Animoca Brands Shrugs Off FTX Woes, Eyes $2B New Metaverse Fund

Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu said the fund will target mid to late-stage metaverse projects.
Image source: Animoca Brands

Quick take:

  • Anomoca Brands is raising new funds to invest in the metaverse.
  • Co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu said the company is targeting $1-$2 billion.
  • The fund will be managed by Siu and his fund manager partner.

Animoca Brands is raising $1-$2 billion for a new metaverse fund. The new fund will be managed by co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu with his managing partner. The fund will target mid to late-stage metaverse startups according to Siu, who spoke to Nikkei Asia on Wednesday.

“We are thinking about a fund [that is now] forming,” said Siu, adding that the focus will be everything digital property rights, a campaign the company has championed since pivoting to web3.

Animoca Brands invests in three main blockchain segments including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — which are blockchain-based digital files that represent proof of ownership of JPEG, a virtual avatar, a digital collectible or artwork.

It has also invested heavily in blockchain games, which are online games that are powered by NFTs and in-game tokens. An in-game token is a cryptocurrency used to facilitate transactions between players. It can also be used for governance purposes, giving players an opportunity to own a portion of the game through token staking.

Animoca Brands’ third major focus, the metaverse is driven by its lead product, The Sandbox, which is a 3D virtual space where brands can launch virtual experiences including merchandise and gaming, as well as, virtual events like concerts and conferences.

Overall, the company has invested across 380 projects in the web3 space— which is a term used to describe a next-gen blockchain-based internet that prioritises decentralisation and community ownership.

Animoca Brands has invested in the NFT marketplace OpenSea, blockchain company Dapper Labs and NFT project Yuga Labs, whilst also sealing several partnerships with leading blockchain gaming projects.

The company is doubling down on its metaverse investments amid the rapid adoption of the industry. According to a report published by McKinsey in May, the metaverse is expected to reach a value of $5 trillion, while a new report by US market research company IDC estimates the burgeoning industry will be worth $74.7 billion by 2026.

Animoca Brands is backed by some of the leading fund management firms including Temasek— Singapore’s state fund, US-based GGV Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and South Korea’s Mirae Asset Management. 

The company was recently valued at $5.9 billion after raising $75 million in July. The valuation remained unchanged after closing another funding round of $110 million in September.

Siu said the new metaverse fund is created to make it easier for investors to access web3 companies, calling it “a good entry point” for Web3 businesses.

“For a lot of traditional investors, investing in growth [stage] to a late stage is safer. It’s very different from investing in a seed startup, which has much higher risk,” said Siu.

The announcement of the fund comes at a time when the crypto market is in turmoil following the collapse of FTX, which was once the third-largest crypto exchange platform in the world.

Whilst acknowledging the challenge of raising funds in such an environment, Siu also flipped the other side of the coin, calling it an opportunity. “I think it’s not as competitive as before. … In a bear market, what often happens is concentration goes to market leaders.”


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