- BUD is a user-generated content social app for Gen-Z.
- Users with no prior coding knowledge can create custom game experiences.
- BUD has plans to launch an NFT marketplace soon.
Metaverse user-generated content (UGC) platform, BUD, has closed $36.8 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital India, TechCrunch reports. This is BUD’s second round of financing in three months as it previously raised $15 million in a Series A+ round in February.
The new funding brings BUD’s total financing to over $60 million. Participants in the round included ClearVue Partners, NetEase and Northern Light Venture Capital, along with existing investors GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, and Source Code Capital.
Founded in 2019 by two former Snap engineers, Risa Feng and Shawn Lin, BUD is a social app that allows users with no prior coding knowledge to create customisable 3D game experiences, virtual assets and cute avatars through its drag-and-drop creation tool.
BUD did not disclose its number of active users but says its users have created more than 15 million virtual spaces with gameplay since the app launched in November last year.
Virtual assets, including costumes and accessories that users have designed for game characters, have been traded more than 150 million times on the app’s marketplace.
However, BUD has not yet started monetising functions within the app and is not charging commissions for now. Within weeks of its launch, the free-to-use and ad-free app was one of the top 10 social apps in nearly 40 countries across North America, Southeast Asia and South America. It is currently the top free social app in Thailand and Vietnam, according to digital and mobile intelligence platform, Sensor Tower.
While apps like South Korea’s Zepeto, China’s Zheli, and Roblox also allow users with no coding experience to create virtual characters and spaces, BUD is setting itself apart with plans to launch an NFT marketplace soon. This means that users could possibly sell their virtual assets as NFTs and ownership of the items will be recorded on the blockchain.
According to TechCrunch, BUD declined to disclose which blockchain the marketplace will be built on and what tokens it will use.
“While BUD makes 3D content creation possible for mainstream Gen Z consumers, we will continue to bring blockchain to mainstream consumers and allow our creators to truly own and monetize their creations,” said Lin in a statement.
The company will continue to expand its team of 130 employees spread across its headquarters in Singapore as well as offices in Shenzhen and the US.
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