6 May 2019
Animoca Brands acquires Leade.rs, expanding its Silicon Valley network
Animoca Brands to acquire 100% of the equity in Leade.rs, Inc, co-founded by Loic Le Meur, one of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile angel investors and tech entrepreneurs
Mr Le Meur has had substantial exits and investments in companies such as LinkedIn, Slack, Evernote, Lending Club, Teads, and Fair
Leade.rs is a networking and event matching platform for high-profile technology event speakers, and facilitates the generation of business and investment opportunities
Animoca Brands will utilise the Leade.rs platform and network to provide mentoring and investment opportunities for the companies accelerated by Zeroth, the first artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain focused accelerator
As partner in Animoca Brands and a highly influential and well-connected entrepreneur and investor, Mr Le Meur will assist in growth and expansion opportunities, particularly in Silicon Valley, for Animoca Brands and its subsidiary Zeroth
Prominent technology industry leaders will become shareholders of Animoca Brands via the Acquisition, including Reid Hoffman (co-founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn), and Phil Libin (co-founder and former CEO of Evernote)
Animoca Brands Corporation Limited (ASX: AB1, “the Company”) is pleased to advise that it has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (the “Acquisition”) to acquire 100% of the equity in Leade.rs, Inc. (“Leade.rs”).
Leade.rs is a platform built by and for event organizers, to source and match available qualified speakers in the technology industry from around the world for a variety of high-profile events. Leade.rs has a network of over 300 speakers spread across 11 areas of expertise: cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, digital healthcare, digital transformation, branding and design, consumer product, exponential organizations, entrepreneurship, investment, social impact, and media. Members of Leade.rs include high-profile technology entrepreneurs, top level executives, and investors such as Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Phil Libin (Evernote), and Joi Ito (MIT Media Lab).
Leade.rs offers a networking and event matching platform that meets the demand for high-profile technology event speakers, and facilitates the generation of business and investment opportunities. It also organizes its own series of events.
Leade.rs was co-founded by investor and tech entrepreneur Loic Le Meur, one of Silicon Valley’s most high-profile angel investors with substantial exits and investment in companies such as LinkedIn, Slack, Evernote, Lending Club, Teads, and Fair. Mr Le Meur started and launched LeWeb, which became Europe’s largest web and technology conference and was acquired in 2012 by Reed Midem. He successfully started and sold various companies including Seesmic, acquired by social media management suite Hootsuite; Ublog, acquired by Six Apart (now Say Media); Rapidsite France, acquired by France Telecom; and B2L, acquired by BBDO (Omnicom group).
Mr Le Meur was named one of "Europe's Tech25" by the Wall Street Journal as well as one of the "25 most influential people" on the web by Business Week. He is featured in The Economist as one of "Europe's Blooming Entrepreneurs", and was named a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum.
Animoca Brands will seek to leverage the Leade.rs platform into a mentor and investor network that bridges business and investment opportunities between East and West. The Company will utilise the Leade.rs network to provide mentoring and investment opportunities for the companies accelerated by Zeroth, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands and the world’s first artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain focused accelerator. Loic Le Meur, the founder of Leade.rs and co-founder of LeWeb - one of Europe's biggest and longest-running tech conferences - will assist in connecting Zeroth companies with potential investors.
As partner in Animoca Brands and a highly influential and well-connected entrepreneur and investor, Mr Le Meur will assist in growth and expansion opportunities, particularly in Silicon Valley, providing both Animoca Brands and its subsidiary Zeroth with an anchor point and powerful networking presence in the world’s most significant technology centre.
Additionally, a number of prominent technology industry leaders will become shareholders of Animoca Brands via the Acquisition, further strengthening the pool of the Company’s investors. Among them are Reid Hoffman, a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners and co-founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn, and Phil Libin, the co-founder and CEO of All Turtles and co-founder and former CEO of Evernote. Joi Ito, the entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and director of the MIT Media Lab, is already a shareholder of Animoca Brands.
Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, said: “The acquisition of Leade.rs and bringing Loic Le Meur on board as a venture partner will add some of the Valley’s most influential tech leaders to the ranks of Animoca Brands shareholders. I’m very excited at the prospect of working with Loic, who is a towering figure in the world of technology.”
Loic Le Meur, co-founder of Leade.rs, commented: "I’m very excited that Leade.rs is joining Animoca Brands. This deal will not only expand our reach and network to Asia, but we are joining forces with a very impressive company involved in exciting cutting-edge projects around the world. Zeroth, which is Animoca Brands' accelerator, has made terrific progress in markets like Hong Kong, Japan, and India, accelerating many startups that have the potential to become global leaders. I look forward to the contributions that Leade.rs will make toward the success of all these efforts."
Phil Libin, co-founder and CEO of All Turtles and co-founder and former CEO of Evernote, who became a shareholder in Animoca Brands via the Acquisition, commented: “I’m proud of Leade.rs’ journey and I am excited to see what they can accomplish by teaming up with Animoca Brands to build a platform for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Europe, and Asia.”
The Company will acquire from the shareholders of Leade.rs, Inc (the "Shareholders”) 100% of the equity ownership in Leade.rs, being a total of 4,448,991 preferred shares and 8,282,979 common shares, for an upfront consideration of US$0.5 million (approximately A$0.71 million) consisting of US$165,971.81 (approximately A$236,394) in cash plus 2,592,893 common shares of Animoca Brands valued A$0.155 per share.
The Company intends to issue the new shares under the capacity provided by ASX Listing Rule 7.1A, as shown in the table below:
Leade.rs co-founder Loic Le Meur will join Animoca Brands in the capacity of venture partner to assist in growth and expansion opportunities, including for Zeroth, the Company’s AI accelerator.
Should Leade.rs achieve revenue milestones over two periods of one year each following the Acquisition, the Shareholders will be entitled to a performance payment of up to €0.5 million (approximately A$0.8 million) for each period, in proportion to the number of shares of Leade.rs they sold to Animoca Brands. The performance payments are payable either in cash or in Animoca Brands common shares. If Shareholders choose to receive the performance payments in shares, the shares will be priced at the higher of A$0.10 per share or the weighted average closing price of Animoca Brands shares in the 15 days prior to the last day of the corresponding period.
The Company will seek the approval of its shareholders for the payments related to the revenue milestones.
Leade.rs is built by and for event organizers. After decades of planning events, Leade.rs knows that the only thing that never gets easier is finding great new content. Leade.rs eliminates the pain of searching for diverse voices and cold-calling new leads. Learn more at https://leade.rs/.
About Animoca Brands
Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) leverages gamification, blockchain, and artificial intelligence technologies to develop and publish a broad portfolio of mobile products including games such as The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes as well as products based on popular intellectual properties such as Garfield, Snoopy, Thomas & Friends™, Ever After High and Doraemon. Animoca Brands is the exclusive China distributor of CryptoKitties. The Company is based in Hong Kong, Canada, Finland, and Argentina. For more information visit www.animocabrands.com or get updates by following Animoca Brands on Facebook or Twitter.