2021 has little room for coincidences and chances; it is the opening of deliberate moves, and so that holiday offer is deliberate; it is a digital algorithm that mirrors your thinking—summarily, the Metaverse. The prefix “meta” means “beyond,” and “verse” a backformation of “universe.” According to Epyllionco Managing Partner Matthew Ball, Metaverse is “the convergence of online gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality, user generating content and social networking.”
Think of this Metaverse or AR/VR/XR technology as the quasi successor to mobile Internet. In the 90s, our mobile Internet today sprang to life how the technology is leading today. In AR/VR/XR technology, the iteration will take place in vast blobs of virtual worlds or virtual simulations, unlike mobile Internet, which suffices small computers. The new Metaverse will enable the purchase-of-things in the real world and the purchase-of-things things exclusive to virtual environments. As the world develops singular instances of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), Metaverse becomes a marketplace serendipitously linking the physical to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Ark of Influence
Metaverse or AR/VR/XR technology requires businesses to transition online to take advantage of the shared economy. The marketing model to trigger purchases in the AR/VR/XR technology world is different from how potential customers’ shop in real life. To operate in AR/VR/XR technology, businesses need unique to conduct market analysis unique to the Metaverse world. One should be wary that businesses are carried out by virtual assistants in the Metaverse world, mainly robots and algorithms. It requires an extra amount of brand conscience, responsibility and ethics to leverage Metaverse.
Metaverse is a cultural shift among CMOs who have limited their products and services to baseline advertisements on television or outdoor marketing. In the AR/VR/XR technology world, every product or service has a personality that interacts with customers. Weird as it may sound, but that’s how Metaverse infuses culture, localizes a product, connects it to the root of production, so customers know what to expect. If it is hard to understand, consider being a part of a video game; everything you interact with has a personality that reciprocates your thoughts and actions.
In real life, you go to a shopping mall, say to buy clothes. In most cases, you may prefer a trial before making a purchase. A trial is not the option if you purchase online as you do already on Amazon and other marketplaces. You may use the return policy, but that is inclusive of hassles. However, you can virtually try out a dress in the AR/VR/XR technology world before purchasing it. In fact, clothes that don’t exist got a market in the Metaverse as per a Bloomberg report. Not only in fashion, but AR/VR/XR technology also lends to the real estate industry, entertainment, and automobile manufacturing. With time as the AR/VR/XR technology expands, it will be all-consuming.
It is a dangerously immersive experience; Metaverse goes Multiverse in the entertainment world. Leveraging the Ethereum blockchain, Decentral Games (DG) is the first-ever Metaverse casino offering a seamless “non-custodial and provably fair metaverse casino experience.” In this entertainment Metaverse, players gather in virtual avatars to play blackjack, roulette, slots and backgammon with $MANA and $DAI cryptocurrency. Metaverse being pro-social, you’ll join new friends and win legendary NFT wearables. Other AR/VR/XR technology games include Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox (NYSE: RBLX), with unique virtual environments where users meet each other to create games or experiences.
Major Metaverse Investments
According to Strategy Analytics (SA), the global AR/VR/XR technology market is expected to grow to 315 trillion won in 2035. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts the metaverse-related VR and AR market would grow 34 times from US$45.5 billion in 2019 to US$ 1,542.9 billion in 2030.
- So, in the context of Metaverse investments, Decentral Games (DG) has acquired major investments from Digital Currency Group (DCG), AU21, Bitscale Capital, and Cluster Capital. DG is governed by a DAO ($9 million in AUM currently).
- Fortnite maker Epic Games received $1bn in funding from Sony Group Corporation (NYSE: SONY) to accelerate “connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys.” Creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services, and the Epic Games Store are also covered.
- Following the trend, Warner Music Group (NASDAQ: WMG) has invested in Wave. This virtual concert platform blends broadcast technology and real-time gaming graphics to transform artists into digital avatars livestreaming to fans.
- XVERSE, a leading VR-AR software and Metaverse blockchain powerhouse, has closed a $2.7 million private funding round led by top-tier VCs and visionaries of the space – Vestigium, Animoca Brands Genesis Block Ventures, Momentum 6, CMS, and Blocore.
- In London, Waterford Virtual Reality (VR) company VR Education (LON: VRE) received €9m to build a “metaverse for business” by Davy and Shard Capital Partners. Its VR platform, Engage, delivers corporate training for enterprise clients, which is bullish since Covid-19.
- Big Hit Entertainment and YG Entertainment invested $10.4M in AR avatar mobile app ZEPETO based in Seoul. NAVER Z, the parent corporation, informs that the investment will secure content from fashion to entertainment and encourage collaboration with entertainment and government agencies.
- MAXST Co. is South Korea’s first AR software company that provides industrial AR solutions to Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930)Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (KRX: 042660) and KT Corp. (NYSE: KT). Investors include Hyundai Motor Co. (KRX: 005380) and Mando Corporation (KRX: 204320).
Facebook Makes it Indistinguishable
It would not be a wrap without serving Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) position in the Metaverse. Facebook’s user base, income, and talent are enough to bring AR/VR/XR technology to the mainstream. With currently 2.41 billion monthly active users, a net income of $22 billion, and over 35,000 employees, Facebook is leveraging Oculus acquired in 2014 to make the real and the virtual indistinguishable.