December 2, 2022
By Anjali Kochhar
Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming group Animoca Brands has revealed plans to launch a fund of up to $2 billion to invest in metaverse businesses, company co-founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu told a prominent publication.
Animoca is known for the Sandbox metaverse game that allows users to buy plots of digital land and decorate them using non-fungible tokens (NFT) — a type of digital asset traded on the blockchain.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia in Tokyo, Siu said the company now plans to launch a fund called Animoca Capital, with its first investment expected next year.
“We are thinking about a fund [that is now] forming,” the chairman told the publication.
The fund’s target is $1 billion to $2 billion, though Siu said it has not raised money yet. Siu and his fund manager partner will oversee the account.
The metaverse refers to a virtual reality space in which users can interact and trade goods similar to the real world.
The “focus will be everything on digital property rights,” Siu said, referring to “NFT metaverse” and “open metaverse” businesses. He added that there will be no geographical restrictions for investment targets.
Founded in 2014, Animoca has been seen as a trailblazer of Web3 — a decentralized internet landscape that uses blockchain technology.
“The fund will be focused on equity optimization,” he said. “As a fund, you optimize for return. So it’s different.”
Siu said the fund would create more opportunities for investors to access Web3 companies. Some Animoca investors had sought exposure to its portfolio companies but now want more direct investments, he said.
“They want direct exposure to mid- to late-stage companies, and this is the role of a fund.”
Despite rising global interest rate hikes and turmoil in the cryptocurrency sector — including the collapse of FTX, one of its biggest names — Animoca has attracted investors. It announced a $358 million fundraising in January and one for $110 million in September.
As regards recent crypto industry failures, Siu said Animoca will contribute $10 million to the Web3 Industry Recovery Initiative led by Binance “to support the ecosystem.” He said his company might increase its contribution depending on the situation.
Siu said the crypto industry would recover and noted that the sector’s underlying utility was not weakening.
Animoca was initially listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2015 but was delisted in 2020, with the exchange citing failure to comply with rules.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.