Jadu Raises $7M Seed Round to Bring AR to Web3

Today our team at Jadu is proud to share that we’ve raised a $7M Seed Round to accelerate the rapid progress we’ve been making towards building Web3’s definitive AR platform.

The round was led by General Catalyst and included a prominent investment from Metapurse, the world’s largest NFT fund responsible for famously bringing NFTs to the mainstream with their purchase of Beeple’s EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days for $69M+ earlier this year. Jadu counts LionTree, Coinbase Ventures, The VR Fund, PKO Investments & Progression Fund among others invested in the round.

The round also includes investors with entertainment backgrounds such as Guy Oseary (who now manages Bored Ape Yacht Club) & Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, TIME President Keith Grossman and Snoop Dogg’s manager Nick Adler.

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This funding comes on the heels of the monumental launch of our sophomore NFT collection Jadu Hoverboards that made 1,000+ ETH ($4M) in primary sales this past Sunday. Jadu Hoverboards have since been trading fervently in the secondary market and have formed a $20M+ market cap. The Jadu Hoverboard collection features ultra rare Hoverboards created in collaboration with cultural icons including seven-time Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton; Canadian musician and internet sensation, GRIMES; legendary American rapper, Snoop Dogg; visual artist, Mimi Onuoha and NFT curator, Trippy. Jadu’s earlier collection Jadu Jetpacks, combined with Hoverboards, bring total Jadu NFT market cap to over $40M.

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Both Hoverboards & Jetpacks can be used to fly 3D avatars NFTs in Augmented Reality and used within the Mirrorverse game world. Jadu’s app, which is in beta, has support for 60,000 compatible NFT avatars including popular collections like LarvaLabs’ Meebits, CyberKongz, DeadFellaz, FLUFs, ImmaDegen VOID’s and ChibiApes. Following the principles of the Open Metaverse, Jadu is building the Mirrorverse to be interoperable. This means that external 3D NFT avatars can be used within the world and Jadu’s NFT item can also be used in multiple Metaverse spaces. To demonstrate this interoperability, Jadu is collaborating with The Sandbox to bring Jadu Jetpacks into the Sandbox metaverse before year’s end. 

Next year, with the combined revenue from NFT sales and Seed financing, Jadu will release the Mirrorverse as a world scale AR game where players can find game items in the real world akin to Pokemon Go. However, these Mirrorverse game assets will be tradable, interoperable NFTs like Jetpacks and Hoverboards.

“Our team has been independently & diligently releasing boundary pushing AR for 6 years now. We’ve known we can create incredible AR experiences but it’s only now with Web3 incentive systems that the missing piece is finally obvious,” said Asad J. Malik, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Jadu. “The community that we formed around Jetpacks, which we have now expanded with Hoverboards, is an incredible way to develop AR as a true creative medium beyond social media filters and enterprise use cases.”

"We were quite impressed by Asad's vision to design and build the Mirrorverse. Asad and his team at Jadu are true AR pioneers who have successfully managed to build a vibrant and rapidly growing Web3 community for their product,” said Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director at General Catalyst. “This community will serve as the foundation for the exciting upcoming launch of the AR game that will be launching in 2022. It's rare to come across founding teams that consist of artists, AR pioneers, gaming experts and native crypto folks like Jadu's team does. We are thrilled to be leading their seed round to help them make Asad's vision a reality!"

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Jadu has gone from releasing headset based narrative AR at Sundance and Tribeca to building educational AR with Serena Williams to building a volumetric AR app with artists like Lil Nas X, K Camp & Pussy Riot. The team has 40 XR projects under its belt and is widely considered pioneers in the AR space with their work being taught at institutions like UC Berkeley and USC. The team is following this round with a string of key hires including recently appointed Director of Finance and Operations Natalie Testa formerly of Activision Blizzard, Technical Product Manager Ben Vaccaro formerly of Sony Immersive and Director of 3D Art Guen Goik from RYOT/Verizon Media. 

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