Hong Kong-based blockchain giant Animoca is seeking to raise US$1 billion for its metaverse investing fund in the first quarter of this year, drastically softening its ambitions as a result of the current market downturn.
“We had initially looked at a target of $1 billion, whether it goes upsized or downsized we don’t know yet,” Animoca Brands chairman Yat Siu said in a Twitter Spaces discussion with Bloomberg, adding that "given the market circumstances, it could be less."
In November, prior to the collapse of FTX, Siu said in an interview with Nikkei that the group planned to raise US$2 billion for the new fund, which will be set up in conjunction with former Morgan Stanley exec Homer Sun.
According to Siu, about a dozen of Animoca’s portfolio firms were impacted by the FTX debacle, including NFT game Star Atlas, which had most of its treasury held in the now-bankrupt trading platform.
“Q1 is the goal and then let’s see what happens. It is fair to say it’s a challenging market. But we have quite a bit of interest," Siu told Bloomberg.
Animoca, whose portfolio contains top metaverse projects including The Sandbox and Decentraland, raised US$75 million last July in a round that was led by existing investors Liberty City Ventures, 10T and Kingsway Capital – the second part of a US$360 million raise from January led by prominent investors including George Soros and the Winklevoss twins. The company is now valued at US$6 billion.