NFT-focused Animoca brands are valued at $5 billion after a $358 million increase

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Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based software and venture capital firm, has secured $358.8 million in equity investments to fuel new acquisitions in the non-fungible token (NFT), gaming and metaverse sectors , further fleshing out the biggest crypto trends of 2022.

The funding round was led by Liberty City Ventures and benefited from the participation of some of the biggest blockchain venture capital funds, including 10T Holdings, Gemini Frontier Fund, ParaFi Capital, Provident, Sequoia China and Winklevoss Capital, among others.

Animoca said the capital injection will go towards financing strategic acquisitions and investments, product development and in-licensing intellectual properties. The company said its vision is to create a metaverse that enhances users’ digital property rights through NFTs. Opportunities within GameFi – a broad concept that refers to the financialization of gaming through NFTs and DeFi – are also envisioned as part of this environment.

Regarding GameFi, Animoca referenced industry research showing that the global video game market is expected to reach $829 billion in 2028, from $180.3 billion in 2021. The considerable growth of the industry should fuel games-to-win and other forms of in-game monetization.

Animoca raised more than $216 million during 2021, while its subsidiary, The Sandbox, closed a $93 million funding round in early November. With the latest funding, Animoca has further cemented itself as one of the fastest growing unicorns in crypto with a pre-money valuation of $5 billion. That’s more than double the $2.2 billion valuation it received in October 2021.

Startups become “unicorns” when they reach a valuation of at least $1 billion. Several crypto-focused companies have crossed this threshold in the past 12 months, including Amber Group, Bitso, Blockstream, CoinList, ConsenSys, Figure Technologies, OpenSea, and 2TM, among others.

Related: OpenSea raises $300 million for digital crypto marketplace

Venture capital funds are betting big on blockchain technology and its role in reshaping the internet and the digital economy. As Cointelegraph reported, venture capital funds poured more than $17 billion into blockchain startups in the first 10 months of 2021. That’s more than three times the amount for all of 2020.