The Hong-Kong based firm Animoca Brands announced Thursday that it raised nearly $139 million total in its most recent funding round, according to a company release.
Animoca provides digital property rights through non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain tech, giving gamers the ability to own or exchange digital assets or properties in video games.
Investors in Animoca’s most recent round include Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of the crypto exchange giant Coinbase — the CEO of which had released his own NFTs. Over Animoca investors include Blue Pool Capital, Liberty City Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, Gobi Partners, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Scopely, Token Bay Capital, and zVentures.
The round was “conducted at a pre-money valuation of US$1 billion,” per the firm.
“We are honored and excited to welcome strategic investors who offer powerful synergy and partnership opportunities,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, in the statement. “The strong demand we saw in this raise is a clear endorsement for Animoca Brands’ mission to deliver digital property rights to gamers and build the Metaverse.”
Animoca intends on using the funds to finance new products, investments and acquisitions, and intellectual property licenses.
Previously, Animoca created games such as F1 Delta Time, a motorcar racing game licensed by the drag race association F1, and that uses the REVV ERC-20 token. Another is The Sandbox, a game with a Minecraft feel that allows players to own, trade, and sell digital assets created within the game as NFTs based on ERC-721 smart contracts.
Both of Animoca’s games appear to use NFTs derived from the Ethereum network, a process which has been criticized as using too much energy and thus producing too much carbon, despite the true carbon cost of an NFT remaining unknown for certain.
And yet, Animoca Brands’ unicorn valuation status, as well as other games companies like Hasbro interested in non-fungible tokens, indicate that interesting NFT continues to persist.
To be sure, NFTs have not recovered from their February peaks in terms of trading volume, which had reached a historic high of $198 million, according to data compiled by The Block.