Gusto Collective, a Hong Kong-based BrandTech holding company, said Thursday it has raised $ 11 million in its seed plus funding round led by Animoca Brands and Gaw Capital.

The oversubscribed round also received participation from BlackPine, YCI Limited, and several existing shareholders including ClearVue Partners, Gusto Collective said in a statement.

With the completion of this round, the company has raised $23 million in cumulative external funding since launching in 2020.

The funding will support Gusto Collective’s growth in geographic expansion into other parts of Asia; Web3 services and products, and recurring-revenue product development.

“With the new funding, we intend to move more aggressively into Web3 tech services and expand geographically to bring our BrandTech capabilities to other fast-growth geographies within Asia,” said Aaron Lau, Gusto Collective Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

According to him, Gusto Collective was founded with the simple idea of helping brands connect with their franchise in the fast-growing world of Asia, whether in the physical world of bricks and mortar, or the emerging world of the metaverse.

“Since 2020, the company has been focused on creating content and experiences using the latest augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) technologies. In the last 18 months, we have added metaverse services onto our tech stack to help brands build relationships with their franchises in this new medium,” he added.

Gusto Collective was founded in 2020 by Lau, with the ambition of combining best-in-class storytelling and immersive technology. It has around 200 full-time “Gustodians” and the group consists of four specialisms in Web3 marketing services, an AR experience platform, a metahuman platform and luxury marketing services.

The company has partnered with Hong Kong’s largest wireless operator, CSL, to create 5G AR experiences through an AR application it created; partnered with Phillips Auctioneers on the world’s first real-time generative data art, based on auction data; and created AR experiences for Pixar Fest in the Harbour City mall in 2021.

“Major brands continue to increase their Web3 involvement and capabilities in order to engage with customers in the open metaverse. Gusto Collective has already proven to be adept at partnering with customers for Web3 and augmented reality services,

“With Aaron leading a growing and world-class team, Gusto Collective has the opportunity to establish strong recurring-revenue products and client services,” said Yat Siu, the executive chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands.

Gusto Collective also recently announced the appointment of Jeff Zielinski, Chief Financial Controller, Gusto Collective, based in Hong Kong.

“Gusto Collective’s team has decades of experience connecting brands with consumers via online, offline and hybrid mediums. Just like how Web2 revolutionized online marketing, Web3 is the next dimension for brands to further interact and deepen their relationships with consumers,

“Having witnessed Gusto Collective’s marketing and branding prowess first-hand, we are excited to support the company to bring their marketing and creative expertise into the dynamic and fast-growing Web3 universe. ” said Kenny Gaw, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Gaw Capital Partners.

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