TCG Capital Management Leads $ 20 Million Series A for Virtual Horse Racing Platform This is the second investment in an NFT platform that Andreessen Horowitz revealed this week
Virtually Human Studio, the Australian startup behind the online horse racing platform Zed Run, has raised $ 20 million in a Series A led by The Chernin Group Capital Management. Andreessen Horowitz and Red Beard Ventures also participated in the round.
VHS is the latest company to take advantage of the growing gaming and non-fungible token (NFT) industries. Zed Run is a marketplace and game program for what the creators call “breathable NFTs,” or NFTs that change and evolve over time, like real animals.
Zed Run users can virtually breed, sell and buy horses. Virtual horse owners can pay entry fees to participate in races, and the site collects fees for all of the above. Race participants who arrive first, second or third receive a cash prize in the form of ETH.
It’s a concept that may sound absurd to anyone unfamiliar with the gaming and NFT industries, but the demand is there.
“What the Virtually Human Studio team is building fundamentally changes what it means to be a fan,” Jacob Smilovitz, TCG vice president, said in a statement. “The fans now have the power to step down from the bleachers, own themselves and play an active role in determining the outcome of the game.”
When it launched in 2019, the horses on Zed Run were selling for around $ 30, but the boom in the NFT market has proven to be successful for the company.
At the time of publication, the Zed Run marketplace was completely sold out, but secondary markets abound. We have a horse available for 1.3 ETH, or about US $ 2,550.
This is the second NFT investment that 16z revealed this week. On Tuesday, the company led a $ 100 million Series B funding round in the NFT OpenSea marketplace.
Funding rounds come at an important time for NFTs in all sectors. Galaxy Digital Founder and CEO Mike Novogratz and digital media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck are part of the team behind Candy, a new baseball-focused NFT sports marketplace. Binance recently debuted on the NFT Marketplace with an auction featuring works by Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.
Zed Run is the first major VHS project with over 125,000 connected users. VHS closed its first round of funding in May 2020, according to the company.