Animoca Brands

Jack Ma, Samsung, Razer Back NFT Gaming Unicorn Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands

Hong Kong-based NFT gaming giant Animoca Brands, has raised new funding from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation and Razer’s zVentures. Interestingly, one of the investors is Blue Pool Capital, Alibaba’s former executive chairman Jack Ma’s family office. This marks Jack Ma’s first publicly announced investment in crypto-related companies.

Other participating investors include Coinbase Ventures, Gobi Partners, Token Bay Capital, Liberty City Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, among others.

Animoca Brands is a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming company, also an active player in the non-fungible token (NFT) market. Last month, it completed a fundraising round at a valuation of $1 billion, making it the newest crypto unicorn in Asia. The latest round is the second tranche of an additional $50 million funding. 

One of the participating investors, Blue Pool Capital, manages a portion of the family fortune of Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder and former executive chairman, and a significant portion of wealth of Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice-chairman. The private equity firm was responsible for Tsai’s acquisition of NBA franchise Brooklyn Nets.

Animoca Brands is the publisher behind blockchain games such as The Sandbox ($SAND) and F1 Delta Time. It operates multiple crypto tokens including REVV and GAMEE, used in Animoca Brands’ blockchain games and applications. Leveraging crypto and NFTs, Animoca Brands establishes player-owned economies, play-to-earn gameplay models and crypto interoperability.

Also, Animoca Brands has invested in multiple NFT platforms such as Dapper Labs (CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot), Axie Infinity, Opensea, and others. Through its subsidiary nWay, Animoca Brands has partnered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to license Olympic pins as NFTs. 

“As the world’s leading lifestyle brand for gamers, most of whom are youth, millennials and Gen Z, Razer looks forward to supporting Animoca Brands and to exploring potential synergies,” said Cho Weihao, investment director at zVentures, the corporate venture arm of Razer. 

Ripple Invests in NFT Marketplace Mintable

Meanwhile, Animoca Brands are investing in Mintable, Singapore-based NFT marketplace backed by billionaire investor Mark Cuban. 

Mintable has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round. The round saw participation from Ripple, Animoca Brands, MetaKovan’s Metapurse, and others. It also included Bill Clinton’s former advisor Doug Band and Shutterstock’s executive chairman Jon Oringer.

Mintable’s early backers include Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures. 

As another note, global pop superstar Kate Perry has announced the launch of her first NFTs in collaboration with Theta Network. Perry will also acquire a minority interest in Theta Labs, according to CryptoSlate. 

“I’m both excited and curious to be launching my first ever NFTs later this year with Theta Network,” said Perry in a statement.