Chiru Labs, the Web3 company behind non-fungible token (NFT) collections Azuki and Beanz, and IPX, the parent company of the popular character collection Line Friends, have announced a partnership to collaborate on content, merchandise, retail distribution, real-life activations, and immersive metaverse experiences. The initial focus will be on Beanz NFTs and Line Friends characters.

From LINE Messaging App to Global IP Brand

Originating as stickers within the LINE messaging app, Line Friends has evolved into an innovative intellectual property (IP) brand, partnering with companies like Starbucks, Netflix, and McDonald’s, as well as K-Pop band BTS. In celebration of the partnership, a billboard above the Line Friends store in New York’s Times Square will display an animation of some of the NFT characters during NFT.NYC this week.

Chiru Labs’ Success in the NFT Space

Chiru Labs is best known for its anime-inspired NFT collection Azuki, which has generated 470,994 ETH (approximately $887,824,000 as of writing) in trading volume since its launch in January 2022, according to OpenSea. The company also made headlines for pioneering “physical backed tokens” (PBT) as part of a sale of eight NFT-backed golden skateboards which raised $2.5 million.

Embracing Web3 and Expanding Reach

Liz Yang, Chiru’s Head of Growth, told Decrypt that Line Friends parent company IPX has been making a concerted push into Web3 in recent years. With this partnership, Line Friends characters will be paired with Chiru’s Web3 properties for future content and products. The goal is to bring Asian culture into unexpected areas, with a global reach in mind.