Last week, Emily Yang, better known as the artist “pplpleasr,” announced that her Web3 video company Shibuya had raised $6.9 million in seed funding. Top Web3 venture capitalist firms a16z and Variant Fund led the round, which also received contributions from Paris Hilton and Kevin Durant.
Yang said the money will go to filling out her team, including the hiring of an UX/UI designer, and exploring more options for content. Currently, Shibuya — a name that refers to the neon-decked street crossing in Tokyo — has one short film in production. Called White Rabbit, the film follows a protagonist that attempts to save the blockchain, which has come under attack due to advances in computer science.
The seed round values Shibuya at $50 million. The company launched in February of 2022 with the goal of producing Web3 video content and providing filmmakers a way to create movies outside of traditional routes. In the case of White Rabbit, Yang has issued tokens that give holders the ability to vote on outcomes of episodes of the film, which she is releasing in short, 3–5-minute clips.
Yang describes Shibuya as a cross between Netflix and Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding platform. But unlike Kickstarter, which doesn’t involve investors after the company in question raises money, Yang wishes to involve token holders in Shibuya projects. Currently, Shibuya has seen $1.5 million in trading volume of its NFTs, which contain the rights to vote on projects.
Yang has gained fame in the Web3 space for her brightly colored artwork. One piece sold as an NFT for $1.3 million after Fortune featured it on its cover. She also maintains a Twitter presence, recently showing her family supporting her at a speech with her mother wearing Nouns glasses.
Web3 Companies Raise Money in Bear Market
Although the crypto market has slumped in recent months, that hasn’t stopped venture capitalist firms from placing their bets. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve written countless stories about companies raising millions of dollars in the bear market. Here are three.
First, three months ago, NFT company Doodles announced it had raised $54 million at a $704 million valuation. Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s company Seven Seven Six led the round, which also saw participation from Acrew Capital and 10T Holdings.
Next, four months ago, the co-founders of Polygon and Cere co-founder raised $50 million for a new Web3 fund. Called Symbolic Capital, the fund will focus on countries in developing countries that are creating decentralized applications, otherwise known as “dApps.”
Lastly, also four months ago, Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT project VeeFriends raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z. At the time, a representative from a16z praised Vaynerchuk’s commitment to the VeeFriends community.
Shibuya’s $6.9 million seed fund raise shows that some NFT companies are still raising money, which is positive for the space. Here at Rarity Sniper, we’ll keep our ears to the ground for further developments in the story.