Nonfungible tokens or NFTs are one of the fastest growing types of digital assets, with potential applications in spaces such as art, gaming, music and social media. Given their blockchain integration, they offer the possibility of a bespoke, one-of-a-kind possession with the potential to be used across an ever-expanding network of integrated applications and services.

NFT investing as a potential crypto revival 

NFTs have brought about a reemergence of cryptocurrency and digital assets, with people both in and outside the financial sphere taking a keen interest in how to invest in NFTs and where the technology may go in the future. This movement isn’t only on the part of traders, however; the newly expanded umbrella of what can be turned into a digital asset has creators and entrepreneurs reexploring the potential of tokenization and pushing against previously established definitions and conventions.

Much of the coverage given to NFTs has focused on one-off projects, purchases and collaborations, developing the narrative of NFTs as a collectible, but there are many in the space with a more long-term vision. These startups are building out infrastructure and apps that integrate NFTs, adding value and utility to the wide array of assets currently hitting the market.

Major players in NFT investing

An important third element to the NFT ecosystem, beyond NFT creators and those building projects around them, are the parties putting capital into the space. Our definition of an NFT investor is not an entity that buys individual NFTs, though they may also do that, but rather one that invests in NFT startups or initiatives. Highlighted below are some of the most prolific investors, based on number of deals, that include NFT startups as a significant portion of their portfolio.

Animoca Brands

  • Year founded: 2011
  • Leadership: Robbert Yung, CEO
  • Total NFT investments: 65

Animoca Brands is a Hong Kong-based mobile game developer and publisher with a specialization in blockchain and gamification. They have worked on licensed projects for brands such as Disney, WWE and Formula 1. In addition to creating proprietary digital assets like REVV Token and SAND Token, they have also invested in over 150 projects relating to NFTs and decentralization.

AU21 Capital

  • Year founded: 2017
  • Leadership: Alexi Nedeltchev, Kevin Leu, Valeria Kholostenko, Principals
  • Total NFT investments: 43

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, AU21 Capital is a VC firm that targets blockchain and artificial intelligence projects. They supplement their venture capital efforts by partnering with exchanges and industry launchpads to provide additional backing. A common theme in their investments is NFT games and Metaverse integration.

Genesis Block Ventures

  • Year founded: 2020
  • Leadership: Christian Ng, Principal
  • Total investments: 34

Genesis Block Ventures is a VC firm that operates in the Cayman Islands, United Kingdom. They favor early-stage projects relating to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Throughout their history in the space, they have participated in projects like cryptocurrency mining support, over the counter trading and currently host an NFT gallery with pieces they have invested in.

NGC Ventures

  • Year founded: 2017
  • Total investments: 31

NGC Ventures is a Singapore-based firm that employs traditional finance practices towards cryptocurrency investments. Started by Erik Zhang, a co-founder of the NEO blockchain, they were originally dedicated to supporting NEO-related projects but have since widened their interests to the broader blockchain space. Some of their main target areas include decentralized computing, gaming and decentralized finance.

Exnetwork Capital

  • Year founded: 2018
  • Leadership: Christian Ng, Principal
  • Total investments: 28

Exnetwork Capital is a VC firm and incubator dedicated to supporting blockchain and crypto startups. They place a strong emphasis on decentralization and democratized access to blockchain, as evidenced by their support of anonymous and distributed teams. Exnetwork Capital’s NFT investments are largely tied to gaming integration and the creation of games built on tokenized assets.

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