Neom, Saudi Arabia’s ambitious $500 billion future city project, has announced a significant collaboration with Animoca Brands, a trailblazer in blockchain gaming and metaverse investments. This strategic alliance, unveiled on Monday, is poised to propel crypto technology adoption in the Gulf region, cementing a bold new direction for both entities.
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Blockchain for smart cities
Under the terms of the partnership, Animoca Brands will consult on the potential uses of blockchain technology, marking a pivotal step towards integrating these innovative systems within Neom’s digital infrastructure.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed, focusing on digital projects aligned with Neom’s Vision 2030 objectives and fostering a robust local blockchain ecosystem. Although Neom’s investment in Animoca Brands was hinted at last week, specifics were not disclosed until now.
$50 million investment
Neom’s investment arm will inject $50 million into Animoca Brands, subject to the finalization of agreements. The investment strategy is twofold: $25 million will be allocated for convertible notes directly from Animoca, with an additional $25 million earmarked for purchasing Animoca shares on the secondary market.
Majid Mufti, CEO of Neom Investment Fund, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing the transformative potential of Web3 technology:
“Web3 technology and infrastructure development will not only be an important foundation of Neom’s tech stack and architecture, but also has potential to revolutionize global industries,”
Animoca Brands’ role extends beyond mere consultancy. They will actively guide Neom in creating blockchain-based services, which will become essential for new models of living and working within the planned 34,000-square-mile development in northern Saudi Arabia. This collaboration includes diverse Web3 and metaverse projects tailored to Neom’s avant-garde vision.
Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, echoed this sentiment:
“We have always referred to the growth of the Web3 ecosystem as the emergence of a new meta-nation, and now Neom could well become the first region to fully harness the power of blockchain,”
The Neom project, located in Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk Province, aims to redefine urban living with a focus on cutting-edge technologies and green energy. Despite the grand vision and hefty $500 billion price tag, the project has faced criticism, particularly over allegations of forced eviction of local tribes.
Animoca Brands’ global reach
Animoca Brands, valued at $5.9 billion last year, stands as a prominent player in blockchain gaming and metaverse investments.
With notable projects like The Sandbox, Formula E: High Voltage, and investments in leading Web3 firms such as OpenSea, Dapper Labs, and Sky Mavis, the company’s collaboration with Neom signifies a bold leap into uncharted territories of digital innovation.