Virtually Human Studio, a blockchain development company based in Sydney, has raised $20 million to fund the expansion of its NFT horse racing game Zed Run.
Virtually Human Studio (VHS), the blockchain development company behind the non-fungible token-based (NFT) horse racing game Zed Run, said today that it has raised $20 million in a Series A fundraising round led by TCG Capital Management and including Andreessen Horowitz and Red Beard Ventures.
“Dear friends, it’s official! Announcing our $20M+ USD Series A round, led by TCG, a16z, and Red Beard, to accelerate our leading platform development in the NFT space,” Virtually Human Studio tweeted today.
Dear friends, it’s official! Announcing our $20M+ USD Series A round, led by TCG, a16z and Red Beard, to accelerate our leading platform development in the NFT space.
Here’s to building the future of virtual entertainment!
Get the full scoop: https://t.co/TiMf60WMPT#ZEDRUN pic.twitter.com/03Qmua5ldt— Virtually Human Studio (@V_H_Studio) July 21, 2021
Zed Run is a blockchain-based horse racing game set in a strange, neon-lit virtual realm reminiscent of Tron. It enables players to purchase and raise racing horses, as well as battle them against one another on a variety of race tracks. Notably, each horse is represented by an NFT—a cryptographic token that is guaranteed to be unique and functions as a digital certificate of validity and ownership.
According to VHS, Zed Run gamers have purchased virtual racehorses worth over $30 million.
The firm now intends to use the freshly collected funds to extend the game and enable players to learn vocations such as stable or race track owner, breeder, accessory designer, and more.
“We are also collaborating closely with brands to create immersive sponsorship experiences, as evidenced by our recent collaborations with The Preakness, Stella Artois, and Atari,” Virtually Human Studio CEO Chris Laurent stated in the statement.
Additionally, the latest funding infusion will enable VHS to strengthen its product and technical teams, as well as its commercial operations, and “provide legacy brands with an organic introduction to crypto consumers.”
Notably, some of the most prized Zed Run steeds are currently being offered on NFT marketplace OpenSea for up to 30 Ethereum — or almost $57,000 at current pricing.
“VHS has been at the forefront of this trend thanks to the team’s sharp instincts about what consumers crave from digital entertainment and has built solid foundations for a community-led market,” noted Arianna Simpson, general partner at a16z, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto-focused investment arm.
Intriguingly, Laurent came up with the idea for Zed Run in 2017 after seeing an advertisement for a nearby stud farm offering a stallion for breeding.