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Anichess raises US$1.8 million to continue innovating chess

Animoca Brands’ chess-centered subsidiary is reinventing the game of kings for the modern era, passes half a million users milestone

25 April 2024 - Anichess, the progressive chess-based online strategy game developed in partnership with and five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, today announced the completion of a funding round of US$1.8 million. The round was led by Sfermion and Amber Group, with participation from Fenbushi Capital, Aspen Digital, SNZ Capital, and others. Anichess will use the funds raised to fund game development, marketing initiatives, and team expansion. 

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Anichess is a Web3 gaming project developed in a collaboration between Animoca Brands and, the leading global online chess platform. Anichess provides a novel tactical twist on the classic game of chess by implementing spells that open up new strategies and gameplay, and that require players to rethink the rules of traditional chess as they uncover the expansive lore within the world of the gameboard. 


In 2023, Anichess closed an oversubscribed US$1.5 million seed round to develop an experience that makes chess more engaging and accessible to all (see announcement of 22 June 2023). In January 2024, Anichess launched its player-versus-environment (PvE) daily chess puzzles, and has since secured over 1,000,000 registered players while maintaining an active user base of 150,000 daily active users who have collectively solved over 50 million chess puzzles. 


Anichess’s Season 1 leaderboard was launched on 11 March 2024, ranking players based on points accumulated from solving daily puzzles and collecting Orbs of Power obtained through gameplay and participation in social events. Anichess’s online player-versus-player (PvP) game mode is expected to launch in Q2 2024.


Dan Patterson, general partner of Sfermion, commented: “We’re excited to support Animoca Brands and with the roll-out of Anichess, which represents an exciting foray into Web3 gaming for the timeless and global classical game. The future of gaming is community-driven and player-owned, and we believe that, with’s existing community of 150m+ players and Web3 communities such as Mocaverse, Anichess has the potential to onboard tens of millions of players into that future. With the added strategic components and esports-like elements, Anichess aims to keep things fresh by building for the gamers who yearn for the hardest challenges. We’re looking forward to working closely with the team and onboarding countless more into Web3 gaming!”


Annabelle Huang, managing partner of Amber Group, commented: "Anichess represents a refreshing take on one of the most classic games cherished by many generations and we are proud to support the team in realizing their vision of delivering an engaging, community-centric and decentralized player experience. The enthusiastic response to the debut of spell chess puzzles is a testament to the team's execution capability and we look forward to the release of the main game later this year."


Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said: “With its popularity, accessibility, and incredible strategic depth, chess is a classic game that has stood the test of time. One of the benefits of a game whose appeal is measured in centuries is the sophistication and passion of its community, and we are thrilled for Anichess to showcase our new and updated interpretation of the game of kings in partnership with”


Anichess can be played for free at Fans can follow Anichess on X and join its Discord server to stay updated on future developments.


About Anichess 

Anichess is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands focused on developing and advancing decentralized chess through its distinctive spell-chess gameplay. Anichess brings new energy and innovation to one of the world’s oldest and most widely played games, modernizing and tokenizing it to take advantage of opportunities presented by Web3 technologies and communities. Anichess is a completely free-to-play game that combines the core values of traditional chess with an additional layer of strategy provided by new features that include an innovative spell mechanic and special challenges. Anichess boasts a strong focus on powerful visuals and skill-based gameplay to deliver a captivating, esport-like experience for fans of chess and novices alike. For more information visit

About Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands (ACN: 122 921 813), a Deloitte Tech Fast winner, a Fortune Crypto 40 company, and one of the Financial Times’ High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2023, is a Web3 leader that leverages blockchain to deliver digital property rights to consumers around the world to help to establish the open metaverse. The company develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including original games such as The Sandbox, PHANTOM GALAXIES™, Life Beyond, and Crazy Defense Heroes, and products utilizing popular intellectual properties from the worlds of sports and entertainment, such as The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Formula E. It has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Forj, Lympo, Animoca Brands Japan, Grease Monkey Games, Eden Games, Darewise Entertainment, Notre Game, TinyTap, SPORTPASS, PIXELYNX, WePlay Media, Gryfyn, and Azarus. Animoca Brands is one of the most active investors in Web3, with a  portfolio of over 400 Web3 investments, both directly and through Animoca Ventures, including Yuga Labs, Axie Infinity, Polygon, Consensys, Magic Eden, Fireblocks, OpenSea, Dapper Labs, Yield Guild Games, and many more. For more information visit or follow on X (Twitter), YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and TikTok.


Wonacott Communications, LLC on behalf of Anichess


Animoca Brands

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