Dear ZEDheads, this is the news we have been waiting to spill, and we are so excited to finally share it with you! The team is truly humbled by this investment, and we feel extremely privileged to have two of the most formidable startup backers supporting the vision we all share for ZED RUN. What this means is that we are securely on track to continue building and expanding for our entire community.
Our vision for the future is to build a creator economy within the ZED RUN metaverse where players can work in professions such as stable owner, race track owner, breeder, accessory designer and more,” says Chris Laurent, CEO at Virtually Human Studio. “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.”
“What the team at Virtually Human Studio is building fundamentally alters what it means to be a fan,” says Jacob Smilovitz, Vice President at TCG. “VHS is building the future of virtual entertainment, digital ownership and collaborative consumer relationships, and we look forward to supporting them as they develop new experiences across a variety of verticals.”
View the partnership site here.
Virtually Human Studio (VHS) has raised a $20M USD Series A round, to rapidly accelerate its leading platform development in the NFT space. The round was led by TCG with participation from Andreessen Horowitz and Red Beard Ventures.
VHS was founded in 2018 by a small team of tech innovators from Australia. Through strategic development and partnership, the immersive digital experience company is now pioneering the sports and entertainment world with the creation of the virtual horse racing platform ZED RUN.
The future of entertainment
ZED RUN showcases the revolutionary ways blockchain technologies have the potential to change the sports, entertainment and gaming industries by redefining the fan experience. It offers fans a first of its kind chance to buy, sell, race and breed their own stable of racehorses, transforming fans from spectators to owners. By unlocking this new type of experience, ZED RUN has built a deeply engaged community whose active involvement and feedback has spurred the company to greater heights.
Considered a “breathable NFT,” ZED RUN’s NFT racehorses carry with them a set of attributes that determine how well they race and breed. Stable owners make decisions about which racehorses to buy, which races to enter and how to breed their racehorses. More than $30 million worth of NFT racehorses have been sold to date so far.
Chris Laurent, CEO at Virtually Human Studio says, “Unlike their real-life counterparts, ZED RUN’s racehorses aren’t bound by the limitations of the physical world. This means that horse racing is now a 24/7 sport.”
“Our vision for the future is to build a creator economy within the ZED RUN metaverse where players can work in professions such as stable owner, race track owner, breeder, accessory designer and more”, he continues. “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.”
What makes ZED RUN special
The unique utility of ZED RUN and its ability to redefine gaming and the fan relationship, is what attracted investors like TCG. Known for their focus on engaging with passionate fan bases and businesses around product, TCG believes in the potential for blockchain and the digital ownership economy to have a huge impact on the future of fan experiences. This makes investing in VHS a natural fit.
“What the team at Virtually Human Studio is building fundamentally alters what it means to be a fan. Fans are now empowered to come down from the bleachers, become owners themselves and play an active role in determining the outcome of the game,” said Jacob Smilovitz, Vice President at TCG. “VHS is building the future of virtual entertainment, digital ownership and collaborative consumer relationships, and we look forward to supporting them as they develop new experiences across a variety of verticals.”
The same goes for Andreesen Horowitz, a firm known for propelling the growth of bold entrepreneurial ventures in the consumer, enterprise, crypto and fintech markets. VHS is one of several recent investments in the blockchain and gaming entertainment space, alongside NEAR Protocol and blockchain network Chia.
“Gaming has the potential to bring billions of people into crypto for the first time which is why it’s such an important and innovative category in the space,” said Arianna Simpson, General Partner at a16z crypto. “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. We are excited to see VHS scale up and break new ground.”
The outlook ahead
With this capital infusion, VHS plans to expand its product and engineering teams as it continues to further evolve the ZED RUN platform with improved creator tools that enable a new wave of virtual racehorse owners.
The company also plans to further build out its business and operations staff to develop deeper partner integrations and provide legacy brands with an organic introduction to crypto consumers.
While building out its team, Virtually Human Studio will look to also diversify its product suite and geographic footprint as a global offering for passionate fans, investors, and technology enthusiasts alike.
Join the Fun 🐎
Head over to ZED RUN to buy your very own digital racehorse and join one of our fast-growing social channels below.