The global Metaverse social platform BUD Technologies, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “BUD”) announced the completion of a $15 million A+ round of financing. This round of financing was led by Qiming Venture Partners, and the old shareholders Source Code Capital and GGV Jiyuan Capital , Yunjiu Capital over-invested, and Mumian Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor for this round. The funds will be mainly used for overseas business research and development and growth.
As a new generation of UGC social platform, BUD allows every user to create personalized 3D interactive content with easy-to-use, no-code tools. Its target users are Generation Z worldwide, and it is becoming a new choice of social platform for Generation Z groups. BUD has the immersive experience of the Metaverse, the distinctive personality of UGC, and the intelligent recommendation method of massive 3D digital content. It integrates hotspots, fashion, creativity and other expressions that are more easily accepted by Generation Z, and continues to expand the extension of future social platforms.
3D interactive content created by BUD users
“The underlying technology of BUD is cross-platform, and as a UGC medium, BUD has infinite possibilities.” Risa, co-founder of BUD, said to 36氪: “We are looking forward to integrating games, AI, Virtual humans, NPCs, etc. are used on the BUD platform, because our philosophy is to allow everyone and every BUD user to have the opportunity to create fantastic 3D scenes through technological innovation and product design, and to continuously reduce the number of users. The threshold for building a Metaverse world.”
According to App Annie data, the overseas version of BUD iOS will be officially launched on November 5, 2021, and the official launch time of the Google Play version will be on October 30, 2021. Within a month after the global release of BUD, through the fission-type spread of zero cost achieved on other social media platforms, it ranked among the top 5 social applications in the App Store in many countries, including the United States, and in the past few years. continued to maintain rapid growth during the month. According to Sensor Tower data, its double-end monthly downloads reached 1.2 million in December 2021.
On the surface, the rapid growth of BUD comes from fission-type propagation of zero cost, but the fundamental reason is that it comes from product power. BUD really lowers the threshold for 3D creation. According to Risa: “Many creators of BUD are really ordinary girls in life. They can neither program nor model, and we are the first to give them such low-threshold creative tools, so that They can make content that is both interesting and has a high degree of freedom.”
From the product level, BUD users can create maps with a high degree of freedom; they can experience the explosion of creative inspiration from 0 to 1; they can use rich props such as music tiles, text boxes, portals, and rotations to achieve personalized Creative expression; you can also play popular projects such as diversified music, parkour, architecture, and plot maps created by other players.
3D interactive content created by BUD users
In the past year, the trend of Metaverse and Web3 has swept the Internet field, and social platforms are all facing growth anxiety, as are social software giants such as Facebook, Tencent, and ByteDance. Facebook refocused on the Metaverse and changed its name to Meta; Tencent developed a full-fledged Internet; ByteDance invested heavily in the acquisition of Pico, all of which are laying out the next-generation platform, or platform as technology, in advance. But whether it is called MetaVerse or Web3, decentralization has become a trend, and social platforms are more difficult to dominate, which also brings huge opportunities for startups in this field.
Of course, for the track that is at the forefront, challenges must coexist with opportunities, and the boundaries between platforms such as games, social networking, and productivity tools are becoming more and more blurred. , Roblox, Zepeto, etc., but it is difficult to say that there is a clear competitive relationship between them. After all, for such a long track with long slopes and thick snow, opportunities prefer creativity and execution.
3D interactive content created by BUD users
Regarding future planning and how to deal with challenges, BUD co-founder Shawn said: “In the short to medium term, BUD will still focus on user growth and product polishing, only by really lowering the threshold for creation and improving the quality of content, In order to acquire and retain users, the continuous iteration of the core editor will always be the focus of work; in addition, although AIGC is still relatively early, the algorithm recommendation of 3D content has become a competitive barrier in the industry. In the medium and long term, diversification And commercialization is an inevitable path, and BUD is already deploying the operation of a large number of digital assets on the platform, as well as the closed-loop business ecosystem that can be covered by social platforms.”
BUD was established in 2019. The founding team came from Silicon Valley social platform companies such as Snapchat and Facebook. The company currently has nearly 100 employees and is expected to expand to 200 in 2022. Shawn said: “In the future, a global center will be set up in Singapore, and there will be localized operation teams and development teams in the core areas of globalization.”
Wu Jing, partner of Qiming Venture Partners, said: “In the two years of tracking the BUD team and products, we have been continuously amazed by each upgrade iteration of the BUD product, the creativity displayed to BUD users, and the ability of BUD to empower users. Amazing. The vision of the two founders to build a next-generation interactive entertainment and communication platform for global users, and the infinite possibility of combining BUD products with AR/VR and other new technologies in the future moved us. Qiming Venture Partners is very pleased to have the opportunity to grow rapidly in BUD. early in their exciting journey.”
Zhang Xingchen, Managing Director of Source Code Capital, said: “With the continuous development of technology, more accessible and popularized technical capabilities are gradually bringing a new generational experience to consumers, especially the younger generation of digital users. Under the continuous release of creative potential and more original connection needs; BUD team is full of entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm, good at actively thinking about the original characteristics of products, dare to continue innovation and iteration, and grasp the big trend with a global perspective; we look forward to In the future, BUD will continue to develop rapidly, bringing more surprises to users around the world, stimulating their imagination and providing a rich experience.”
“Young digital natives around the world are looking for new ways to connect. Under this wave, GGV is very happy to support BUD. BUD not only provides every creator with a truly zero-threshold 3D creation experience, but also allows them to create through their own We are moved by the enthusiasm and ability of the two founders of BUD, and look forward to the future created by the BUD team and global creators.” said Jenny Li, managing partner of GGV Jiyuan Capital.
Luo Chao, executive director of GGV Capital, added, “Injecting technology into entertainment and social products in the new era is the direction we continue to focus on. When we encounter BUD, we are attracted by the enthusiasm of the team and the ability to combine technology and aesthetics. The new 3D social experience brought by BUD has made tens of millions of users around the world become fans. We are very optimistic about the continuous innovation ability of the BUD team and look forward to the birth of a global leader.”
Yuan Yu, a partner of Cloud Nine Capital, said: “The first contact with Risa and Shawn was when they left Snap. The aura of the team and the continued optimism have impressed me and benefited a lot in the past few years. BUD In our opinion, all the design intentions of BUD revolve around the vision of helping creators realize better ideas. With the development of interactive technology, I believe that BUD and the globalized community of BUD can create more and more exciting and happy s things.”
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