Galaxy Interactive Bets on Digital Real Estate with Republic Realm Partnership

Richard Kim, GP at Galaxy Interactive said the investment provides “‘smart beta’ to the evolving ecosystem, and the opportunity to leverage the team’s unique backgrounds and insights to intelligently assess opportunities and pitfalls across the space.”

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Janine Yorio, Managing Director and Head of Strategic Assets and Initiatives at Republic

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key takeaways

  • Republic Realm, owned by crowdfunding platform Republic, launched in March 2021 as the non-fungible token (NFT) market started to heat up.
  • Earlier this month, Republic Realm purchased nearly $1 million worth of virtual land in the blockchain-based online world Decentraland, the largest purchase of digital land in history.

Galaxy Interactive, the multi-limited partner venture fund that sits under Galaxy Digital’s asset management unit, is a lead investor in virtual real estate developer Republic Realm. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Republic Realm in their mission to expand access to virtual real estate across the major virtual worlds,” said Richard Kim, GP at Galaxy Interactive. “For us, the investment provides ‘smart beta’ to the evolving ecosystem, and the opportunity to leverage the team’s unique backgrounds and insights to intelligently assess opportunities and pitfalls across the space.”

Republic Realm, owned by crowdfunding platform Republic, launched in March 2021 as the non-fungible token (NFT) market started to heat up. The size of the investment was not disclosed. The company acquires virtual real estate, digital assets and NFTs and has made more than 1,500 investments since launch. 

Earlier this month, Republic Realm purchased nearly $1 million worth of virtual land in the blockchain-based online world Decentraland, the largest purchase of digital land in history. 

The online world of Decentraland allows users to display NFT art, real estate, clothes and attend live events on purchased lots. Republic Realm develops the virtual land in the digital world to build event spaces and commercial real estate. It has even rented out digital storefronts to tenants. 

Boston Protocol held the previous record for largest virtual real estate sale. The blockchain protocol bought a digital land plot earlier this month for $704,000. The company has said it plans to develop the space into a virtual mall where users can purchase digital assets and exchange them for real-life goods. 

There are other groups offering NFT real estate. The Sandbox, a competitor of Decentraland, is an ethereum-based gaming world where users can create, share and monetize assets. The Sandbox recently sold a lot of land on its platform for more than $650,000. Somnium Space, another digital real estate platform, sold a plot for $500,000 in March. 

Old names in real estate are also getting involved in the digital land ecosystem. Sotheby’s opened a virtual replica of their London auction house to host an NFT art show. 

Real estate groups and brokers are also starting to see the value in NFT versions of real locations.

Shane Dulgeroff, a California-based broker, recently created an NFT listing of a virtual version of a home. The winning bid won both the virtual NFT and the very real home. 

Republic’s $36 million Series A funding round closed in March. Investors included Galaxy Digital and investment firm Prosus.

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