BUD, the Singapore-based, one-to-watch app that’s creating a metaverse for Gen Z to play and interact with each other, has raised $37 million in another round of funding in just three months.
Speaking to TechCrunch, the company stated that it has closed $36.8 million in a recent Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India, not long after it secured a Series A extension in February. The funding now totals BUD’s overall financing to over $60 million.
Similar to BUD’s recent rounds, this round of raise drew-in the attention of several prominent China-focused investors—ClearVue Partners, Northern Light Venture Capital and NetEase. Existing investors such as Qiming Venture Partners, Source Code Capital and GGV Capital also participated in the round.
Mine’s a BUD
BUD was founded by two former Snap engineers, Shawn Lin and Risa Feng in 2019. The app allows users create 3D characters, cutesy virtual assets and bright and colourful online experiences through drag-and-drop and without any coding knowledge.
Although it declined to reveal its active user size, the company claimed that its users have created more than 15 million custom experiences – i.e. virtual spaces using gameplay that others join – since it launched in November 2021. Virtual assets such as costumes and accessories that users design for characters have changed hands over 150 million times on the BUD’s marketplace.
While the transactions are obviously a promising way of generating revenue, BUD isn’t charging commissions just yet and neither has it started monetizing in other means using the app.
BUD is amongst the top 10 social apps in almost 40 countries across North America, South America and Southeast Asia. Something doubtless aik,8ded by the fact that BUD is free-to-use and is ad-free as well. At least for now. And according to SensorTower, the market intelligence company, BUD is currently the top free social Android app in Vietnam and Thailand.
And although apps like Roblox and Zepeto have made it easier for just about anyone to design virtual characters and spaces, BUD is taking its concept a step further as it aims to introduce a marketplace for NFTs. This means that ownership of virtual items sold on BUD will be recorded on the blockchain. Reselling of digital assets will also become a possibility in the form of NFTs.
The company kept discreet which chain the NFT project will be on or what tokens it will use, but stated that the marketplace will “soon be live.”
Lin said in a statement, “While BUD makes 3D content creation possible for mainstream Gen Z consumers, we will continue to bring blockchain to mainstream consumers and allow our creators to truly own and monetize their creations.”
BUD continues to grow and expand its team of 130 employees that are scattered across its headquarters in Singapore with offices in Shenzhen and the United States.