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Onlybots Company Announces $3M Funding Round
Staff Writer

Anima, the team behind a handful of augmented reality projects including Onlybots, has received an additional $3 million in funding led by Polygon Studios, Not Boring Capital, HashKey, among others, Anima founder Alex Herrity told Lucky Trader.

The company, which is led by two video game veterans — Herrity and Neil Voss — had already received $500,000 during a pre-seed round led by Coinbase Ventures prior to Thursday’s announcement. The funding will help Anima achieve its goal of moving AR back into the hands of creators and away from “corporate gentrification.”

“AR deserves an avant-garde phase,” said Herrity in a Medium article. “A chance for artists and creators of all types to define an aspirational and creative future that combines digital and physical worlds.”

Who is Anima?

You may not know Voss’ name, but if you owned a Nintendo64, you may know his music. Voss won acclaim for composing the soundtrack for the game “Tetrisphere” as well as “The New Tetris.”

In 2014, Flipboard bought Voss’ company Ultravisual, a photo and video creation app (Herrity was head of product at the company at the time). Voss continued to work in AR while Herrity moved on to work for BAMTECH Media (which became Disney Streaming Services) then helped launch the digital store for Epic Games. In early 2021, the two met back up to create Anima.

Anima has helped creators like street artist Demsky and photographer Lyle Owerko launch AR projects on its protocol. Recently, it launched its own project: Onlybots.

Onlybots Websites Offer Unique Minting Experience

The lore of the Onlybots project surrounds a scientist, Dr. Goodfren, who discovered “a new form of artificial life” and hid it from nefarious actors in a ’90s era video game, to emerge today from their time capsule as companions for artificially intelligent bots.

In order to qualify for the free Onlybots mint, users had to answer questions as if they were bots.

If users don't answer questions correctly, then they are restricted from minting and have to try again.

There is also a website for Dr. Goodfren's institute, the Goodfren International Foundation, setting up possibilities for an expansive universe. 

“There's a lot more to dig into there... there are more websites out there. And much more to the story to be revealed,” Herrity said.

The Onlybots Get Botted

The Onlybots have been released in batches and after stealth dropping the previous two, the third batch (of four total) was…botted.

“We like bots. These ones were not our favorites though,” said Herrity.

Pre-certified wallets were able to mint straight from the contract and the batch of 249 NFTs was gone before users could answer the bot questions, according to Herrity. To slow the botting, the Anima team changed the mint price to 0.0000001 ETH but “one botnet picked up on that,” Herrity said.

“Hopefully we're able to limit this to only this batch of 249 being fully botted. While we have limitations within our smart contract to change things, we have some ways around this,” Herrity said.

After Anima figures out the mechanics of its next five batches (total supply 2,048), the company has more plans for its Onlybots. There is already an augmented reality app for the bots available for iPhone and Android devices.

“Onlybots are virtual pets. As time passes, they'll be able to do more things, you'll be able to do more things with them, and they'll change, based on activities and their own AI,” Herrity said.

Onlybots Company Announces $3M Funding Round