Animoca Brands partners with HTC for capital and mobile distribution boost

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By George Tchetvertakov - 

HTC is a global leader in the innovation and design of smartphones, connected devices, and virtual reality.


Game developer Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) has come out with a triple-flow of news this morning relating to its expansive gaming ambitions in Australia and Asia.

First off, Animoca has completed a heavily oversubscribed $4.5 million share placement in conjunction with a collaboration agreement with consumer electronics giant HTC Corporation that will ultimately see Animoca’s games pre-installed on HTC devices.

Animoca raised the funds through a placement of 90 million fully paid ordinary shares to sophisticated investors at an issue price of $0.05 per share, with a one-for-two attaching loyalty option, exercisable at $0.07, conditional on the placement shares being held for at least 90 days.

HTC and Animoca have agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to “develop opportunities for business collaboration” including product development, and work together in areas such as gaming, blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to decentralise the internet and reshape it for the modern user. Today, HTC has taken a major step in this direction by partnering with Animoca Brands and Dapper Labs, two dynamic and innovative companies at the forefront of the blockchain revolution,” said Phil Chen, chief crypto officer of HTC.

HTC is a leading mobile devices and technology company responsible for multiple award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC U and Desire lines of smartphones.

The agreement between Animoca and HTC, represents a strong boost for Animoca’s market recognition and future commercial opportunities given HTC’s market positioning and extensive consumer market reach.

Gaming ahead

HTC will be heavily involved in distributing one of Animoca’s leading games titles, CryptoKitties.

The agreement grants HTC a limited, non-transferable right and license to publish, distribute, commercialise and promote the popular crypto-collectable game CryptoKitties on HTC branded phones, including HTC’s U12+ flagship mobile device.

CryptoKitties was released by Axiom Zen in November 2017 and spun out into a new company called Dapper Labs in February 2018, raising $12.85 million from leading investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and the founders of Dreamworks, Reddit, Coinbase, Zynga, and AngelList.

The close collaboration with HTC including the MoU effectively fast-tracks mobile distribution of CryptoKitties in greater China and enables global joint promotional and development opportunities with HTC.

The Chinese company is currently flying high on the back of several highly-popular devices as well as the upcoming Exodus – the world’s first native blockchain phone with all-important storage cold wallet and key recovery.

The HTC Exodus will be HTC’s newest model and will be vying for shelf space alongside the Galaxy S9, LG G7 or iPhone X.

The phone is expected to represent the world’s phone that is entirely dedicated to blockchain encryption – the security technology that forms the base of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

HTC sees the Exodus as a handset that will let owners keep their data, including rapidly-fluctuating blockchain currencies private and secure on a crypto-dedicated device.

Yat Siu, the co-founder of Animoca Brands, commented: “This is an incredibly important milestone as we develop a network of partnerships with future-oriented companies like HTC and Dapper Labs to take advantage of exciting trends, particularly the rising prevalence of blockchain and DApps.”

Today’s news saw Animoca shares trading at $0.062 per share, up around 3% since the previous closing price on July 9.