Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming firm, announced Tuesday that it has completed a capital raise of $358.89 million at a pre-money valuation of $5 billion.

The round was led by Liberty City Ventures, with other investors including 10T Holdings, C Ventures, Delta Fund, Gemini Frontier Fund, Gobi Partners Greater Bay Area, Kingsway, L2 Capital, Mirae Asset, Pacific Century Group, ParaFi Capital, Provident, Senator Investment Group, Sequoia China, Smile Group, Stable Asset Management, Soros Fund Management, Wildcat Capital Management, Winklevoss Capital, and others, Animoca Brands said in a statement.

It said that the new capital will be used to continue funding strategic acquisitions and investments, product development, and licenses for popular intellectual properties.

“We have set ourselves the ambitious goals of building an open Web3 and facilitating an open metaverse that expands financial inclusion. In 2021 we saw tremendous growth in this space and Animoca Brands has been one of the forefront leaders in the development of this industry. We believe we are still at the initial stages of a new Internet revolution, and there are tremendous opportunities ahead of us in 2022 and beyond,” said Yat Siu, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands.

According to the statement, Animoca Brands is working to build the open metaverse by bringing digital property rights to online users through the use of blockchain and non fungible tokens (NFTs); these technologies enable the true digital ownership of users’ virtual assets and data, and make possible various decentralized finance (DeFi) and GameFi opportunities (including play-to-earn), asset interoperability, and an open framework that can lead to greater equitability for all participants.

Cited NewZoo and Emergen Research, Animoca Brands said that the global video game market was estimated to generate $180.3 billion in 2021 while the metaverse market size is expected to grow to around $829 billion. It said that Animoca Brands has established itself as one of the world’s leading technology groups in blockchain and gaming by spearheading and innovating decentralized in-game rewards and monetization in video games as it works to build the open metaverse.

“The trailblazing Animoca Brands is demonstrating to the world the game-changing characteristics of Web3 and the open metaverse. Animoca Brands is championing a more decentralized, open, fairer, and more inclusive future where everyone can truly own their digital goods and benefit from them accordingly,” said Murtaza Akbar, Managing Partner at Liberty City Ventures.

Meanwhile, Smile Group Chief Executive Officer and Founder Harish Bahl said that Smile shared his vision of Web3, where true digital property rights will unleash creativity, economic value and entrepreneurship, globally.

Kingsway Capital Founder and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Stotz said that the delivery of digital property rights might well be one of the most powerful ideas of the 21st century.

“What started 13 years ago with the launch of Bitcoin has proven to be the beginning of a new era in which digital ownership is embedded in the Internet, powered by decentralised blockchains. Gaming might well hold the key to mass adoption of blockchain technology, and Animoca Brands is perhaps the best positioned company in this space globally.

“In terms of emerging and frontier markets, where adoption is orders of magnitude faster than in the developed world, Animoca Brands has already had a tremendous impact on the way people live, play, and earn,” he said.

C Ventures Founder Adrian Cheng said that the virtual world offers endless new opportunities to empower the next generation.

“It provides them with platforms to create and innovate and learn more about the digital technologies that are transforming our present and future. My investment in Animoca Brands is reflective of my commitment to making the metaverse as widely accessible as possible and championing its potential,” he said.

Winklevoss Capital and Gemini Founder Tyler Winklevoss also said that Animoca Brands has built and developed leading brands in the decentralized gaming and metaverse space.

“We have tremendous conviction in its vision and are excited to support its mission,” he said.

Animoca Brands and subsidiaries offer a broad portfolio of game products, both centralized and decentralized, branded and original, with coverage across most primary platforms including mobile devices, game consoles, PC, web, and blockchain. Products include games ranging from hyper-casual to hardcore, as well as collectibles, utility tokens, esports titles, and more.

During the course of 2021, Animoca Brands raised $216.28 million to power its vision of digital property rights and the open metaverse, while its subsidiary The Sandbox completed a capital raise of $93 million.

In addition to its product development and publishing businesses, Animoca Brands is an active investor in more than 150 of the world’s most meaningful NFT and metaverse-related companies, including OpenSea, Dapper Labs, Yield Guild Games, Star Atlas, Axie Infinity, Thetan Arena, and many others.

Animoca Brands has various subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Lympo, and Bondly. In partnership with Brinc, Animoca Brands operates Launchpad Luna, an accelerator to foster startups in the blockchain and NFT space.

Hong Kong venture accelerator Brinc closes $130M funding led by Animoca Brands