Aussie-Based ZED RUN Raises $20 Million for NFT Racehorses

July 23, 2021, 10:30 AM AEST - 4 months ago

Virtually Human Studio (VHS) has raised US$20 million in a funding round involving formidable American VC firms Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and The Chernin Group (TCG).

The Australian digital entertainment company plans to expand the operations of its non-fungible token (NFT) horseracing platform known as “ZED RUN, which allows users to trade, race, breed and own racehorses as so-called breathable NFTs.

TCG and Andreessen Horowitz Back Aussie ZED RUN

VHS bagged US$20 million in Series A, which was led by TCG and included Andreessen Horowitz, plus Red Beard Ventures, as per the July 21 announcement.

With the fresh capital, VHS will build out its operations and products with ZED RUN to offer more improved creator tools for virtual racehorse owners. The company is looking to expand its workforce to establish deeper partner integrations and legacy brands.

Our vision for the future is to build a creator economy within the ZED RUN metaverse where players can work in professions such as stable owner, racetrack owner, breeder, accessory designer, and more […] We are also working to partner closely with brands to produce immersive sponsorship experiences.

Chris Laurent, CEO, Virtually Human Studio

The announcement also confirmed a growing interest in virtual racehorses. So far, over US$30 million in NFT racehorses has been traded on ZED RUN, ranging from US$130 to U$45,000 per horse based on their unique programmed characteristics. 

VCs Are Betting Big on NFTs 

Venture capital companies such as Andreessen Horowitz have been investing heavily on NFT platforms since the industry boom began this year. In March, NFT marketplace OpenSea closed a Series A round, raising up to US$23 million from Andreessen Horowitz and other companies, to expand its business. 

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