Investing in the Metaverse: Startups Inventing a New World

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Even in late 2021, most people had no idea what the Metaverse was. Then Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s rebrand to Meta and interest in the Metaverse exploded.

Goldman Sachs estimates the Metaverse to be an $8 trillion market opportunity. Microsoft acquired gaming studio Blizzard for $68 billion to provide the building blocks for its Metaverse play, while Apple CEO Tim Cook declared the Metaverse “very interesting” and said the company will “invest accordingly.” Meanwhile, NFTs of Bored Apes began selling for millions of dollars a piece.

From producing detailed avatars to creating virtual storefronts, the Metaverse is a computer-generated world where revenue streams are very real. Creative startups are flourishing by building custom-made, virtual worlds for clients. The possibilities are endless.

Join OurCrowd online on Monday, June 20 for ‘Investing in the Metaverse: Startups Inventing a New World,’ where you will encounter the CEOs of Metaverse startups and leading industry figures who are changing the reality of retail, entertainment and investing. Speakers include Gil Perry, Co-Founder & CEO of D-ID, Lyron Bentovim, CEO and President of The Glimpse Group (NASDAQ: VRAR), Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum and Co-Chairman of the Israel Tech Policy Institute, Gilad Talmon, CEO of TetaVi, and Noam Levavi, CEO of ByondXR. The event will be hosted by Allie Feuerstein, OurCrowd’s Director of New Business, International, Investor Relations.

While it is easy to dismiss the Metaverse as a fad, underneath the hype, and the absurdity, is a synthesis of trends that have been brewing for a long time and could provide a significant investment opportunity.

Technology for global ecommerce stores developed by OurCrowd startup ByondXR offers a full-scale simulation of the physical shopping experience (ByondXR)

The core of the Metaverse is the blend of gaming and social media. Similar to “The Oasis” portrayed in Ready Player One, the Metaverse is an immersive online experience to buy or earn rewards and show accolades to friends. It is not that different from users visiting each other’s virtual farms on Facebook’s much-loved Farmville, or challenging a friend in Words with Friends.

What makes the Metaverse different are the technological improvements that allow for more immersive experiences. High-speed internet and 5G connections allow online multiplayer games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, or PUBG to thrive. Discord or Team Speak help online communication. Headsets like the Oculus Quest allow players to have highly immersive online VR experiences.

While online gaming experiences have been available for some time, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated adoption, paving the way for the Metaverse. With people stuck at home during lockdowns and looking for a way to connect to others, many chose to test the waters of online gaming. There was a 39% global increase in time spent video gaming since the start of the pandemic. Among gamers that started playing since early 2020, 40% say they are likely to continue the same behavior once the health scare is over.

Investors have started pouring money into various assets, including NFTs, startups, and public companies. With so much noise in the market, it is important to remember that we are still in the infancy of the Metaverse, and its technological foundations still need to be completed. With the technology available today, a digital experience at a concert, sporting event, or party still lacks the live sensation that both performers and viewers missed so much during lockdowns and social distancing.

Technology is being developed to enhance the immersive experience of the Metaverse with touch, feel and other sensations that would make it even more like an in-person event.

‘Investing in the Metaverse: Startups Inventing a New World’ will be hosted online by OurCrowd on Monday, June 20. To register, click HERE.