Indian Metaverse Firm, Ikonz, Raises Funds From Early Stage Venture Capital Firm, Village Global and Technology Investment Firm, Woodstock. The Mumbai based company has been in the market for over two years and plans to use the funds to develop its products and expand its reach to new geographies.
The round also saw participation from Polygon Studios, the NFT and gaming vertical of Polygon.
Village Global is backed by Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Meta), Eric Schmidt (Google), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Bob Iger (former Disney), Mike Bloomberg (Bloomberg) and Diane Green (VMware), among others.
“It’s heartening to see that a fund backed by the world’s top tech icons, who have a cumulative net worth of over $400 billion and whose companies’ market caps exceed $5.5 trillion (Meta, Microsoft, Google and Amazon), has decided to fund us at an early stage,” Ikonz CEO Abinav Varma Kalidindi told ET.
While declining to disclose the amount, he confirmed that Village Global and Woodstock co-led the round.
“We will use the proceeds to ramp up artistic talent from across the globe and hire top tech talent to build out our metaverse and drop NFTs from our various IP partners. We are hiring for numerous roles,” said Kalidindi./tech_brief_widget.cms?msid=87862328potime:22
Founded in August 2021, Ikonz is a wealth-building platform that aims to help IP owners, artists, and other established icons manage their digital assets. It’s a 360-degree platform for IP owners to help them navigate the complexities of the technology and understand the different means of monetisation and upscaling.
The company has onboarded a wide variety of iconic IPs, including Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle. It plans to drop the first non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of Suppandi, the iconic character from Tinkle, in the next two months.
Ikonz is backed by actor-investor Rana Daggubati and Anthill Ventures’ founder Prasad Vanga.
The sales volume of NFTs crossed $27 billion in 2021 according to a Chainalysis report, while in January alone, the number reached almost $7 billion. Last year, NFTs, which are blockchain-based digital assets, saw a huge uptake in trading.
Viacom18 Launches NFT Marketplace in India
In India, the trend is picking up fast. In February, Viacom18 launched its NFT marketplace, Fully Faltoo. Producer Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment has bought virtual land in the Metaverse, while T-Series has partnered with Hefty Entertainment, a division of Hungama Digital Media, to launch digital art pieces and NFTs for some of their films.
ET also reported that designers, including Manish Malhotra, Raghavendra Rathore, Anamika Khanna, and Pankaj & Nidhi, have seen their initial drops of digital artwork sell in minutes on NFT marketplaces.