Web 2.0 giants, like Meta, have announced their interest in the opportunities offered by NFT and metavers. However, for the time being, these announcements have not been followed by actions. On the other hand, Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands is quietly developing its portfolio in the crypto gaming and metaverse ecosystem.
Animoca brands: from game developer to venture capitalist
Originally, Animoca Brands is a company founded in 2014 by Yat Siu, originally specialized in mobile game development. By 2018, Yat Siu decided that his company should initiate a partial pivot of its business by specializing in blockchain games. At the scale of maturation of this field, Animoca Brands should be considered visionary and forward-thinking.
Since 2018 Animoca Brands has raised millions of dollars through various funding rounds. In fact, it completed its latest round of financing last October for an amount of $65 million, bringing its valuation to over $2 billion.
Animoca’s rapid growth can be explained both by the success of the blockchain games it has invested in, and by its own promising projects. Indeed, Animoca is showing versatility by using its initial skills as a video game developer to increase its position in crypto gaming.
The blockchain games Animoca has invested in
Inevitably, when it comes to the projects funded by Animoca that have since gained a strong following, it is worth mentioning The SandBox. This platform offers a real playground built on the Ethereum blockchain, opening the era of open and decentralized metavers.
In addition, the company has invested in Sky Mavis, which is behind the popular NFT play to earn Axie Infinity game.
Summary of Animoca’s main investments – Source: Animoca Brands
Finally, the company has invested in projects related to crypto gaming and NFT, including blockchain infrastructure. In this respect, it has supported the company Forte or Polygon and Flow.
Projects developed by Animoca Brands
First of all, REVV Motorsport is a series of motorized racing games (car, motorcycle) based on blockchain. In addition, Animoca has developed a utility token, the REVV that allows players to buy, design, or trade vehicles. REVV tokens are cross-game, meaning they can be transferred to another blockchain game in the series. Also, they can be used to participate in a tournament organized on the platform.
These play to earn games have everything to become a must-have in crypto gaming. Moreover, the AscendEX exchange has just supported the project by agreeing to list the REVV.
On the other hand, another very promising blockchain game project developed by Animoca Brands, called Crazy Defense Heroes should be watched closely. This defense RPG type game has been adapted by the developer to become a play to earn game. Thus, Animoca has integrated a token, the TOWER, that players can earn by enjoying the game for free.
Finally, another series of blockchain games signed Animoca is Arc8. This game can be compared to the Prizee platform, well known to Generation Y – discontinued since 2019 – which offered players to win a virtual currency that could then be exchanged for gifts. Indeed, in Arc8 users can play different arcade games and win the game’s token, the GMEE.
Animoca lives its success story thanks to Play-to-earn
According to Animoca Brands’ financial revelations, the company’s finances have boomed from January to September 2021. First, the income taken from investments amounted to a total of about $530 million, according to the company.
Second, the cryptocurrency reserves held by the company are valued at about $15.9 billion. According to a letter from the founder, Yat Siu these reserves can be considered an entire part of the company’s cash flow:
“The reserve of digital assets belonging to the Animoca Brands ecosystem of products and platforms (REVV, SAND, TOWER and GMEE and could be considered as our treasury) has grown from a value of approximately US$2.9 billion at the end of September 2021 to approximately $15.9 billion at the end of November 2021, a more than fivefold increase in just two months.”Yat Siu, Founder of Animoca
With the price of SAND skyrocketing, it is easy to understand why the amount of these reserves has soared. In addition, last October at the Hong Kong Business International Awards, the company was awarded first prize in the media and entertainment category.
Finally, Animoca Brands will certainly have to contend with some tough competitors. For example, we should mention Galaxy Interactive which has just raised 325 million dollars in order to stay in the metaverse race, and more broadly in the digital entertainment race.