Animoca Brands secures AU$3.1m overseas funding injection

ASX-listed mobile game developer Animoca Brands has received a AU$3.1 million investment from rival, Ourpalm.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company Animoca Brands has received a funding boost of AU$3.1 million from rival Chinese mobile games developer Ourpalm.

The cash investment sees Ourpalm take an 11.11 percent stake in the mobile smartphone and tablet game manufacturer.

"I look forward to the company's future growth and being a part of this exciting phase of expansion in the mobile gaming sector," co-CEO of Ourpalm Steven Hu said.

"The company has demonstrated a strong record of licensing and monetising well-known brand names and developing highly successful mobile games."

As a result of the funding injection, Hu will receive a place on the board of Animoca Brands as a non-executive director. His company will also be given the option of further investment up to $5 million when the Animoca share price reaches 150 percent of its current price.

Based in Hong Kong, Animoca Brands found its way onto the ASX in January this year, following a reverse takeover of Black Fire Minerals. The Perth-based mineral exploration company raised AU$2.4 million to fund the acquisition, and recommenced trading as Animoca Brands Corporation Limited.

Animoca Brands CEO Robby Yung said at the time that his company chose the reverse-takeover path because it allowed for the continued growth of the business and the potential for further initial public offering (IPO) raising for the licensing of more intellectual property for games, Tech In Asia reported.

Animoca Brands' game catalogue currently includes Garfield, Ben10, Astroboy, and Doraemon.

Last month, the Australian Senate launched an inquiry into the Australian video game development industry.

Australian Greens communications spokesperson and co-deputy leader Scott Ludlam said the inquiry will help establish what the government should be doing to support Australia's games industry and the employment, economic, and creative benefits it brings.

"Internationally, companies have experienced strong growth thanks to smart government support and favourable regulatory settings," he said.

"In Australia, no such luck: The sector has been treated like the poor cousin of the creative industries, culminating in the government's decision to close the AU$20 million Australian Interactive Games Fund just 12 months after it was established. I look forward to working with the committee to do what we can to help get the industry back on its feet."

The inquiry will be conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, and is due to report on its findings in April 2016.

Australian mining companies on the ASX have experienced a number of recent reverse takeovers. Last month, Perth-based cloud services and roaming telecommunications provider Norwood Systems began trading via a reverse takeover of Monteray Mining Group, a West-Australian gold mining company that initially found success in Burkina Faso.

Last year, Australian cloud provider Bulletproof completed its reverse takeover of mining company Spencer Resources, listing on the ASX as Bulletproof Group Limited; and Australian software security startup Cocoon Data found itself listed on the ASX as Covata Limited after a reverse takeover of Prime Minerals.

Updated July 7, 2015, at 4.30pm AEST: The story originally stated that Animoca Brands was valued at $35 billion. This amount is actually the estimated value of the mobile gaming industry.