invisible universe

invisible universe

Photo courtesy of Invisible Universe

NFT collections like Cool Cats and Bored Apes Yacht Club have essentially become media franchises. The digital artworks are showing up as members of music groups, characters in comic books and stars of movies and TV series.

So it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a tried-and-true idea in franchise making: bring these disparate characters together in one show, much like an Avengers-style movie. That was the beginning of a brainstorm that led animation startup Invisible Universe to create its new series, “The R3al Metaverse,” which launched Tuesday. (Disclosure: dot.LA co-founder and executive chairman Spencer Rascoff is an investor in Invisible Universe)

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Photo courtesy of Invisible Universe

Invisible Universe, a self-described “Pixar of the internet,” has raised $12 million in Series A funding to build out its animated franchises.

Seven Seven Six, the venture capital firm of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, led the fundraising round. Cosmic Venture Partners, Dapper Labs and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 & Sunny participated in the raise, too. (Disclosure: Rascoff is co-founder and executive chairman of dot.LA.)

L.A.-based Invisible Universe partners with high-profile celebrities to create original animated characters that live on social media. Examples include Squeaky & Roy—the apparent long-lost toys of TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio—as well as Qai Qai, a living doll that belongs to tennis legend Serena Williams’ daughter (Williams is married to Ohanian).

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Qai Qai the baby doll made her debut on social media in August 2018. Dressed in a tutu, the doll is pictured courtside cheering at Serena Williams’ tennis matches, taking calls in a car with Gayle King, and reading Beyonce’s book “Lemonade” -- and she has over 350,000 followers on Instagram.

Now, Olympic gold medalist and the best female tennis player in the world Serena Williams has written a children’s book about her.

“The Adventures of Qai Qai” is a kid’s book written by Williams, published by Macmillan and co-created with Invisible Universe, a Los Angeles-based startup that’s looking to create the next hit cartoon character on social media and become “the Pixar of the internet.”

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