A look at Animoca Brands Web3 power player - TechCrunch

A look at Animoca Brands Web3 power player TechCrunch

If you have not heard of Animoca Brands over the last year or two, you have not paid close attention. With a long and growing list of digital entertainment, blockchain, and game features, the Hong Kong-based, eight-year-old 600-person suit has quietly become one of its most active partners. in a world that more and more stakeholders believe is. the next round of the net.

Just today, a LA suit titled Fan Controlled Football League - a sports league where fans vote on real-time decisions for their team - announced $ 40 million in Series A funding co-directed by Animoca. And the suit, which began developing games for smartphones and tablets, has invested in more than 150 more outfits since it entered the blockchain around 2022.

It was as serendipitous as it feels. To the founder of Animoca Yat Siu, it also seems to have been love at first sight. At the time, Animoca was on its way to acquiring a company called Fuel Powered, which shared an office with Axiom Zen enterprise studio, and Siu was fascinated by the blockchain game on the Axiom was working on "CryptoKitties." He learned about it from Fuel Powered co-founder Mikhael Naayem, who was advising Axiom founder Rohan Gharegozlou.

Shortly afterwards, in early 2022, Animoca reached an agreement: a one-year renewable licensing and circulation agreement with Axiom Zen to release “CryptoKitties”. It went so far that Naayem and Gharegozlou came together to form Dapper Labs (now even better known for the “NBA Top Shot” market), and Animoca became one of the his earliest support.

Animoca has been in deep tears since then. Working both as a publisher and, increasingly, as a buyer of blockchain assets and tokens, his balloon package includes Sky Mavis, global sensory developer “Axie Infinity,” which closed at around $ 150 million in funding back in October at a valuation of $ 3 billion. , and the popular metaverse launch of The Sandbox, a game where players can create in - game funds and make money and closed on $ 93 million in Series B funding back in November led by SoftBank. (For the past week, the minimum amount of land users could buy in Sandbox was over $ 11,000.)

Animoca also raised early interest in the NFT OpenSea market, which is now valued at a staggering $ 13.3 billion, and, confirming that it is never far from the action, recently with one of last year's start - up projects, the Apes Bored Yacht Club, to create a Bored Apes themed game.

It all adds up. In fact, in a conversation late last week with Siu, he said that Animoca was valued at about $ 16 billion at the end of November, shortly after Animoca itself was valued at $ 2.2 billion in a $ 65 million funding round that included Sequoia Capital China.

Interestingly, Sequoia and the rest of the syndicate bought public trading shares. As Siu explains, Animoca, a former Australian Securities Exchange trader, was listed in March 2022 as "not liking that we were dealing with crypto," he says. It now operates as an unregistered public company. That means it can communicate with shareholders through its own website and mailing lists, and around 2,500 shareholders can sell their shares privately to other individuals . (You need to know that you have some.)

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At the same time the pledges in OpenSea and Dapper Labs are considered part of the company's assets, with their value still theoretical for now. “They would actually be what you define as items on the balance sheet; they are basically just building on the value of the identity of Animoca Brands, ”said Siu.

Animoca's success has not been without obstacles. On Monday, the Animoca subsidiary that holds NFTn sports (for invisible tokens) suffered a security breach that causes users to lose $ 18.7 million worth in tokens and for the price of the company's tokens fall 92%.

This heroic new world comes with its own unique disadvantages.

However, Siu, who is now executive chairman and managing director of Animoca group, strongly believes in web3 and it's no surprise that she's putting a lot of stock in recent criticism surfaced , including the practicality of creating fully centralized businesses.

Box CEO Aaron Levie asked recently on Twitter, for example, will it be possible for truly decentralized organizations that rely on the involvement of their communities to innovate if they are always busy trying to reach a consensus construction.

When asked about this, Siu said, "We do not want all consumers to be visionaries," and "people will know what's best for them when there's something to compare."

We also discussed how Animoca plans for investments and partnerships in 2022. He said the company is continuing to acquire a game studio to “move the blockchain and digital property rights to end users. ” From an investment perspective, he said the outerwear is also drawn into infrastructure that will help develop and grow the impact of a network of digital buildings such as NFTs.

What that means is “loan, DeFi, fragmentation, protocols, and Series 1 [blockchains], and Series 2 [blockchains]. ”

It is part of Animoca's broad belief in "cross - chains" as essential for fast - growing clothing to keep growing.

“We want to encourage companies, when they launch their gaming fund or NFTn, to launch, say, Ethereum, but they should also consider launching it on Flow. [the blockchain designed by Dapper Labs]. And they should also put it on Solana and they should put it on HBAR as well. The whole idea is to encourage people to distribute the funds on as many platforms as possible, in as many protocols as possible, because for us, this independence is really crucial. We see chains very similar to countries. If you can only launch a product in one place, in one country, you are limited by the culture and potential of that particular place. "

For much more from that conversation with Siu - who grew up with Chinese certainty in Austria, he got his first job with Atari in Germany as a gangly teenager, and sold one of his first companies to a fish oil company - hear you the whole thing here. Among other things, we discussed Jack Dorsey’s Facebook metaverse plans thoughts about web3, and how the business world in Hong Kong is changing as China redesigns the lines.

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