Funding is flowing into the metaverse and broader Web3 efforts. Since March 2021, sales of non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) have been in the headlines – both for the exorbitant prices some are commanding at auction and for the potential for NFTs to become a robust market as brands seem eager to market themselves and connect with consumers through these relatively new technologies. For the third quarter of 2021, Forbes reported that the sale of NFT was $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of more than 8 times compared to the previous quarter. In January 2022, the monthly NFT sales volume in the OpenSea marketplace reached an all-time high of $5 billion.
Fast forward to October 2021 and Facebook, Inc.’s announcement of its renaming to Meta, Inc. in an effort to transition from a social media company to a “metaverse company”, seemingly solidified a more important among companies that a mix of “real” and virtual worlds is the future.
In this context, brands have launched various businesses in the metaverse – from the Gucci’s Garden pop-up in the Roblox metaverse (with virtual Gucci-branded handbags and clothing) to Nike’s “Nikeland” experience – and in same time, rushed to file trademark applications for their current uses (or much more frequently, their imminent uses) of their trademarks on virtual goods/services and NFTs.
All the while, cash has flowed into the space (with over $2 billion and $62.8 billion invested in augmented reality projects and virtual world projects, respectively, in 2021, by CrunchBase), and at least one major acquisition has taken place. With so much activity going on when it comes to the metaverse, we’ve put together a (common) timeline of investments and M&A events to provide a broad overview of who’s raising money, getting acquired, and what is the trajectory of this segment of the market – which only seems to be gaining momentum – more generally looks like…
March 7, 2022 – Space Runners raises $10 million
Metaverse fashion brand Space Runners has raised $10 million in a funding round co-led by Polychain and Pantera Capital, and including Accel, Jump Crypto, Animoca Brands President Yat Siu and co-founder of Twitch Justin Kan. items as NFT collections, which is ongoing,” said Space Runners CEO Deniz Özgür. “But we are also launching the first phase of our fashion metaverse. Rather than just a cyber urban style, we place more weight on beauty and aesthetics, and we collaborate with some of New York’s most popular fashion agencies.
March 7, 2022 – Immutable raises $200 million
Immutable has raised $200 million from investors led by Temasek of Singapore, valuing Australian startup NFT at $2.5 billion, the company announced. Investors include Mirae Asset, ParaFi Capital, Declaration Partners and Tencent Holdings, among others.
March 3, 2022 – Nifty League Raises $5 Million in Funding Round
Nifty League, a leading NFT gaming platform, today announced the closing of a $5 million seed investment round led by New York-based private investment firm RSE Ventures, with Spartan Group, Lerer Hippeau, VaynerFund, Private Ventures Group, DraftKings Co-Founder Matthew Kalish and Ryan Harwood, CEO of Gallery Media Group, among others. Launching in September 2021, Nifty League brings “competitive gaming to Web3 – moving from playing to win to a new era of playing and winning by delivering a fun and engaging gaming ecosystem”.
February 25, 2022 – CollectID Raises $3.5M in Funding Round
CollectID has closed a $3.5 million seed funding round led by SeventySix Capital and Hellen’s Rock. The Swiss-based startup combines NFT technology, backed by an immutably secure blockchain, through a tamper-proof NFC tag to provide a secure and unique identity for each product that can be applied to the majority of physical objects, including clothing, accessories , shoes, watches.
Feb 22, 2022 – Metamall Raises $400,000 in Final Round
Metamall, a metaverse startup that allows buyers to own, build and develop virtual real estate, closed its initial Dex offering — or “IDO” — to raise $400,000 with the supply of 80 million tokens. With this round and previous funding rounds (Metamall had previously raised $4.6 million in its seed, strategic and private rounds and over $2 million through NFT sales), Metamall announced that it is was the first retail-themed metaverse platform in the world to raise more funds. more than $7 million from private and public investors.
February 21, 2022 – Jambo Raises $7.5M in Funding Round
Jambo has raised $7.5m in seed funding as part of Africa’s most notable metaverse venture. The Congo-based startup seeks to create Africa’s Web3 user acquisition portal by “learn, play, earn” and democratizing access to crypto-based revenue generation opportunities. According to TechCrunch, “Experts say Africa is set to be disrupted by web3 in the same way Southeast Asia has become one of the top markets for web3.”
February 14, 2022 – BUD raises $15 million in Series A+
BUD raised $15 million in funding in a Series A+ round. Founded by former Snap engineers Shawn Lin and Risa Feng in 2019, BUD allows users to create customizable 3D experiences and interact with others through its app.
February 13, 2022 – BNV.ME raises $4 million to “enhance NFT experiences in the metaverse”
Brand New Vision Ltd, the company behind BNV.ME, the leading platform bringing fashion into Web 3.0 through 3D product creation, NFT sales and Future Wearability, has completed a series funding round A $4 million run by Animoca Brands. In a statement, BNV.ME said the funding will allow it to further expand its capabilities for creating elevated NFT experiences across metaverse offerings that already exist and those in development, as well as expand its visibility and presence in the worlds of fashion, gaming and crypto communities.
February 3, 2022 – nfinite raises $15M in Series A
Next-generation e-commerce visualization and merchandising provider nfinite has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by US Venture Partners. New York-based nfinite said the funding would be used to accelerate development of its SaaS 3D visualization platform and scale the company’s operations in North America.
13 Dec 2021 – Nike acquires RFKT
NIKE, Inc. announced that it will acquire RTFKT, “a leading brand that leverages cutting-edge innovation to deliver next-generation collectibles that fuse culture and play.” Nike Chairman and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement that the acquisition is “another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and enables us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport. , creativity, play and culture,” and will help “expand Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities. Terms of the agreement were not announced.
November 22, 2021 – Niantic raises $300 million to create a “real world metaverse”
Niantic, the augmented reality platform behind Pokémon GO, raised $300 million of Coatue, valuing the company at $9 billion. The San Francisco-based startup said it would use the funding to build the “real-world metaverse.”
November 5, 2021 – VNTANA Increases Funding to $12.5M
VNTANA, the industry leader in 3D content management software, has closed its latest funding round, with investment from Mark Cuban, former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, Flexport and Anorak Ventures, among others. bringing its total funding to $12.5 million in total. VNTANA says its technology “enables brands in fashion, footwear, furniture, tools, sporting goods, and more.” – including Ugg Deckers Brands owner Staud and Diesel – “to share and integrate 3D and augmented reality for sales and marketing use.”
October 13, 2021 – Stage11 raises €5m funding round
Immersive music experience startup Stage11 has raised a €5 million funding round led by Otium Capital, a European venture capital fund, backed by founder and CEO, Jonathan Belolo. Stage11 said it “sets out to redefine the interactive music experience by combining gaming, mixed reality and digital collectibles”, including building “a new creative canvas for artists, allowing them to invite fans to live, play and create within”. their performances and their musical worlds.
May 5, 2021 – RTFKT raises $8 million
RTFKT has raised $8 million in a round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and which includes Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill, Behance co-founder Scott Belsky, artist Fewocious and former LVMH digital director Ian Rogers, among others, as he pursues his quest to “empower the future of fashion.” The trick valued the company – which was not even 2 years old at the time – at $33.3 million.
April 21, 2021 – The Manufacturer Announces Funding Round
Leading virtual fashion company The Manufacturer has announced the closing of an undisclosed funding round in pursuit of its goal to “create tools and products that transform the fashion industry into an all-digital existence both in production and consumption, while democratizing fashion design into a collaborative process using 3D technology and consumer creativity, accessible to all.Participants in the round included 4impact, Borski Fund and Slingshot.