It’s been about 40 years since Yat Siu stepped into the technology world.
But just eight years ago, Siu co-founded Animoca Brands, a prolific software and VC firm that has invested in more than 220 wallets across blockchain gaming, NFTs, decentralized finance and the metaverse, he told Marketingwithanoy. In January, the company raised $360 million and estimated it at $5.4 billion.
But Siu was not always in the crypto scene. Growing up in Vienna, he studied classical music against his own wishes, but would use an Atari computer to run composition software, he said. It was then that he began to immerse himself in technology – all before he even had a bank account.
He moved to Hong Kong in the early 1990s and “built up a few businesses”, before entering the mobile gaming industry in the early 2010s. In 2017, he was hit by the NFT bug and went ‘all in’ to space as CryptoKitties became hugely popular.
At the time, the company invested in OpenSea, which became the largest NFT marketplace; Sky Mavis, the parent company of Axie Infinity; Decentraland, a decentralized metaverse; and acquired the company that would later be known as The Sandbox.
“We’re really an operator building games, products and metaverse projects that are centered around real digital property rights, which are NFTs to us,” Siu said. “We’re investing in everything and we hope we can expand and grow the network effects of NFTs beyond games because that’s the tip of the spear and what’s driving adoption now.”
Animoca Brands has grown into one of the largest companies in the metaverse, play-to-earn gaming and NFT worlds, but Siu told Marketingwithanoy there is a new sector Animoca Brands wants to enter: education.
No, not education on crypto topics, but more general learning resources that can apply to more than one discipline.
While the company will continue to grow and focus on blockchain gaming, Siu said it wants to expand into new segments and markets such as education to drive mass adoption of blockchain.