Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has invested $1 million in a Taiwanese venture capital fund that targets a wave of internet technology known as Web3 and especially online gaming.
Animoca Brands, which specializes in game publishing among other internet technologies, made its investment in the $70 million Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC) Fund, a spokesperson for sister fund operator Headline Asia said for this post.
Web3 refers to a network of decentralized, autonomous internet platforms that allow users to depend less on big names such as Google and Facebook for services. The global gaming market, a focal part of the Web3 process, should reach $399 billion by 2026 on an 11% compound annual growth rate, research firm Valuates Reports forecasts.
Animoca Brands joined the payment platform Circle and fintech firm Digital Currency Group as “heavyweight” investors in the fund, Infinity Ventures Crypto said in a February 8 statement.
The Hong Kong company probably sees its investment as a way to build up young companies that can later provide gaming content worth its publishing, says Jamie Lin, chairman and partner at Taipei-based startup accelerator AppWorks. “They’re mostly looking for a potential content pipeline,” he says. “They would sign publishing deals essentially.”
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Taipei-based fund operator Infinity Ventures Crypto has offered capital and expertise to 78 portfolio companies. The fund, which was Infinity Ventures Crypto’s first, is now closed.
“Many of the projects that we have found through the APAC region have needed very hands-on assistance with various aspects,” Infinity Ventures Crypto partner Brian Lu tells this post. “IVC is the perfect fund to find these diamonds-in-the-rough for Animoca.”
Animoca Brands has already invested in many of the world’s top companies that work with digital assets known as NFTs and the metaverse, which refers to an immersive internet-based antidote to the physical world, according to tech industry news website Techcrunch.
After eight years in business, Animoca was valued at $1 billion in July, and it has raised a total of $604.5 million. The company did not answer a request for comment on its IVC Fund investment.
The IVC Fund operator is particularly following what Lu describes as “shift in the gaming space” to decentralized interaction–a trend known as GameFi–and use of digital tokens. Up-and-coming play-to-earn (P2E) games, for example, let gamers earn digital assets for performance.
“With the large number of traditional game studios in Taiwan, we feel like there will be a lot of interest for them to enter the GameFi and P2E sphere,” Lu says.