Crypto gaming developer Animoca Brands raises $110 million

LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming developer Animoca Brands has raised $110 million from investors, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The company issued convertible notes in a funding round which values it at around $5.6 billion, it said.

New investors include Singapore-based Temasek, global venture capital firm GGV Capital and China-focused asset manager Boyu Capital, the statement said, with some existing investors also contributing.

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"Our new investors will contribute strategic advice and perspective," Animoca Brands' co-founder Yat Siu said in a statement, describing it as a "special strategic round of fundraising."

Animoca Brands has invested in more than 340 companies to build its vision of a "metaverse" based around blockchain technology, in which users can buy and trade digital assets in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

NFTs surged last year as speculators piled in to digital assets and the metaverse became a tech buzzword. But sales volumes have dropped sharply in recent months as investors have turned more risk-averse, cryptocurrency prices have fallen and the much-hyped metaverse has shown few signs of materialising. read more

A spokesperson for Animoca Brands played down the impact of the "crypto winter" - industry lingo for a spell of depressed prices - which has wiped around $1 trillion off the cryptocurrency market this year, according to CoinGecko data.

The funds raised will be used to make more acquisitions and investments, as well as product development and securing intellectual property licenses, the statement said.

"We take a long-term view, and also note that blockchain gaming has been relatively less affected by the chill than some other sectors," the spokesperson said, without elaborating.

Top blockchain game Axie Infinity, which is backed by Animoca Brands, has seen a steep decline in monthly sales volume, buyer numbers and average sale prices since January, according to market tracker CryptoSlam.

Animoca Brands raised $75 million in July and $360 million in January. read more

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Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Reports on the intersection of finance and technology, including cryptocurrencies, NFTs, virtual worlds and the money driving "Web3".