Stockhead: Crypto gaming investment titan Animoca Brands acquires Aussie digital agency Be Media

GameFi/NFT investment giant and development studio Animoca Brands has announced it’s bought a majority stake in Australian digital marketing agency Be Media.

It appears to be a major pivot into the crypto space for the Perth-headquartered agency, which has been focused on providing “Web2” companies with advertising and digital strategies for close to a decade. Some of its bigger clients include Audi, Harley-Davidson and property developer Finbar.

According to a statement shared with Stockhead, Be Media has now begun “aggressive hiring” for blockchain-based development and project-management positions.

Animoca’s aim in acquiring the company, meanwhile, appears to be part of an Australian expansion that aligns with an overarching strategy to bring more companies into the Web3 fold.

(By the way, don’t know what Web2 and Web3 refers to? Very basically, think of Web3 as the third generation of the internet, powered by blockchain tech with a decentralised, open-source ethos.)

Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca, said: “The acquisition of Be Media will allow Animoca Brands to extend its core capabilities to support the Australian market and beyond. There are tremendous opportunities in Australia and the acquisition of Be Media will enhance our ability to work with companies that wish to participate in the exciting opportunities presented by the emerging open metaverse.”

Be Media founder and CEO Jordan Fogarty, who will retain a minor stake and continue his current role, meanwhile expressed his enthusiasm for the Web3 space and the opportunity to help introduce recognisable companies to the metaverse, NFTs, and “the power of digital property rights”.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Yat and Animoca Brands, which is the dominant frontrunner in Web3, with a bold vision to help to build a truly open and decentralised metaverse,” said Fogarty.

Animoca’s ever-increasing investment spree

Animoca Brands, which is valued at about US$5 billion, has its investment tentacles spread far and wide across the crypto-centric world, with a particular focus on blockchain gaming, NFTs and the metaverse.

Its major subsidiary product is The Sandbox (SAND), which has a market cap of US$3.42 billion, second only to Axie Infinity (AXS) (US$3.65b), which Animoca is also heavily invested in.

Some of Animoca’s most recent investments include its 96 per cent stake in French racing game developer Eden Games for US$15 million, its 70 per cent stake in Darewise Entertainment, and significant funding of promising GameFi titles Blast Royale and Legends of Elumia.

Animoca’s investment into Be Media meanwhile also adds to its two other major Australian investments – gaming firms Blowfish Studios and Grease Monkey Games.