Blockchain-Based Real World Metaverse Upland Closes $18 Million Round Led by Animoca Brands

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 Upland, one of the fastest-growing metaverses on blockchain that is mapped to the real world and one of the most sustainable NFT platforms, today announced a Series A funding round of $18 million at a $300 million valuation led by Animoca Brands. Previous investor FinLab EOS VC Fund managed by C3 Management contributed to the round. New investors include OneTeam Partners—who recently facilitated Upland’s deal with the NFLPA—, Alumni Ventures Blockchain Fund, Global Founders Capital, Com2uS, Crit Ventures, Korea Investment Partners, Michael Ronen (former Softbank Managing Partner), Mike Vorhaus (Vorhaus Advisors), Michael Terpin (Founder/CEO of Transform Group), and others.

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Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said: “We are impressed with what the team has built so far. Upland has innovated in many ways, including its mobile-first approach offering users iOS and Android apps. Its ‘NFT to fiat’ offering allows metaverse citizens to sell their digital assets to other players for US dollars. Most importantly, Upland’s NFT Portal enables NFT portability from different blockchains, making possible the interoperability that is a crucial pillar of the open metaverse.”

“Our platform continues to see amazing growth, an enthusiastic community and a thriving economy, and this is just the beginning. We know that we bring a unique proposition to the dynamic field of NFTs. What sets us apart is Upland’s connection to the real world in combination with engaging game mechanics driving an almost endless number of compelling use cases for NFTs,” said Dirk Lueth, co-founder of Upland. “We are proud that Animoca Brands, a clear thought leader in gaming and blockchain, led this funding round. This will be a strong partnership that will help us to expand into new territories and start the next chapter in Upland’s history.”

Animoca Brands is bringing digital property rights to online users, primarily for consumer video game players and the metaverse, through the use of blockchain and NFTs; these technologies enable the true digital ownership of users’ virtual assets and data, and offer various play-to-earn capabilities, asset interoperability, and DeFi/GameFi opportunities.

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After it launched in open beta in early 2020, Upland has gone from strength to strength. 13 US cities have already opened and over 100,000 virtual landowners from all around the world already enjoy Upland’s metaverse. Over 2 Million NFTs have been purchased by players, and places like San Francisco and Manhattan have been sold out of virtual land since the beginning of this year. Each day, more than 60,000 daily active users buy, sell and trade virtual properties, build houses, complete property collections, and participate in treasure hunts and city tours.

“Innovation is a core part of our DNA,” said Idan Zuckerman, co-founder of Upland. “Just recently we launched Upland Legits which is a new suite of NFT offerings designed to enable brands, personalities, and organizations, such as sports clubs, athletes, artists, entertainment brands, to extend their real-life presence into the Upland metaverse and beyond. Our community can’t get enough of it!”

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