Animoca Brands raises $500 million to grow open metaverse

Animoca Brands The Sandbox metaverse NFTs digital property rights
Animoca Brands’ latest capital raise has more than doubled the blockchain company’s valuation at US$5 billion.

Blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands has announced the completion of a US$358.9 million (A$500.3 million) capital raise at a pre-money valuation of US$5 billion (A$6.96 billion).

This more than doubles the unlisted game developer’s valuation and is a considerable increase on the previous capital raise undertaken in October of US$65 million (A$90 million) at a pre-money valuation of US$2.2 billion (A$3.06 billion).

Funds from the raise will be used to progress strategic acquisitions and investments, product development, and licences for popular intellectual properties.

Investor support

Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu said the company is pleased to see continued and growing support from “influential” and strategic investors.

This latest round, priced at $4.50 per share, was led by Liberty City Ventures with other investors including 10T Holdings, C Ventures, Delta Fund, Gemini Frontier Fund, Gobi Partners Greater Bay Area, Kingsway, L2 Capital, Mirae Asset, Pacific Century Group, ParaFi Capital, Provident, Senator Investment Group, Sequoia China, Smile Group, Stable Asset Management, Soros Fund Management, Wildcat Capital Management and Winklevoss Capital.

Liberty City Ventures managing partner Murtaza Akbar described Animoca Brands as a “trailblazing” company that is “demonstrating to the world the game-changing characteristics of Web3 and the open metaverse”.

“Animoca Brands is championing a more decentralised, open, fairer, and more inclusive future where everyone can truly own their digital goods and benefit from them accordingly.”

Other investors expressed their support for the company including Winklevoss Capital and Gemini founder Tyler Winklevoss, who said he has “tremendous conviction in Animoca Brands’ vision and is excited to support its mission”.

Leading the world in blockchain and gaming technology

Animoca Brands continues to establish itself as a world leader in blockchain and gaming technology by spearheading and innovating decentralised in-game rewards and monetisation in video games as it works to build the open metaverse. It aims to achieve this by bringing digital property rights to online users through the use of blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The global video game market was estimated to generate US$180.3 billion (A$251 billion) in 2021, while the metaverse market size is expected to grow to around US$829 billion (A$1.15 trillion) by 2028.

Opportunities in 2022

Mr Siu believes “tremendous” opportunities lie ahead for Animoca Brands in 2022 and beyond as the world is still at the initial stages of a new internet revolution.

“We have set ourselves the ambitious goals of building an open Web3 and facilitating an open metaverse that expands financial inclusion,” he said.

“In 2021 we saw tremendous growth in this space and Animoca Brands has been one of the forefront leaders in the development of this industry.”

Another investor in the latest round, Kingsway Capital chief executive officer and founder Manuel Stotz said Animoca Brands has already had a “tremendous impact on the way people live, play and earn”.

“The delivery of digital property rights might well be one of the most powerful ideas of the 21st century. What started 13 years ago with the launch of Bitcoin has proven to be the beginning of a new era in which digital ownership is embedded in the internet, powered by decentralised blockchains.

Gaming might well hold the key to mass adoption of blockchain technology, and Animoca Brands is perhaps the best positioned company in this space globally,” Mr Stotz said.

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