Animoca Brands Corporation Ltd (ASX:AB1) has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire networking and event-matching platform Leade.rs, co-founded by high-profile tech entrepreneur Loic Le Meur.
The platform will be utilised to provide mentoring and investment opportunities for companies on Zeroth, Animoca’s artificial intelligence, machine-learning and blockchain-focused start-up accelerator.
Le Meur will join Animoca as a venture partner to assist in growth and expansion opportunities, particularly in Silicon Valley.
Several prominent tech industry leaders will also become Animoca shareholders through the acquisition, including co-founder and former executive chairman of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman and co-founder and former CEO of Evernote Phil Libin.
Animoca co-founder and chairman Yat Siu 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.”
The share purchase agreement comprises Animoca acquiring 100% of equity ownership in Leade.rs for an upfront payment of US$0.5 million.
This will consist of US$165,971.81 in cash plus nearly 2.6 million Animoca shares valued at 15.5 cents a share.
Leade.rs offers a networking and event-matching platform that meets the demand for high-profile technology event speakers, while also facilitating the generation of business and investment opportunities.
Animoca will seek to leverage the platform into a network that bridges business and investment opportunities between East and West.
Le Meur coming aboard as partner will provide both Animoca and its subsidiary Zeroth with an anchor point and networking presence in Silicon Valley.
Leade.rs co-founder Le Meur said he was excited that Leade.rs was joining Animoca Brands.
He said: “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 start-ups that have the potential to become global leaders.
“I look forward to the contributions that Leade.rs will make towards the success of all these efforts.”