Investors have already injected billions of dollars into metaverse companies via venture capital (VC) financing deals. The trend highlights that the buzz around the next iteration of the internet has not gone away.
Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the surge of metaverse deals last year when he rebranded Facebook as Meta to highlight the company’s pivot from being one of the world’s biggest social media enterprises to becoming a metaverse business.
“Founders, investors, futurists and executives have all tried to stake their claim in the metaverse, expounding on its potential for social connection, experimentation, entertainment and, crucially, profit,” reported The New York Times’ John Herrman and Kellen Browning.
By looking at data from GlobalData’s Technology Intelligence Centre we have identified the 10 biggest metaverse funding deals so far in 2022 in order to get a better understanding of this nascent segment of the tech community.
In July, eFuse raised the biggest metaverse VC deal in 2022 so far. The US-based web and mobile application serves as a professional hub for esports and video games. The startup raised $981.7m through 48 investors.
The size of this funding round represents the huge role esports and video games already play in the metaverse community.
Flexport secures $935m
The US-based freight tech company Flexport raised $935m in February. Flexport uses a cloud-based computing platform to help users make global trade decisions across one network, underscoring how digital solutions can help solve physical issues such as supply chain bottlenecks.
Andreessen Horowitz and MSD Partners led the Series E round. Shopify, DST Global, Founders Fund, Softbank Vision Fund and Kevin Kwok also contributed to the raise.
nCino bags $925.5m
Fintech company nCino raised over $925.5m in a a post-IPO venture equity deal in January, according to a filing to the US Securites and Exchange Commission. nCino delivers an end-to-end cloud banking system solution, which includes customer portals.
Cloud computing acts as the optimal basic support system of the metaverse. XRCLOUD reported that “without powerful cloud computing and big data capabilities, it is difficult to take the lead in this meta-cosmic battle.”
Verse Innovation raises $805m
Verse Innovation is an India-based platform for creating and sharing short videos. The metaverse company raised $805m in a VC deal in April. Verse Innovation raised funding from investors such as Luxor Capital. The company runs digital news and local language content app, Daily Hunt.
Video have become an increasingly important part of the metaverse. TikTok helped start the mainstream video creation and sharing apps. Meta followed close behind as “watching Reels is accounting for a greater amount of time spent on Meta’s family of apps,” Verdict previously reported.
Uniphore raises $400m
Uniphore is US-based conversational automation technology company. It raised $400m in a Series E VC deal in February. It wants to improve voice, artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision and tonal emotion, when it comes to conversational AI. Funding was led by investors such as New Enterprise Associates.
AI is one of the most common technologies associated with the metaverse. It will play a big part in the multiverse, particularly when it comes to virtual reality, meta bots and so on.
“[AI] helps make metaverse a more human place. Simply put, improving the relationship between the physical and digital worlds demands a certain level of machine intelligence, and AI helps with just that,” reported HR World’s Amol Gupta.
Amimoca Brands tops up coffers with $358.9m
Animoca Brands is a Hong Kong-based company. In January, it raised the $358.9m to develop and publish mobile games and products, including for metaverse companies. Liberty City Ventures led the raise.
The company’s plan is to help drive digital and virtual property rights and ownership via non-fungible tokens and gaming to contribute to digital networks to build and contribute to the open metaverse. Animoca believes virtual property rights and networks are what will underpin the future of the open metaverse.
“[We] strongly believe that any system worthy of bearing the name ‘metaverse’ should – and must – be an open one that allows users to own a piece of it, so that all can benefit from the shared network effect that ensues,” Yat Siu, co-founder of Amimoca Brands, wrote in a letter to investors in December.
Near Protocol secures £350m in blockchain deal
Near Protocol is a US-based blockchain company. It raised $350m in a venture financing deal in April. Tiger Global led the raise.
Near Protocol wants to make decentralised applications, such as digital applications that run or exist on blockchains, mainstream.
Improbable raises $150m in UK metaverse deal
Improbable is a UK-based virtual worlds developer. It raised $150m in a funding deal in April. It planned to boost its metaverse chops. Leading investors included Andreessen Horowitz and SoftBank Vision.
Improbable planned to use the funding to develop a M2 network of interoperable Web3 metaverses. metaverses would be powered by its Morpheus technology.
“We founded Improbable to make real the promise of incredible online worlds that were more than just games – they were extensions of our lives,” Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable, said about the raise. “I believe the metaverse and Web3 movement, though very early, represent a once-in-a-generation redefinition of our society towards a ‘fulfilment economy’ where experiences made by an open network of creators and businesses can create enormous opportunity for everyone.”
Hugging Face and Hyperparameter both raise $100m each
Hyperparameter Technology and Hugging Face both came in at a shared ninth and 10th spot in this ranking. Both of them have raised $100m in separate funding rounds for their individual metaverse solutions in 2022.
Hyperparameter Technology is a China-based game AI company, which raised $100m in a Series B funding deal in January.
It is primarily a virtual gaming company that focuses on AI for gaming companies. Funding came from investors like Sequoia China.
Hugging Face is an US-based company that creates and provides AI-powered mobile application solutions. In May, the company secured $100m in a Series C VC funding deal led by Lux Capitol.
The US company helps to develop chatbot mobile application based on AI. Chatbots and AI are set to continue to play an increasingly bigger part in the future of the metaverse.
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.