Sources say KKR will join a $500 million funding round for NFT creator Animoca

  • Animoca Brands raises further capital with a valuation of $5 billion.

  • In the next round, the company hopes to treble its valuation once again.

KKR & Co. is expected to become the latest Wall Street name to support metaverse company Animoca Brands Corp., boosting the Hong Kong startup’s latest investment round to approximately $500 million, according to people familiar with the situation.

According to the people, who asked not to be identified because they were talking private information, the buyout giant is one among several investors in talks to join Animoca’s most recent funding at a pre-money valuation of more than $5 billion. That adds to the $359 million first tranche of the investment deal, disclosed in January and featuring investors like George Soros and the Winklevoss twins.

Animoca has more than doubled its valuation in only three months, benefiting from the record-beating surge of venture capital into the crypto business. According to two of the persons, executives have warned existing investors that another investment round might happen as soon as this year, valuing Animoca at $10 billion.

After making one of its first blockchain investments as part of a $350 million fundraising that valued coin vault Anchorage Digital at more than $3 billion, the investment will be one of just a few made by KKR. In recent years, the private equity behemoth has shifted its focus to startups to supplement its conventional business.

KKR and Animoca representatives declined to comment.

Animoca, a blockchain-based game company founded in 2014 by IT entrepreneur Yat Siu, offers a variety of blockchain-based games in genres such as car racing and tower defense. It also acts as a venture capital firm, investing in over 150 crypto projects and organizations, ranging from Dapper Labs, a creator of NBA Top Shots, to NFT marketplace OpenSea and blockchain protocol Polygon.

It’s one of a slew of blockchain companies that have reaped the benefits of the large infusion of cash. In October, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. was valued at $25 billion, and in January, the NFT trading platform OpenSea was valued at $13 billion. Ubisoft, Sequoia China, and Mirae Asset are among the other backers of Animoca, which was valued at $2.2 billion in October.

 

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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