EXCLUSIVE-Crypto billionaire Novogratz leads funding for virtual real estate firm

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LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Galaxy Interactive, the venture capital division of billionaire crypto investor Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, has taken a lead investor role in virtual real estate developer Republic Realm, its managing director said.

Janine Yorio, managing director of Republic Realm, told Reuters Novogratz’s backing was a vote of confidence for the $10 million investment vehicle.

Republic Realm buys virtual real estate, a crypto asset or non-fungible token (NFT) that has its ownership status and authenticity verified by blockchain. NFTs have exploded in popularity in 2021, with prices skyrocketing.

U.S.-based Republic Realm, set up in March 2021, has made more than 1,500 investments and earlier this month bought a plot of virtual land in blockchain-based online world Decentraland for $900,000.

Republic Realm then develops this land by adding buildings. It has built a virtual mall and rented out virtual shops to tenants, for example.

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