Amazon leads a $20M investment in Web3 startup Superplastic to build entertainment brands with NFTs and virtual characters
Amazon is betting big on Web3 after it leads a $20 million investment in Superplastic, an entertainment startup company that partners with well-known brands and celebrities on NFT drops.
Superplastic, which was founded by the creator of Ello and Kidrobot, announced Wednesday it has raised $20 million in a Series A extension round. led by the venture capital arm of Amazon.com Inc as the company looks to expand its universe of digital characters. The latest capital infusion brings Superplastic’s total funding to $58 million, the company said but gave no specifics about its current valuation.
The round was led by The Alexa Fund, a venture arm of Amazon that focuses on new media, smart consumer electronics, and ambient intelligence. Other backers include high-profile investors across web2, web3, gaming, and fashion, such as Craft Ventures, Google Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Kering, Sony Japan, Scribble Ventures, Kakao, Animoca Brands, Day One Ventures, and Betaworks.
In conjunction with the funding, Superplastic also announced it has inked a deal with Amazon to collaborate on an animated comedy series. “The Janky & Guggimon Show,” starring the Superplastic core characters Janky and Guggimon, is currently in development at Amazon Studios.
“The new collaboration partnership with Amazon Studios reaches a massive audience and provides a new playground for us to wreak havoc worldwide. We’re grateful for the investment the Amazon Alexa Fund gave us to help us continue to grow the Superplastic Universe,” said Superplastic founder and CEO Paul Budnitz.
“Every SUPERPLASTIC NFT gives you access and utility within our rapidly evolving story. Superplastic NFTs are released in Episodes. Every episode is connected and stars Janky, Guggimon, Dayzee & the rest of the Superplastic cast,” Superplastic said.
“The Janky & Guggimon Show” will follow the adventures of two lazy and spectacularly incompetent best friends who are hell-bent on getting rich and famous but leave a trail of chaos and destruction in their wake. According to Superplastic, each episode will feature a cast of animated and human celebrity friends.
“As we expand the Alexa Fund to address a wider range of consumer technologies that include ambient computing, smart devices, and the future of entertainment, we’re very excited to add Superplastic to our portfolio,” Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, said in a press release. “Superplastic’s virtual celebrities delight audiences and meet their customers where they are, and we see them as demonstrative of a new class of IP that is going to be increasingly relevant with younger generations.”
Founded in 2017 by Huck Gee and Paul Budnitz, Superplastic sells toys, apparel, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in collaboration with brands, including Gucci, Fortnite, Mercedes-Benz, Tommy Hilfiger, and celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Post Malone, and The Weeknd. The company also creates limited-edition art toys, apparel, games, and animation based on characters created in collaboration with some of the greatest artists in the world.
Superplastic also partners with the world’s most recognizable artists, brands, & celebrity frens to bring ridiculously dope NFTs, products, and virtual & IRL experiences to our community, the company says on its website.