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Andreessen and Others Bet $20M on Zed Run NFT Horses

In brief

  • TCG Capital Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Red Beard Ventures invested $20 million in the developer of NFT-based horse racing game Zed Run.
  • The game allows players to trade and breed digital racehorses to compete with other users.

Virtually Human Studio (VHS), the blockchain development firm behind non-fungible token-based (NFT) horse racing game Zed Run, today announced that it has raised $20 million via a Series A funding round led by TCG Capital Management with participation from Andreessen Horowitz and Red Beard Ventures.

“Dear friends, it’s official! Announcing our $20M+ USD Series A round, led by TCG, a16z, and Red Beard, to accelerate our leading platform development in the NFT space,” Virtually Human Studio tweeted today.

Zed Run is a blockchain horse racing game set in a Tron-like surreal, neon-filled virtual universe. It allows players to buy and breed racing horses and pit them against others on various racing tracks. Notably, each horse is represented by an NFT—a provably unique crypto token that serves as a digital certificate of authenticity and ownership.

According to VHS, Zed Run players have bought over $30 million worth of virtual racehorses to date.

Now, the studio plans to use its newly acquired funds to expand the game and allow players to master professions such as a stable or race track owner, breeder, accessory designer, and more.

“We are also working to partner closely with brands to produce immersive sponsorship experiences, such as our recent collaborations with The Preakness, Stella Artois and Atari,” said Virtually Human Studio CEO Chris Laurent in the announcement. 

The latest capital infusion would also allow VHS to beef up its product and engineering teams, business operations, and “provide legacy brands with an organic introduction to crypto consumers.”

Notably, some of the most valuable Zed Run steeds are currently being sold for up to 30 Ethereum—or around $57,000 at current prices—on NFT marketplace OpenSea.

“VHS has been at the forefront of this trend thanks to the team’s sharp instincts about what consumers crave from digital entertainment and has built solid foundations for a community-led market,” added Arianna Simpson, general partner at a16z, Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto-focused arm.

Interestingly, Zed Run was conceived back in 2017 when Laurent spotted an advertisement for a local stud farm that offered a stallion for breeding.

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