A peek into Web3 power player Animoca Brands – TechCrunch


If you have never heard of it Animoka brand You haven’t been paying close attention last year or so.The list of digital entertainment, blockchain, and gaming properties has been growing for a long time, so the 600 Hong Kong-based costumes of 8 years old are quiet. world More and more stakeholders believe that it is the next iteration of the Web.

Just today, LA costumes Fan Control Football League — A sports league where fans vote for the team’s real-time decisions — has announced $ 40 million in Animoca-led Series A funding. The outfit, which began with the development of games for smartphones and tablets, has invested in more than 150 other outfits since it entered the blockchain around 2017.

It was as coincidental as it was heard. At first glance, it was loved by Yat Siu, the founder of Animoca.At that time, Animoca was in the process of acquiring a company called Fuel drivenShares an office with venture studio Axiom Zen, and Siu was intrigued by Axiom’s work on a blockchain game called “CryptoKitties.” He learned of it from Fuel Powered co-founder Mikhael Naayem, who had advised Axiom founder Rohan Gharegozlou.

Shortly thereafter, in early 2018, Animoca signed a one-year, renewable, exclusive license and distribution agreement with Axiom Zen to issue “CryptoKitties.” Animoca became an early advocate of Naayem and Gharegozlou, who were so successful that they worked together to form the Dapper Labs (now better known in the “NBA Top Shots” marketplace).

Since then, Animoca has shed impressive tears. As an issuer and increasingly buyer of blockchain assets and tokens, its ballooning portfolio includes Skymavis, the developer of the global sensation Axie Infinity, about 1 in October. It ended with a $ 150 million funding. Valuation of $ 3 billion, And the popular Metaverse startup sandbox, A game that allows players to create and monetize in-game assets, $ 93 million November Series B funding led by Softbank. (As of last week, the smallest chunk of land a user can buy in the sandbox is Over $ 11,000.. )

Animoca also acquired an early stake in OpenSea, which is currently NFT’s largest market and has been recognized for its spectacular value as of last week. $ 13.3 billion..

Animoca has consistently further emphasized its closeness to action, and has recently been one of last year’s breakout projects. Boring ape yacht club, This year we will create a game with the theme of boring apes.

In fact, in a conversation with Siu last week, he said Animoca’s holdings were worth about $ 16 billion as of late November, shortly after Animoca itself was valued at $ 2.2 billion. $ 65 Million Fundraising Round Includes Sequoia Capital China.

Interestingly, Sequoia and the rest of the syndicate bought the listed stock. As Siu explains, Animoca, previously traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, Delisting “I didn’t like the fact that we were dealing with cryptography, so in March 2020,” he says. It is currently operated as a privately held public company. This means that you can communicate with shareholders through your site and mailing list, and about 2,500 shareholders can personally sell their shares to other individuals. (You just need to know that you own some.)

On the other hand, the shares of OpenSea and Dapper Labs are considered part of the company’s assets. “They are actually what we describe as balance sheet items. Basically, they only lead to the value of the equity of the Animoca brand,” Animoca emphasized, “not a VC.”

Animoca’s success wasn’t without a surge in speed.On Monday, a subsidiary of Animoca to create a sports NFT (for non-fungible tokens) Security breach This will cost users $ 18.7 million worth of tokens and reduce the price of their subsidiary’s tokens by 92%.

This brave new world has its own drawbacks.

Still, today Animoca Group Executive Chairman and Managing Director Siu clearly believes in web3 very much, and of course, recent, including the practicality of creating a fully decentralized business. I don’t pay much attention to criticism.

Box CEO Aaron Levie Recently asked For example, on Twitter, you can see if a truly decentralized organization that relies on community opinion can truly innovate if it’s always busy building consensus.

When asked about this, Siu said, “We don’t want users to have all the foresight,” he said. “If there’s something to compare, people know what’s best for them.” I’m sure. “

He also talked about what Animoca thinks about investment and partnerships in 2022. He said he continues to acquire game studios to “move to the blockchain and provide essentially digital property rights to end users.” From the investment side, he added, the outfit is also attracted to infrastructure that helps develop and expand the network effects of digital properties such as NFTs.

What that means is “lending, DeFi, subdivision, protocol, and layer 1”. [blockchains], And layer 2 [blockchains].. “

This is part of Animoca’s comprehensive belief in the “crosschain” that fast-growing costumes need to keep growing.

“We want to encourage companies to launch game assets and NFTs, for example on Ethereum, but we should also consider putting them in the flow. [the blockchain designed by Dapper Labs]..And they should wear it too Solana And they should wear it too HBAR.. The overall idea is to encourage people to deploy their assets on as many platforms as possible and on as many protocols as possible. Because for us this independence is very important. We see chains like a country. If a product can only be launched in one place in a country, you are limited to the culture and possibilities of that particular place. “

You can hear more from a conversation with Siu, who grew up as a Chinese in Austria, got his first job as a gang teenager in Atari, Germany, and sold one of his first startups to a fish oil company. here.. In particular, we talked about Facebook’s Metaverse plan, Jack Dorsey’s thoughts on web3, and how Hong Kong’s business world is changing as China redraws some lines.

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