Metaverse app BUD plans to raise an additional $37 million and launch NFT.


budAn early-stage app creating a metaverse for Gen Zers to play and interact with each other raised another fund in three months.

The Singapore-based startup told TechCrunch that shortly after securing a Series A extension in February, it closed $36.8 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India. With the new infusion, BUD’s total funding is over $60 million.

Like BUD’s previous rounds, this raise round attracted a handful of prominent China-focused investors such as ClearVue Partners, NetEase and Northern Light Venture Capital. Existing investors GGV Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Source Code Capital also participated in this round.

Founded in 2019 by two former Snap engineers, Risa Feng and Shawn Lin, BUD allows users to create 3D light bulb-shaped characters, cute virtual assets, and richly colored experiences with drag and drop without any coding background.

The company declined to disclose the number of active users, but said users have created more than 15 million custom experiences, such as virtual spaces with gameplay for others to join, since the app’s launch in November. Virtual assets, including costumes and accessories designed by users for their characters, have been tampered with over 150 million times in BUD’s marketplace.

While these trades are clearly a promising way to make money, BUD currently does not charge any fees. Nor have they started to monetize the app in any other way.

Perhaps partly thanks to its free-to-use and ad-free nature, the app became one of the top 10 social apps in nearly 40 countries across North America, Southeast Asia and South America. The best free social Android app right now. thailand And VietnamAccording to market intelligence company SensorTower.

Apps like Roblox and Korea’s Zepeto have also made it easy for anyone to design virtual characters and spaces. BUD is taking the user experience to the next level with plans to introduce a non-fungible token (NFT) market. In other words, ownership of virtual items sold on BUD is recorded on the blockchain. Resale of digital assets will become possible in the form of NFTs, which will make it easier to verify their authenticity and origin.

BUD declined to disclose which chain the NFT project would be on or what tokens it would use, but said the market “will be active soon”.

“While BUD enables the creation of 3D content for mainstream Gen Z consumers, we will continue to bring blockchain to mainstream consumers and enable creators to truly own and monetize their creations,” Lin said in a statement. will,” he said.

The company is expanding rapidly, with a team of 130 employees spread across its headquarters in Singapore and offices in Shenzhen and the United States.

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