Superplastic, a 3D character studio that has previously released NFT collections on Ethereum and partnered with major brands such as Gucci and Epic Games’ “Fortnite,” has secured $20 million in a Series A-4 funding round led by Amazon’s Alexa Fund. Google Ventures, Galaxy Digital, Sony Japan, Animoca Brands, Craft Ventures, and others also participated in the funding round, bringing Superplastic’s total funding to $58 million to date. As part of the deal, Amazon Studios will have a “first-look deal” on any TV series or film pitches featuring Superplastic’s characters, as the company blurs the line between fiction and reality with its “synthetic celebrities” and anthropomorphized animal characters.
The investment comes as Amazon is rumored to be ramping up its Web3 investment throughout 2023. The Alexa Fund has already been expanding its reach into emerging technologies, such as generative AI, virtualization, and synthetics, alongside continued investment in startups furthering voice use cases. Paul Bernard, the director of the Alexa Fund, said in a statement that Superplastic’s characters “meet their customers where they are,” whether on social media or in video games like “Fortnite,” and that the company sees them as a new class of intellectual property that will be increasingly relevant with younger generations.
Amazon’s interest in Web3 is not new. In November 2021, the company posted a job listing seeking a digital currency and blockchain product lead, which sparked rumors that Amazon was planning to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. In December 2021, reports emerged that Amazon was exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency and was planning to launch a digital currency project in Mexico. However, the company has not made any official announcements regarding its Web3 plans, and it remains to be seen how the investment in Superplastic will fit into its broader Web3 strategy.
Superplastic’s NFT collections have been successful, with the Cryptojankyz collection launched in July 2021 generating nearly $15.2 million in total volume traded. The company has also created a PFP collection that generated $3.2 million in total volume traded and collaborated with Gucci on an NFT collection that generated over $10 million in total volume. Superplastic’s success in the NFT space and its unique brand of character design make it an attractive investment for Amazon as it seeks to expand its presence in emerging technologies.
In conclusion, Amazon’s investment in Superplastic is a strategic bet on the future of entertainment and emerging technologies. With the Alexa Fund expanding its reach into Web3 and Superplastic blurring the line between fiction and reality with its synthetic celebrities, the investment could be a sign of things to come for Amazon as it continues to explore new ways to engage with customers and stay ahead of the competition.
Today, we announce a collaboration with Amazon that spans investment and a first-look deal with Amazon Studios. The Alexa Fund leads our $20 million Series A-4 investment round & THE @JANKY & @GUGGIMON SHOW has been put into development at Amazon Studios. https://t.co/xV7NN3TcZB pic.twitter.com/iCJxKlFFpX
— SUPERPLASTIC (@SUPERPLASTIC) February 15, 2023