By Lisa Pauline Mattackal
(Reuters) – Animation app immi launched in Apple’s App Store on Wednesday after securing investments from billionaire Mark Cuban, singer Pitbull and Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media, the latest in a spate of celebrity investments in companies focused on the metaverse and non-fungible tokens.
The app, which creates animations that can be used on social media or in the metaverse, will allow select owners of the popular Bored Ape Yacht Club and My Pet Hooligan NFTs to animate these characters.
The company’s seed round of fundraising valued immi at $50 million, a spokesperson said. Other investors include Tony Robbins, Zoom founder Eric Yuan and musician Steve Aoki.
NFTs are digital assets that use blockchain technology to record who owns a digital file, which could be an image, a video or a text.
Venture capital investments into NFT-focused startups have ballooned over the past year, with over $2 billion worth of capital invested across 331 companies, according to data provider Pitchbook.
Paris Hilton, who has bought and created NFTs and invested in multiple cryptocurrency companies, posted a video of an animated Bored Ape NFT character to her Twitter account on Sunday.
Immi plans to launch its own characters as NFTs, in addition to animating more existing NFTs in the future, the company said.
(Reporting by Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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