Sep 18, 2023

Blockchain gaming firm Animoca Brands raised $20 million to advance its metaverse project "Mocaverse."

Video transcript

Ana Moca brands recently raised $20 million for its Metaverse project. The Moca, the company's aim is to provide web three native tools for users to build gaming and entertainment products. Joining us now is Ana brands, co-founder and executive chairman Ya Su Ya. Welcome back to the show. Thank you for having me. It's a real pleasure to be here again. Thank you. Of course. Well, congratulations on the $20 million. Tell us what are you gonna do with the money? We don't often we're not hearing about the big metaverse raises anymore. Metaverse isn't taking over the headlines. What are you gonna do uh with this fresh raise? Well, I mean, first of all, I think the first message is to say that there is capital available for the Metaverse and web three play as long as it's for quality products. And just to be clear, we ourselves as a as, as a brands over the course of the year have done, you know, something like uh 30 or 40 deals, uh investments ourselves. So just to, you know, set the record straight, there is capital going into web three that said, you know, we're really proud to announce this $20 million raise led by C MC C. And what it's really about is to basically help bring the network effects that Amoco brand has built and extend that to the wide web three community. We have over 450 portfolio companies today in effect. Uh you know, with some of the largest web three companies in the space, whether it be Open Sea or Google Labs, or Sandbox or Dapper labs or Wax Decent Lander, you name it. And we're trying to find a way where people can sort of join that network as it were. And so basically, mo was one such way of doing that uh partially through the decentralized ID that we're trying to set up, but also partially by basically giving our governance tokens. So and has a very large reserve of sort of, you know, billions of dollars worth of tokens, but we ourselves do not vote on them. Rather we want to give our community a way to sort of vote and give them the essentially a way to say in sort of our network. Uh you know, whether this is the A coin or this is sort of eu or other other dow foundations and really sort of also help educate the space about the meaning of dolls because it's still surprising to us how many people don't really understand how powerful and how effective dolls are actually in Web three. I mean, it's like $12 billion of value locked in these ecosystems, building real stuff. And yet most people still think of the classical forms of fundraising and the classical forms of, I guess, uh sort of, you know, rebuilding uh when you can actually leverage a dial for. So part of that is also educational. So I AAA couple of things here. Uh First of all, what is the, the growth pitch if you will, that you've made to uh investors as to why the moca and you know, what are, what's your outlook? I obviously you're gonna say it's great, but specifically how, how does it grow? What, what kind of indicators are you showing that says this is going to grow, these are the, the key points and I, I kind of want to get back to the ape coin thing because uh and you know, as a follow up here and I, I'll just say it up right now. There was, there's this uh big unlock happening here. Um A lot more coins are hitting the market will be hitting the market. Um Explain what exactly uh you know, it, it's been on an incredible downward trajectory uh since its all time highs last year, explain what the the value is with that as well. OK, fine, a lot of questions. So first of all, what's the growth pitch? But broadly speaking, the growth pitch is ana itself. We view ourselves somewhat as a index fund. If you will almost, although we're not a fund per se as an index to basically with the Web three ecosystem, given the fact that we're so exposed in the space. And I guess we've made a convincing pitch that Web three is the future of the internet and that everyone basically would rather be in the web of ownership. So how would you best do that? And we think that one of these ways is do it through the. Um And the Decentralized ID is a way to help onboard web two users into web three through our experience point system because what we also found is that it was kind of difficult to bring in web two users into web three. Once you went into web three, there was a lot of activity. But the problem is that for many of the web two users, particularly in Western countries, because in Asia, it's a bit of a different story. They struggle with this idea of Web three because they don't appreciate the ship because I think they take it for granted. Um And so we have to sort of find a nice bridge for that. And again, Moco verse is a way of doing that because animals roots itself isn't a classic web three business. We didn't enter the space because of Bitcoin. We didn't do mining, we weren't there since the beginning. We came in much later through gaming and through cryptic. And so I guess we take a more cultural lens to it. And we think that we can help onboard um the masses. And we often give the same example that Web three is kind of similar to what web two was. So web one was back in 4001. And the growth trajectory is sort of similar. And so a at this point is probably best positioned to help grow that space. And of course, if we succeed in terms of growing the space and bringing more people, because we're building it in an open decentralized manner, third parties can easily compose on top of the networks that we're building. In other words, uh as we grow, we hope the Web three ecosystem will grow with it. So I think it's more than just a sort of the pitch we give to investors for, you know, potential hope. It's also for those investors who wish to see Web Three become a reality and actually make it as big as we all hope it will be. That's why they're backing us. I would say, I would say, you know, we like to work with investors zone to manifest the future rather than necessarily ride the trend as it were uh in terms of Bitcoin. So first of all, I think broadly speaking, when you think of all time highs, you know, everything is down from all times high, I don't think you can sort of make a statement that is one versus the other um you know, and there was a big unlock. That's, that's true that unlock, I think already happened. Um And that's basically out there at this moment in time and the eight point ecosystem is a culture, culture token. Its goal is to basically be the culture metaverse uh token in the industry. I think it's taken a hit like everything else related to me. But to us, this is more sort of a, you know, momentary thing because of course, the market itself was a little bit more speculative back in the day, we shouldn't