Thirdverse Names gumi Founder Hironao Kunimitsu as Chief Executive Officer, Secures $20M in Funding to Accelerate Growth

Reveals plans for developing two new VR gaming titles within both its Japan and US-based studios; Kunimitsu to bring strong background in blockchain technology and vision for the virtual metaverse

Thirdverse Inc., a virtual reality game development, distribution and management company paving the path to the metaverse, today announced that Hironao Kunimitsu has been appointed as the company's Chief Executive Officer. Kunimitsu co-founded Thirdverse in 2020 with Kiyoshi Shin, Satoshi Ban and Masaru Ohnogi. In 2007, he established gumi Inc. (3903.T) and served the company as President and CEO, taking the company public in 2014. During this time, Kunimitsu launched the Virtual Reality Fund, gumi Cryptos Capital and VR incubators in Tokyo, Seoul and Helsinki. He also founded the blockchain startup FiNANCiE and was a major investor and board member for double, the company behind the blockchain game called ‘My Crypto Heroes'. He will leverage his experience in gaming, VR, blockchain and expanding global businesses into new markets to help accelerate Thirdverse's growth.

Thirdverse also revealed that it has secured a total of $20 million USD in Series A and B rounds, led by JAFCO with participation from Presence Capital, Sisu Ventures, Incubate Fund and Animoca Brands. Additionally, renowned video game producer and founder of inXile Entertainment, a Microsoft Xbox Game Studio, Brian Fargo has joined the Thirdverse advisory board.

Hironao Kunimitsu said: "Thirdverse is building a world-class tech development and publishing team that spans across gaming, VR and blockchain. With the additional funding from Animoca Brands, we also have the trust of key partners and the ability to accelerate the business. My goal moving forward is to bring Thirdverse properties to the global market and further drive our multi-year vision of the metaverse."

Masaru “Nogi” Ohnogi said: “This is an exciting time for Thirdverse with our best-in-class team growing and highly supportive investors. We are delighted Kunimitsu-san has joined as CEO to help us rapidly grow our global business and support our mission to create within the virtual metaverse. His expertise in global market expansion and building high-growth, high-scale teams along with his understanding of how to work closely with global companies makes him ideally suited to accelerate our business.”

Tomotake Kitazawa, Partner at JAFCO Group, said: “Kunimitsu’s vast experience and keen vision for the future of VR, which the best team has gathered around, and the VR market that has clearly begun to take off are just a few of the many reasons that attracted us to investing in both Thirdverse’s Series A and B. JAFCO will do its utmost to support Thirdverse as it takes on the vast market of the VR metaverse that is steadily approaching.”

Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands said: “Kunimitsu-san’s breadth of experience at the executive level will be invaluable as Thirdverse expands its gaming distribution and management business globally and advances its global footprint. We look forward to contributing our extensive expertise in the NFT space while working closely with Kunimitsu-san and the Thirdverse team."