Australian-listed Animoca Brands raises AU$6.5m for expansion

Mobile games developer Animoca Brands has raised AU$6.5 million via institutional placement in a bid to expedite growth and expand both its app and games portfolios.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed Animoca Brands has raised AU$6.5 million via institutional placement, with approval for an additional AU$1 million to be raised by way of a share purchase plan.

According to the company, the funds raised from both the placement and share purchase will be used to meet working capital requirements as well as strategic growth opportunities, which includes the development of e-books.

Robby Yung, Animoca Brands CEO told shareholders on Monday the company will also use the cash injection to fund the ongoing expansion of its app portfolio and also for the future acquisition of content and intellectual property to grow its portfolio.

"With this funding we're well positioned to expedite the development of our e-books in partnership with Mattel and continue to increase our app portfolio and user base as we seek further advertising revenue opportunities," he said.

"We continue to seek out opportunities to acquire brand licences and technology and with this funding in place we will be able to broaden both our IP portfolio and take advantage of opportunities as they arise."

This latest funding round has seen Animoca Brands raise a total of AU$10.2 million since it listed on the ASX.

Based in Hong Kong, Animoca Brands found itself publicly listed in Australia in January last 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.

It was reported at the time that Yung had said the reverse-takeover path was chosen as 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.

In July last year, Rival games developer, Ourpalm, sunk AU$3.1 million into Animoca Brands for an 11.11 percent stake in the company, with the deal seeing the distribution and development of Animoca's apps in China.

The remaining AU$4.7 million came from shareholders in December, with the company using the funds to develop new mobile entertainment products.

Last month, the company signed a distribution agreement with China's Tencent that would see the digital entertainment giant publish Groove Planet, Animoca Brand's mobile music game, across Android versions of Weixin, Mobile QQ, and Tencent App Store in mainland China.

Under the agreement, Groove Planet will be distributed across the platforms for two years, with an auto-renewal feature in place for an additional year, on a revenue share agreement.

As of December 2015, the combined monthly active users of Weixin and WeChat were 697 million, while Mobile QQ had 642 million monthly active users.

The latest agreement builds on the relationship Animoca Brands kicked off with Tencent in September last year, with the Chinese giant distributing Animoca's Armies of Dragons for across the WeChat platform in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand for a 12-month period which began in November.