forget that at the end of it. So we're talking about a billion plus dollar dow. So we're not talking about something sort of small and meaningless and it basically, I think powers one of the most important ecosystems in the web three world today. Um Is there a bit of a, in the market? Yes, but I think that's true for everything. Uh But, you know, I again, I see this a little bit like internet 2000, 2001. I mean, fundamentally, you know, those were the times when companies like Tencent and Amazon and so on were literally worth, you know, 80 to $100 million or, or less than that, for instance, back in the day. So this is an indictment on the present. It's more about what do we think about will be in the future and you know, we're building for the future. We're not building for the present. Yeah, I got to ask you on bringing Web two gamers to Web three. There are a whole bunch of challenges over here in the West and Google Play maybe addressed one of those recently. They recently changed their policy to allow some NFT game ads. What is your initial reaction to this development? And what does this mean? Um, in your opinion, for onboarding web two gamers uh into web three games, does it actually uh I guess move the needle? Is this actually as big of a news as, as everyone thinks it is? Well, I think it does make a big difference because unlike Apple, which basically excludes anything that they don't like with Google, you can all side load. And as we've seen with some of the other game titles that, you know, when the web three rules weren't that clear with Google, they basically just did sideloading as we've seen with, you know, projects like infinity for instance. So again, Google realized that uh I also think that Web three is generally more aligned in terms of an ideological, philosophical perspective with Google. After all, Google was built on the foundation of open. Its main engine is search and search doesn't work unless it is open. So in that sense, the open frameworks of web three and this open compos ability is very compatible with that. And I think through many conversations uh with many senior folks at Google over a lengthy period of time, I think people have come to sort of understand what that means. So I think it is a pretty big deal because it doesn't just indicate a shift in terms of side. Uh, you know, to me the shift can be viewed two ways. One, it's a policy shift where people say, oh, that's interesting. I think the bigger thing is that a force like Google is not actually looking at this as something long term and serious, you know, making a policy change isn't an overnight thing in the same way that changing that policy is also going to take a long time if they wanted to do a reversal in. But I think Google um maybe to a lesser extent compared to Apple is a very internationally focused business, uh lots of it growth, particularly when it comes to its operating system comes from places like the Asia Pacific. And unlike the US Asia Pacific has been fully embracing Web three, both in the regulatory and policy framework as well as from a community standpoint. And so if Google wants to maintain its global edge, it does need to embrace Web three. And I think this is also where uh Google is departing from Apple in a sense which I think is good because I think for the longest time in some ways, Google was a little bit of a follower to, to some of the innovations that Apple was doing. And I think here they're breaking away and you know, finally sort of showing some leadership and on the topic of Asia Pacific, you are of course on the Hong Kong task force promoting Web Three Development, we have to get your comments on this quote. Vital B said last week at the Web three Transition summit in Singapore. I don't understand Hong Kong. Well, I understand even less the complicated interaction between Hong Kong and the mainland lately. Obviously it's very friendly now he says, but then he goes on to say the big question that he's asking and he thinks everyone is asking is how stable is the level of a friendliness. What's your response or your reaction to have one of Ethereum co-founders say, you know what, I'm not sure about the relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland. Well, I think the first thing I'll say to vital like is do come to Hong Kong and check it out for yourself, come meet the government, talk to them. I'll be happily, I'll be happily showing himself around myself if that's helpful. You know, I think one of the things to look at for Hong Kong isn't only to look at Hong Kong in the lens of sort of China recently, but the history of Hong Kong itself. But I mean, what has Hong Kong been for the longest time? Despite everything that 1 may be reading in the media, media and the news, Hong Kong has actually been one of the most stable freest economies in the world, you know, ranked by all sorts of organizations that are unrelated to Hong Kong or China, right. So so I think Hong Kong has always been actually a very sort of free market sort of liberal environment in comparison to actually most countries in the world. And I think this is really the strength of Hong Kong. Hong Kong does operate under sort of one country, two systems and has done successfully. So in fact, China lies on Hong Kong to have that international angle, sort of a huge amount of the the second or first or the second largest source of FD I into China comes from Hong Kong for instance. Um and Hong Kong has always been the financial intermediary for the Chinese region. And I think this is another thing to understand that Hong Kong cannot actually succeed if it follows exactly the way that China does because China needs the gateway that Hong Kong is and has been and that's always been part of the policy address. I think obviously China Hong Kong, Hong Kong has unfortunately been subjected to a lot of negative media and some politics but it is more free than other places that purport to be free, say like certain economies in Europe or other places in in in the Asia Pacific that are also embracing web three. I think Hong Kong is much more liberal that way. Uh But anyway, my final comment to vital is please come here and I'll show him around and, and prove to him that Hong Kong is a good place for this. It might be a little bit of time because he's got to recoup the money he lost in a fishing attack. So just give, give him a, you know, he can afford a ticket to come to Hong Kong. I guess I'll pay for the ticket. Oh, there you go. Fatal. Like reach out to ya. Get a trip to Hong Kong going. Don't send him a link. Yeah. Thank you very much for joining us as always. It was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. That was Anna Moa brand's co-founder and executive chairman yet. So.

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