Hong Kong blockchain game maker Animoca hits $ 2.2 billion valuation amid NFT Mania

Animoca brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain game developer and investor in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), reached a valuation of $ 2.2 billion after withdrawing new capital from investors such as French Ubisoft Entertainment and Sequoia China .

Animoca announced on Wednesday that it had raised $ 65 million in its latest funding round which also included Liberty City Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, as well as Jack Ma’s protégé Justin Sun, who is the founder of the cryptocurrency platform Tron. , among others. Animoca previously raised $ 88.9 million through a fundraiser in May that earned unicorn status for the seven-year-old company.

The company has made a name for itself with blockchain games up for grabs that allow players to collect and trade NFTs on its platforms. An NFT is a digital asset stored on a blockchain that determines the ownership of objects such as art, music, videos, or game items. Among Animoca’s most popular titles is The Sandbox, which is similar to Minecraft world building video game. The Sandbox players can create and monetize in-game assets such as lands, connected objects, and gear.

Animoca said it plans to use the new capital to fund strategic investments, acquisitions, product development and intellectual property licensing. “The future is already here,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and president of Animoca, in a statement. “With the support of our new strategic investors, Animoca Brands will continue to advance blockchain in-game – and beyond – to present true digital property to billions of players and internet users.”

The company’s latest funding round serves to highlight the growing popularity of NFTs. Trading volume for tokens jumped to $ 10.7 billion in the third quarter, a 704% jump from the previous quarter, according to an industry report released by DappRadar. Billionaire Elon Musk recently jumped on the bandwagon selling a song as NFT, while celebrities and sports stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Lionel Messi have started launching their own NFT collections. The scorching space, however, has also drawn skeptics who say the nascent market already looks sparkling.

Founded as a spin-off in 2014, Animoca began by developing games for smartphones and tablets, some of which were based on cartoon characters like Garfield and Doraemon. The company first ventured into blockchain games around 2017 and has since released several hits, including a licensed Formula 1 racing game.

Animoca has also invested in blockchain companies that focus on NFT related activities. Its portfolio includes Dapper Labs, the company behind the pioneering blockchain game CryptoKitties, Sky Mavis, the developer of global sensation Axie Infinity, as well as OpenSea, the largest marketplace for NFTs, according to DappRadar.

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