Zebra Labs raises $5 million to upgrade its metaverse, launch NFT project, and onboard Chinese celebrities
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Zero Labs raised $5 million, with Chinese game developer NetDragon being the main investor
The funding will help to launch an NFT project focused on Chinese celebrities
The company plans to organize virtual concerts in the metaverse
Chinese Web3 company Zebra Labs raised $5 million to upgrade its metaverse division and recreate artists in the virtual world. The leading investors are Chinese gaming giant NetDragon and Japanese corporation Sumitomo.
In June, one of China’s top pop-punk artists, Wowkie Zhang, released a music video where he meets a virtual avatar in an animated world. The avatar dances hip-hop to Zhang’s music while wearing a sweater and baggy pants.
Zebra Labs, who produced the video, is turning the avatar into a piece of intellectual property in the form of an NFT. The NFT will be available on marketplaces and appear in the company’s video games. Zebra Labs plans to launch the NFT project when the crypto winter dissipates.
Scarlett Li, the CEO of Zebra Labs, said the NFT project aims to “create intellectual property that’s deeply integrated with content” and “run virtual idols like celebrities.”
The avatars are inspired by real-life celebrities, although some are original characters. Zebra Labs seeks to capture celebrities’ audiences by making short films, images, and social posts. Later the company plans to monetize the fan base.
In China, music streaming is distributed by tech giants Tencent and NetEase, who send user traffic to artists with big fan bases, making it hard for new artists to appear on the scene.
Inspired by Ariana Grande’s virtual concert in the battle royale video game Fortnite, Li believes concerts in the metaverse are showing potential. The company plans to begin Chinese artists’ virtual concerts on Web3 gaming platforms by 2023.
In September, China’s metaverse industry received a hefty $780 million investment, with Tencent and NetEase as the leading companies. The national market is expected to have a $5.8 trillion valuation by 2030.
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