Meet 10 NFT Investors Expanding The Horizons Of Digital Art And Gaming

Nonfungible tokens or NFT are one of the fastest growing types of digital assets, with potential applications in spaces such as art, gaming, music and social media. Given their blockchain integration, they offer the possibility of a bespoke, one-of-a-kind possession with the potential to be used across an ever-expanding network of integrated applications and services.

NFT investing as a potential crypto revival

NFTs have brought about a reemergence of cryptocurrency and digital assets, with people both in and outside the financial sphere taking a keen interest in how to invest in NFTs and where the technology may go in the future. This movement isn’t only on the part of traders, however; the newly expanded umbrella of what can be turned into a digital asset has creators and entrepreneurs reexploring the potential of tokenization and pushing against previously established definitions and conventions.

Much of the coverage given to NFTs has focused on one-off projects, purchases and collaborations, developing the narrative of NFTs as a collectible, but there are many in the space with a more long-term vision. These startups are building out infrastructure and apps that integrate NFTs, adding value and utility to the wide array of assets currently hitting the market.

What is digital art and gaming?

Though NFTs can take the form of any non-reproducible digital asset, some of their most compelling and widely discussed use cases are those relating to art and gaming. For many, the term NFT is synonymous with its application as the framework for unique digital art pieces, which in many ways emulate the collectible art market. When an investor buys a digital art NFT, they are buying ownership rights to a one-of-a-kind digital art piece, similar to how blue-chip art buyers might pay to own a similarly rare painting. Just as paper records are kept to authenticate and track the ownership of high value traditional art pieces, NFTs use the blockchain to trace their history and prove their original status.

NFT technology is also seeing experimentation in the world of gaming, where they are used to provide players with various in-game assets. In many cases, these take the form of cosmetics, playable characters and upgrades, which have historically been successfully monetized by game developers. Where gaming NFTs differ from these traditional gaming assets is in their uniqueness; though some of these non-NFT counterparts may have been rare or exclusive, they could still be owned by a significant portion of a game’s playerbase, but the NFT versions of these assets promise to be the only one of their kind. Given their blockchain integration, gaming NFTs also come with the possibility of being used across multiple games, a feature that traditional gaming assets either couldn’t or wouldn’t explore.

Major players in NFT investing

An important third element to the NFT ecosystem, beyond NFT creators and those building projects around them, are the parties putting capital into the space. Our definition of an NFT investor is not an entity that buys individual NFTs, though they may also do that, but rather one that invests in NFT startups or initiatives. Highlighted below are some of the most prolific investors, based on number of deals, that include NFT startups as a significant portion of their portfolio.

Animoca Brands

  • Year founded: 2011
  • Leadership: Robbert Yung, CEO
  • Total NFT investments: 101

Animoca Brands is a Hong Kong-based mobile game developer and publisher with a specialization in blockchain and gamification. They have worked on licensed projects for brands such as Disney, WWE and Formula 1. In addition to creating proprietary digital assets like REVV Token and SAND Token, they have also invested in over 150 projects relating to NFTs and decentralization.

AU21 Capital

  • Year founded: 2017
  • Leadership: Alexi Nedeltchev, Kevin Leu, Valeria Kholostenko, Principals
  • Total NFT investments: 65

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, AU21 Capital is a VC firm that targets blockchain and artificial intelligence projects. They supplement their venture capital efforts by partnering with exchanges and industry launchpads to provide additional backing. A common theme in their investments is NFT games and Metaverse integration.

Shima Capital

  • Year founded: 2021
  • Leadership: Yida Gao, Managing General Partner
  • Total NFT investments: 57

Shima Capital is a VC firm from San Francisco, CA that specializes in early-stage investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. They have positions in several areas of the blockchain ecosystem, including decentralized finance, gaming, infrastructure and the Metaverse.

NGC Ventures

  • Year founded: 2017
  • Leadership: Roger Lim, Co-Founding Partner
  • Total NFT investments: 49

NGC Ventures is a Singapore-based firm that employs traditional finance practices towards cryptocurrency investments. Started by Erik Zhang, a co-founder of the NEO blockchain, they were originally dedicated to supporting NEO-related projects but have since widened their interests to the broader blockchain space. Some of their main target areas include decentralized computing, gaming and decentralized finance.

Exnetwork Capital

  • Year founded: 2018
  • Leadership: Eric Su, CEO and Founder
  • Total NFT investments: 46

Exnetwork Capital is a VC firm and incubator dedicated to supporting blockchain and crypto startups. They place a strong emphasis on decentralization and democratized access to blockchain, as evidenced by their support of anonymous and distributed teams. Exnetwork Capital’s NFT investments are largely tied to gaming integration and the creation of games built on tokenized assets.


  • Year founded: 2019
  • Leadership: Andrew Steinwold, Founder and Managing Partner
  • Total NFT investments: 42

Sfermion is a Chicago-based investment firm that specializes in early-stage blockchain VC and NFT. They place a strong emphasis on Metaverse technology and have a dedicated fund for projects relating to its infrastructure.

Genesis Block Ventures

  • Year founded: 2020
  • Leadership: Christian Ng, Principal
  • Total NFT investments: 42

Genesis Block Ventures is a VC firm that operates in the Cayman Islands, United Kingdom. They favor early-stage projects relating to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Throughout their history in the space, they have participated in projects like cryptocurrency mining support, over the counter trading and currently host an NFT gallery with pieces they have invested in.

Magnus Capital

  • Year founded: 2021
  • Leadership: Matthijs Driel, Founder
  • Total NFT investments: 42

Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Magnus Capital leverages its professional background in both traditional finance and digital currency creation to inform its investments. They also serve as an incubator for cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, offering advisory and content generation services.

LD Capital

  • Year founded: 2017
  • Leadership: Blake Gao, Partner
  • Total NFT investments: 39

LD Capital is a crypto investment firm located in Hong Kong. They invest in several facets of the blockchain and crypto ecosystem, including decentralized finance, blockchain infrastructure, Metaverse technology and NFT.

HG Ventures

  • Year founded: 2020
  • Leadership: Simon Jeung, Co-Founder and General Partner
  • Total NFT investments: 37

HG Ventures is a VC firm headquartered in Seoul, South Korea with an emphasis on blockchain investments. They primarily focus on seed stage and early stage VC deals.

More about blockchain and cryptocurrency

Learn about the top blockchain and cryptocurrency investors
Read our blog post to see what VC firms are setting the pace for the broader blockchain and cryptocurrency market

See how NFT fits into the larger blockchain ecosystem
Learn more about NFT’s market share compared to that of other blockchain use cases, the seven main NFT subsegments and NFT’s reception in gaming in our blog post

Explore  future avenues for NFTs
Read our market analysis article on the external factors affecting NFTs and how these may lead to future adaptations   

See how NFT startups are responding to changes in trade volumes
Read our news article on new NFT projects and their place in the market after the 2021 boom

Dive into our expansive list of emerging spaces
NFT is one of the hundreds of emerging spaces tracked by PitchBook. Explore our full list to discover more technologies on the rise

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