TCG, a16z Back Virtual Horse Racing Startup

An Australian-based virtual horse racing platform raised $20 million in Series A funding from TCG Capital Management, Andreessen Horowitz and others

article-image

Source: Zed Run

share

key takeaways

  • TCG Capital Management leads $20 million Series A for virtual horse racing platform
  • It is the second investment into an NFT platform Andreessen Horowitz has revealed this week

Virtually Human Studio, the Australia-based startup behind online horse racing platform Zed Run, has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by The Chernin Group Capital Management. Andreessen Horowitz and Red Beard Ventures also participated in the round. 

VHS is the latest company profiting from the growing gaming and non-fungible token (NFT) industries. Zed Run is a marketplace and gaming program for what creators refer to as “breathing NFTs,” or NFTs that change and evolve over time, similar to real-life animals. 

Zed Run users can virtually breed, sell and buy horses. Virtual horse owners can pay entrance fees to compete in races, and the site collects fees for all of the above. Race participants that come in first, second or third receive prize money 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 team at Virtually Human Studio is building fundamentally alters what it means to be a fan,” said Jacob Smilovitz, vice president at TCG, in a statement. “Fans are now empowered to come down from the bleachers, become owners themselves and play an active role in determining the outcome of the game.”

When launched in 2019, horses on Zed Run sold for around $30, but the explosion of the NFT market has proven to be fruitful for the company.

At time of publication, the Zed Run marketplace was completely sold out, but secondary markets abound. One has a horse available for 1.3 ETH, or around $2,550 USD. 

It is the second NFT investment a16z has revealed this week. On Tuesday, the firm led a $100 million Series B funding round in NFT marketplace OpenSea

The funding rounds come amid a major moment for NFTs across industries. Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Mike Novogratz and digital media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck are part of the team behind Candy, a new sports NFT marketplace with a focus on baseball. Binance recently made its NFT marketplace debut with an auction featuring works from Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. 

Zed Run is VHS’s first major project with more than 125,000 connected users. VHS closed its first seed funding round in May 2020, according to the company. 

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

ao cover.jpg

Research

Arweave recently launched the testnet for AO computer, a new messaging protocol that will sit atop a PoS network and aims to become a scalable global compute platform through parallel processing and modularity.

article-image

The “fastest-growing ETF in history” has seen net inflows on every trading day since its Jan. 11 launch

article-image

Relm and Chainproof will provide insurance quotes to distributed validators

article-image

DLC.Link uses a Taproot-based Bitcoin multisig to let institutions mint dlcBTC, starting on Arbitrum

article-image

Pre-seed Bitcoin startup deals rose 360% in 2023, a TVP report shows

article-image

Circle’s new smart contract to allow holders of BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund to redeem shares for its stablecoin

article-image

Uniswap says it was not surprised to receive a Wells notice given the SEC’s “abusive” use of power as of late