As NFTs grow in popularity this year, so does the interest of investors in NFT-based games. Upland has raised $18 million at a $300 million valuation for its NFT-based virtual real estate game.
The Series A funding round was led by Animoca Brands, one of the leading companies in the Asia Pacific region in the field of blockchain gaming and NFT space. Alumni Ventures Blockchain Fund, Global Founders Capital, OneTeam Partners, Block.one, Michael Ronen, Mike Vorhaus, Michael Terpin, as well as previous investor C3 Management also participated in the round.
Animoca Brands has more than 100 investments in the NFT focus. Companies that Animoca Brands has invested so far in include The Sandbox, Concept Art House, OpenSea, Dapper Labs, Bitski, Star Atlas and Axie Infinity.
Offering a game that brings an experience similar to Monopoly to the virtual world with NFTs, Upland was founded in 2018 by Dirk Lueth, Idan Zuckerman and Mani Honigstein. Upland’s game enables NFT trading of digital properties linked to real-world addresses. According to the information provided by Upland, the game has more than 60,000 daily active users.
Palo Alto, California-based Upland says it was founded with the vision of creating the world’s largest metaverse and matching it to the real world three years ago. “We envisioned this metaverse to be powered by a realistic economy, which brings the benefits of true ownership to stakeholders via the use of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”
The company plans to use the funding to expand the team and invest in user acquisition.
“This is basically a way for us to be speed up the way we deliver new features and innovations for our roadmap,” said Idan Zuckerman, co-founder of Upland Zuckerman. “We also had our first major brand partnership in Upland now, and we will be able to bring more corporations into Upland.”