Mobile games and subscription products company Animoca Brands Corporation has agreed to invest A$1 million (US$766,000) in cash in Hong Kong-based Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning accelerator Zeroth.ai.
The investment is payable in four tranches of A$250,000 (US$191,000) each. The first tranche is payable upon signing of the binding terms sheet, with the others expected to be payable in the following year in line with Zeroth.ai’s investments in its subsequent cohorts.
Under the terms of its strategic investment, Animoca will receive an equity interest in Zeroth.ai’s first cohort of startup investments in proportion to its investment. In addition, Zeroth.ai will co-locate its companies in the same premises as Animoca Brands and contribute to rental costs for the premises.
The investment grants Animoca Brands direct access to industry-leading AI and machine learning expertise, and equity exposure to Zeroth.ai’s investment portfolio. It will also benefit through new distribution opportunities, the option to partner directly with Zeroth.ai’s companies, and direct involvement in one of the most exciting and disruptive areas of technological development.
Tak Lo, Founding Partner of Zeroth.ai, said: “Animoca Brands’s investment not only provides us with an anchor investment partner, but also a wealth of resources and experience in mobile development which our startups can leverage. We have some of the most exciting AI companies who will be co-located at the Animoca Brands headquarters, and we’re looking forward to the ideas and products that will emerge from this partnership.”
Founded by Lo, previously a Director at Techstars, Zeroth.ai is Asia’s first AI and ML-focused accelerator. It invests pre-seed capital in select high-potential startups and provides them with operational, strategic and networking support.
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To date, Zeroth.ai has invested in 23 startups, including dishq, FANOlabs, au and Laboratik, and is currently in the process of interviewing candidates for third cohort Z03.
Additionally, Animoca announced that it has raised a total of A$715,000 (US$547,000) through a placement of approximately 55 million new shares to sophisticated and institutional investors. A portion of the investment will be applied towards funding its first tranche of investment in Zeroth.ai.