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House of Blueberry has raised $6 million in seed funding for its digital fashion business in the metaverse and interactive entertainment.
Makers Fund led the round, with continued participation from Everblue Management. House of Blueberry will use the money to expand partnerships with new games and online worlds to reach a broader audience.
Founded in 2012 by Mishi McDuff, House of Blueberry has sold over 20 million digital assets across platforms such as Roblox, The Sims, and Second Life under its own brand. On a mission to unlock the next level of self-expression for players, creators and digital denizens, House of Blueberry said it has created a respected brand in an emerging space with enormous opportunity.
The company paved its way in the digital fashion world by partnering with brands like Natori and Boy Meets Girl to debut their first virtual collections; Jonathan Simkhai to launch the first Metaverse Fashion Week; and Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen to create digital versions of the show’s iconic blue polo.
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“Our ultimate vision is to become the largest digital fashion house in the world,” said McDuff, in a statement. “While it’s still early days, we are proud of the foundation we have already built and we’re thrilled about partnering with interactive entertainment experts at Makers Fund and about having more firepower to continue building authentically for and with our community, to power creative, aesthetic and aspirational self-expression on any digital platform where it matters.”
This latest round of funding will accelerate growth to new communities by expanding from a primarily
female design aesthetic into male and androgynous design, as well as accessories, makeup and
environmental assets. House of Blueberry will also extend onto new games and online platforms where
user-generated content and self-expression matter.
“Over 62 million [items of] clothes and accessories were created by players on Roblox alone in 2022,” said Lia Zhang, investor at Makers Fund, in a statement. “The numbers have been rapidly increasing every year and we’re starting to see more games and platforms understand the importance of user generated content.”
Zhang added, “We believe that as many of the top games and virtual worlds have become social networks, it’s more important than ever to offer customizability for our characters as they represent our digital identities. We share Blueberry’s vision that digital fashion and custom design are at the heart of online self-expression, and are excited to support Mishi and her team as they explore new aesthetics and expand into additional platforms and communities.”
Part of the approach of the company is to respect the communities that House of Blueberry enters with real-world brands.
“We’re a fashion company in the metaverse. We’ve been dressing avatars now for 10 years with our founder kicking off in Second Life,” said Katherine Manuel, chief operating officer, in a recent interview.
She added, “We believe that the communities within the games are actually the ones that are creating what the culture is and what the fashion should be. And so one of the core tenets for us with House of Blueberry is really to build a community that can help inform what people want to be wearing. How do they want to express themselves in these platforms within their communities in these games?”
Manuel will be speaking on a panel on brands and the metaverse at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2023 event in Santa Monica on May 22-23.
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