Invisible Universe, an internet-based animation studio, has raised $12 million in Series A funding, company CEO Tricia Biggio told Axios.
Why is this important: There has been a rise in content startups looking to build the next generation of IP using web3 and Hollywood’s challenging studio model.
Details: Biggio argues that the community approach that is the central tenet of web3 allows the company to more quickly develop intellectual property with franchise potential.
- “Affinity, at the end of the day, is a very difficult thing to build. And so if you can build it faster and more cheaply than how traditional models have always done, we think that’s quite a disruptive way to do it,” says Biggio.
- Biggio, a former Viacom and MGM executive who worked in reality television, is the latest Hollywood veteran to make the jump to web3.
- The round was led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Katelin Holloway’s Seven Seven Six.
- Other investors included Cosmic Venture Partners, Dapper Labs, Franklin Templeton, Gaingels, Initialized Capital, Schusterman Family Investments, Wheelhouse and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 & Sunny.
- The Invisible Universe cap chart includes Serena Williams and Jennifer Aniston as well as TCG, CASSIUS and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC.
To note : The company said it would use the funds to launch a new IP and expand to new platforms, as well as continue to monetize its existing IP.
Catch up quickly: Williams helped create the Invisible Universe’s most popular character, Qai Qai, based on the real doll of Williams and Ohanian’s daughter after she became a popular social media meme.
- Qai Qai is one of a host of platform-independent digital characters created by Invisible Universe with partners such as Charli and Dixie D’Amelio and Aniston.
- Invisible Universe has teamed up with kid-safe social network Zigazoo on an NFT broadcast, released “Qai Qai’s Nursery Rhyme Remix” on YouTube, and will release “The Adventures of Qai Qai,” Williams’ first-ever children’s book, in september.
- “My vision is that you’re going to see our characters in Roblox, you’re going to see them on your Target shelves, and you’re going to have them in your MetaMask wallet,” says Biggio.
And after: Invisible Universe launches “The R3al Metaverse” web series on August 30.
- The series features animated versions of popular NFTs like Bored Ape, Cool Cat, and World of Women “living” and interacting with the real world in a parody of reality shows like “The Real World” and “Big Brother.”
- “We shot it in a convenient mansion in Los Angeles. And we use the actors who are actually voice actors for each of the characters. They came in and did it all and shot all 30 episodes,” Biggio said.