28 February 2019 – Animoca Brands Corporation Limited (ASX:AB1, the “Company”) is pleased to announce its Appendix 4E preliminary financial report for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2018. This year marked the strongest financial performance in the history of the Company, with revenues of $13.5m ($17.5m including other income) and cash receipts of $15.7m, representing increases of 100.46% and 144.76%, respectively, on the financial year 2017. The Company is pleased to report that it became operationally cash flow positive for the year. The comprehensive loss of $1.8m for the year included unrealised expenses of $1,391,168 related to the change in value of cryptocurrency assets and a provision made for $1,322,299 in milestone payments to the founders of TicBits as part of the acquisition agreements of 4 July 2016. The Company ended the period well-positioned with $9.2m in cash.
The financial year 2018 was a transformational year for the Company, during which time the results of the restructuring undertaken in 2017 began to emerge. Following a year of divestment, in 2018 the Company focused on growth and expansion as it secured success in its core business of mobile games, generating significant revenues and being named one of the world’s “Top 50 Developers” of 2018 by PocketGamer. The Company also began expanding into two technology spaces that it believes will significantly impact the mobile game industry: artificial intelligence (“AI”) and blockchain. At the beginning of 2018, The Company’s Finnish studio launched Crazy Defense Heroes, the sequel to Crazy Kings, leading the game franchise to generate substantial revenues during the period.
At the same time, the Company increased its exposure in the AI accelerator Zeroth with the acquisition of Venture Classic, the management company of Zeroth, giving Animoca Brands an indirect ownership stake in the startups accelerated by Zeroth (32 companies in previous cohorts, and 28 companies in the present cohort).
The Company became a publisher of CryptoKitties, the world’s most successful blockchain game, and invested in Dapper Labs, the creators of CryptoKitties. This was followed by a series of strategic partnerships to establish a leadership position in blockchain gaming, including with HTC Corporation, OpenST Limited, Decentraland, Datum, LikeCoin, Musicoin, Harmony, Mind Fund, and Helix. The Company also established a partnership with Atari, one of the world’s most famous producers of interactive entertainment, to create blockchain games based on popular Atari game brands.
The Company also formed a partnership with iClick Interactive Asia Limited (NASDAQ: ICLK) to jointly develop and grow an online marketing business in order to leverage iClick’s marketing technology platform and data assets of over 780 million user profiles in China; this partnership is expected to deliver a minimum of about $11m in revenue to Animoca Brands over the course of 2019.
The Company completed several acquisitions during the period, including Finnish casual games studio Tribeflame, Vancouver-based blockchain game studio Fuel Powered, Buenos Aires-based games studio Pixowl, and Venture Classic, the management company of Zeroth.
The Company’s subsidiaries recorded notable activity during the period. The Animoca Brands subsidiary OliveX partnered with the North Point Kai Fong Welfare Advancement Association to produce an AI-based mobile app for Android and iOS to teach Baduanjin qigong, a form of Chinese exercise with documented health benefits. The project was awarded a grant of approximately A$770,000 by the Hong Kong Government’s Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living. Separately, OliveX also partnered with fitness blockchain company Lympo to launch Lympo Squat, the world’s first “squat for crypto” exercise mobile app. Finally, Zeroth partnered with AI incubator DEEPCORE, a wholly owned subsidiary of global technology player SoftBank Group Corp. (TYO: 9984), to share dealflow, expertise and information for technology investments in Asian markets.
During the financial year, the Company welcomed a number of high-profile industry veterans to the world team, including Holly Liu (co-founder of Kabam) to the Board of Directors, Gen Kanai (ex-director of community engagement at Mozilla) to the management team, and Wilhelm Taht (ex-executive vice president at Rovio) and Ed Fries (co-founder of Microsoft’s Xbox project) to the board of advisors.
Shortly after the end of the 2018 financial year, the Company announced a strategic partnership with WAX Blockchain to offer digital items from The Sandbox for sale on the WAX platform, launched the Android version of Crazy Defense Heroes on Google Play Early Access, and announced it secured a strategic investment of US$1m (approx. A$1.4m) into its OliveX subsidiary, further strengthening that company’s position in the burgeoning health and fitness technology market.