Dear Shareholders, Partners and Friends of Animoca Brands,
Today we are extremely proud to announce a very special moment in the history of Animoca Brands: with the capital raise of US$88,888,888 that we just completed, our company has officially achieved unicorn status by being valued at a billion dollars (pre-money). I think it is important to spend a few moments to reflect on how we got this far and what lies ahead.
Nearly three years ago we explained our vision for the NFT ecosystem, but our grand masterplan to become a significant force in this space actually kicked off a few months earlier, in January 2018, when we began our relationship with Cryptokitties by becoming its distributor in our region. That licensing deal developed into a close partnership and investment into Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties, which today is best known for another of its smash hits: NBA Top Shot.
Since taking those first steps in the crypto world, Animoca Brands has become a major force in the world of blockchain gaming and, in particular, non-fungible tokens (NFTs). We have built a broad portfolio of investments into some of the most powerful and meaningful companies in this space — over 50 of them to date — many of which have raised significant funding rounds to fuel their growth, including Axie Infinity, Bitski, OpenSea, and of course Dapper Labs. We have also built a growing and impressive list of our own blockchain titles including F1® Delta Time, The Sandbox, and MotoGP™ Ignition, GAMEE, Crazy Defense Heroes, Lympo as well as the launches of their associated tokens, including REVV, SAND, GAMEE, TOWER, and LMT tokens.
Today it is my honour and privilege to announce that Animoca Brands has received validation from several investors of great repute, including Kingsway Capital, RIT Capital Partners (formerly Rothschild Investment Trust), HashKey Fintech Investment Fund, AppWorks Fund, LCV Fund, Huobi, Octava, Ellerston Capital, Perennial, Axia Infinity Ventures, SNZ, Liberty City Ventures, Metapurse, Katherine Yip Ribeiro, AngelHub and other prominent investors who share our vision for a more equitable world in which we are able to take control of our online activities by truly owning our digital objects: NFTs.
NFTs will have a direct and meaningful impact on our digital lives and on the evolution of global digital culture. As a special nod to the deeper meaning of NFTs as a store of culture, we decided to raise an amount consisting of a sequence of the number 8. It’s a symbolic number considered lucky and it seems to be taking on special meaning in the world of NFT auctions and trading, so we thought it would be a suitable amount to raise given our focus on NFTs.
I am humbled by the overwhelming support Animoca Brands has received, and would like to share some of the opinions our investors expressed about their participation in our unicorn round.
Manuel Stotz, Kingsway Capital founder and CEO
“Having spent nearly a decade investing in Emerging and Frontier Markets, we have first-hand experience of the power of disruptive technologies. The emergence of digital property rights, whether via Bitcoin or NFTs, is perhaps the greatest opportunity for financial inclusion for the bottom ~3 billion Frontier & Emerging Market consumers, as well as an opportunity for a more decentralised and thus more equitable global Internet. We are proud to support Yat and his talented team at Animoca Brands in making this vision a reality and are honoured to co-invest alongside such a world-class roster of global investors.”
Ashok Jacob, Ellerston Capital executive chairman and portfolio manager
“Yat can explain his vision succinctly and has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to execute. Through a combination of true ownership of digital assets and rewarding users for engaging in activity that increases the value of a network, web 3.0 promotes a much more equitable economic model and incentive structure for the Internet. Animoca Brands is at the forefront of ushering in this evolution that will lead to an explosion of the digital economy and more equitable flows of money and power on the net.”
Deng Chao, CEO of HashKey Group
“We always maintained that gaming would be one of the first massive adopters of blockchain, and Animoca Brands is definitely the top game changer in this field. As a blockchain-focused gaming company, it not only has a deep understanding of blockchain games and NFTs, but also strong development abilities in traditional games. With its many achievements and brands, Animoca Brands is redefining property rights for gamers and paving the way toward a new era for gaming. We are delighted to be an investor in Animoca Brands, and together we look forward to adding value to the blockchain gaming sector.”
Andy Tsai, AppWorks partner
“We are tremendously excited to participate in this round and join Animoca Brands on its march to global leadership in blockchain gaming and digital property rights. Yat is an early mover in this space and has been an outspoken advocate on the wide-ranging utility and potential of NFTs for years. His background as a serial entrepreneur has enabled him to build a world-class team.”
Murtaza Akbar, Liberty City Ventures managing partner
“We are extremely excited to be involved with the gaming and new integrated economies/marketplaces created by Animoca Brands, allowing users to truly own their digital assets. This is the start of a massive global trend with blockchain technology unleashing a multitude of revolutionary possibilities for digital artifacts. Yat is a true visionary in the blockchain gaming and virtual online spaces.”
Karena Belin, AngelHub co-founder and COO
“Our investment in Animoca Brands enables our network of professional investors to fuel the growth of a company that is changing market dynamics and driving value creation in an impactful way. We expect significant growth in the adoption of blockchain-powered games and Animoca Brands is ideally positioned to drive and benefit from this — which is reinforced by the traction that the company has among our great investors.”
Metakovan, Metapurse founder
“Animoca Brands brings a uniquely comprehensive ecosystem vision to the space. Even as it spearheads innovation, it maintains sound financial and regulatory models. This company is, in effect, the most important NFT conglomerate.”
All of us here at Animoca Brands are deeply grateful and honoured to have received this level of support and enthusiasm.
The funding we announced today allows Animoca Brands to prepare for even more aggressive growth as we continue our work to bring digital property rights to video gamers through the use of blockchain and NFTs, unlocking powerful benefits for digital assets such as play-to-earn capabilities and interoperability.
A big thank you to our friends, partners, supporters, shareholders, our fellow animocans and the animoca family of companies and (of course) the players of our various Metaverses. We would not have made it this far without you and we will continue to work tirelessly to create this better digital future.
With sincere appreciation and gratitude,
Chairman, Animoca Brands