
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