BUD: Turning Teens into Creators of the Metaverse and Beyond
We’re super psyched about the new age social and creative world BUD is inviting young people to help build, and the roadmap the team has laid out for BUD’s fast-growing user base.
Aakash Kapoor and Shenya Wang
Published May 23, 2022
We’re thrilled to announce that Sequoia Capital India is leading the Series B round for BUD, a global user-generated platform designed to unleash the creativity of Gen Alpha and Gen Z with easy-to-use no-code tools.
BUD empowers users to create, explore and share 3D interactive experiences, ranging from hangout rooms to battle royale games. Teenagers, many with no coding experience, are flocking to the platform from all over the world, propelling BUD to the top 10 social app lists in more than 38 countries at various points in the last five months.
UGC and social gaming platforms present a massive opportunity for ambitious founders. Just as there are several large social networks today, we believe more than one version of the metaverse – and several large social gaming platforms within each – will emerge over the next decade, differentiated by target demographics, regional localization or even a focus on creators vs users.
BUD’s goal: to democratize content creation in the metaverse and enable any user to truly own and monetize their creations. In the next phase of product development, BUD plans to roll out Web3 products, including an NFT marketplace, for its metaverse ecosystem.
BUD was founded by Risa Feng and Shawn Lim (their avatars, along with those of their founding team, are pictured above!), who met while working at Snap. Risa graduated from Cornell with a degree in Computer Science and Math and then joined Snapchat’s AR Division. Shawn, who graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Computer Science, interned at Meta and then spent three years at Snap, working on Android performance optimization and user growth.
We first met Risa and Shawn through a common friend in February 2022. We were immediately impressed by their strong engineering backgrounds and creative flair. Risa has immersed herself in different art mediums since she was a kid, moving from watercolors to digital art, stop motion animation to 3D modeling over the years. She later developed an interest in computer graphics and built her own indie games during university. Shawn, meanwhile, is travel junkie and social media advocate who’s passionate about building products to empower people to express themselves.
BUD’s user base has seen incredibly strong organic growth since its international launch in November 2021. Users are posting videos of what they’re building on social media, creating tremendous virality. A quick scan of #budcreate on TikTok turns up a raft of user-generated videos from Europe, South America and Southeast Asia, with over 3 billion combined views.
We’re super psyched about the new age social and creative world BUD is inviting young people to help build, and the roadmap the team has laid out for BUD’s fast-growing user base. BUD is hiring globally across various roles. If this post has piqued your interest, come create BUD with us!