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Singapore-based metaverse startup BUD announced on Monday that it is planning to launch NFTs after raising $36.8 million in a new round of funding, just months after completing its Series A round in February.
The Series B round was led by Sequoia Capital India. According to tech publication TechCrunch, other investors include Chinese billionaire William Lei Ding’s online and mobile games company NetEase, as well as Chinese VC firms ClearVue Partners and Northern Light Venture Capital. Existing investors GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Source Code Capital also participated in the round.
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BUD teams up with leading technology companies including Snapchat, Huawei, Meta, Tencent and ByteDance. It claims to be one of the largest metaverse UGC platforms in the world. BUD has more than 10 million users, according to existing investor Sky9 Capital.
BUD’s uniqueness made it one of the top 10 social apps in 38 countries, said Sequoia Capital India investment advisors Aakash Kapoor and Shenya Wang in a statement on Monday. “We’re super psyched about the new age social and creative world BUD is inviting young people to help build, and the roadmap the team has laid out for BUD’s fast-growing user base,” said Kapoor and Wang.
BUD said it will use the funds to launch Web3 products, the next generation of the internet that runs on blockchains. BUD also plans to introduce NFT projects to allow users to own and trade virtual assets derived from the metaverse, according to the TechCrunch report.
Founded in 2019 by Risa Feng and Shawn Lin, both former Snapchat engineers, BUD targets Gen Zs by generating personalized figures that can interact in the metaverse.
BUD is the latest company in Asia to expand in the growing metaverse space, a concept that has gone viral in various industries. For example, Regal Hotel Group, one of Hong Kong’s largest hotel chains, entered the metaverse by acquiring virtual properties in blockchain gaming platforms Decentraland and the Sandbox in April. Earlier this year, Korean billionaire Chang Byung-gyu online game developer Krafton invested about $6.5 million in two digital art companies to develop non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the metaverse.