American crypto giant Gemini has raised $400 million in growth equity funding in an effort to build a metaverse in their own vision.
The funding round was led by crypto investment management firm Morgan Creek Digital, with further contributions from 10T, ParaFi, Newflow Partners, Marcy Venture Partners, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), and others. It gives Gemini a valuation of $7.1 billion.
Jumping out on the list is the CBA, which partnered with Gemini earlier this month to provide crypto trading services to over six million Australians.
In a press release, Morgan Creek’s general partner Sachin Jaitly explained why the firm decided to lead the funding round.
“We are leading the first outside investment in Gemini because of our shared conviction in crypto and belief in the company that Cameron and Tyler are building. Their vision for the role of crypto in redesigning money, the financial system, art, and the Internet, and their track record of incubating and scaling innovative technologies, gives us confidence in Gemini’s ability to continue to be an industry leader.”
Gemini’s move to control the metaverse comes after social media giant Facebook rebranded to “Meta” and laid out its plans for a metaverse. Meta’s concept was criticized by those within the crypto community for being the antithesis of their decentralized vision of what the metaverse should be.
In an interview with Forbes, Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who battled Mark Zuckerberg in court in 2004 over alleged intellectual property theft involving Facebook, mentioned that they wanted to take the decentralized route in creating the metaverse.
Cameron Winklevoss said, “There’s these two parallel paths, in terms of technology right now.”
“There’s a centralized path, like Facebook or Fortnite, that is one step away from being a metaverse, and that’s totally fine. But there is another path, which is the decentralized metaverse and that’s the metaverse where we believe there’s greater choice, independence and opportunity, and there is technology that protects the rights and dignity of individuals.”
After the raise, the Winklevoss brothers are expected to keep 75% ownership of Gemini.