The Hong Kong mega-collector and real estate mogul Adrian Cheng has been revealed as the backer of the viral Azuki NFT collection, which comprises 8,7000 anime-inspired avatars. Since its debut in January, the collection has brought in $29 million.
By February, with $300 million in Azuki sales, the collection had surpassed sales of its competing tokens like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks.
Cheng, who has appeared on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list since 2015 and is known as an active promoter of contemporary art in Hong Kong, took to Twitter earlier this week to come out as the collection’s mystery buyer.
On Twitter, Cheng wrote that he had acquired the Azuki collection “in secret,” and hinted that he is planning to take an active role within the start-up team behind it. His aim, he said, is to bring “new forms of #art and #culture experiences to the masses.”
The NFT venture is Cheng’s latest foray into the business and cultural space. In July, Cheng announced plans to expand his K11 culture-commerce empire into mainland China. Dubbed K11 Ecoast, the latest project will see a complex planned for the Shenzhen waterfront located in Prince Bay in the Nanshan district.