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Companies Behind Azuki NFTs and LINE FRIENDS Characters Join Forces For Web3 Expansion

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Featured SpeakerYat Siu

Co-Founder and Executive ChairmanAnimoca Brands

Yat Siu - Consensus 2023 speaker

Where is Web3 headed? Take a look to the future with this pioneering investor in the metaverse and NFTs.

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Consensus 2023 Logo
Featured SpeakerYat Siu

Co-Founder and Executive ChairmanAnimoca Brands

Yat Siu - Consensus 2023 speaker

Where is Web3 headed? Take a look to the future with this pioneering investor in the metaverse and NFTs.

Secure Your Seat

Chiru Labs, the Web3 company behind non-fungible token (NFT) collections Azuki and BEANZ, and IPX, the parent company of the popular character collection LINE FRIENDS, has announced a strategic partnership today to create new opportunities for their brands and fans.

The two companies will collaborate on content, merchandise, retail distribution, real-life activations and immersive metaverse experiences, initially focusing on the BEANZ NFTs and LINE FRIENDS characters.

IPX has grown from LINE FRIENDS, which originated as stickers within the LINE messaging app, into an innovative intellectual property (IP) brand and has partnered with companies such as Starbucks, Netflix and McDonalds as well as K-Pop band BTS. To celebrate the partnership, a billboard above the LINE FRIENDS store in Times Square will show an animation of some of the LINE FRIENDS characters during NFT.NYC this week.

“We are excited to collaborate with IPX, who is a global leader in building innovative character IP brands beloved by millions of fans around the world,” Zagabond, the pseudonymous founder and CEO of Chiru Labs, said in a press release. “IP is evolving, and we see the web3 community as an integral part of this next wave. We can’t wait to bring the world of BEANZ together with LINE FRIENDS.”

Chiru Labs is best known for its anime-inspired NFT collection Azuki, which has netted 470,994 ETH (roughly $887,824,000 as of writing) in trading volume since its launch in Jan. 2022, according to OpenSea. The company also made headlines for pioneering “physical backed tokens” (PBTs) as part of a sale of eight NFT-backed golden skateboards which raised $2.5 million.

“We plan to complement Chiru Labs’ IP with our multi-faceted character IP business strategy,” Logan Cho, the Head of the Metaverse Business at IPX, said in the press release. “We are eager to unveil an expanded IP business that encompasses Web3, offering collaborative opportunities for both NFT holders and character IP enthusiasts alike.”

The Azuki brand has faced some bumps along their roadmap, notably when Zagabond admitted in May 2022 that he had abandoned previous NFT projects. While he credited Azuki’s success to learning from the other project’s failures, the floor price for the NFTs fell after the news. More recently in January, 2023, the main Twitter account for Azuki was hacked to try to entice users to click on malicious links, which the team alerted their Discord community quickly while they fixed the issues.

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