The Internet has experienced unprecedented technological change over the last 30 years, from impossible-to-navigate static pages of the early 1990s, to dynamic content and social media sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter in the 2000s, to the Metaverse of 2022—an immersive 3D next-generation of the Internet, fueled by virtual and augmented reality technology. 

While more of a concept than current reality, the metaverse is quickly becoming one of the most popular topics in the tech world. In October and November 2021, the term “metaverse” appeared in more than 12,000 English-language news articles. In the first nine months of the year the term “metaverse” appeared in less than 4,000 articles. It appeared in fewer than 400 articles in any previous year.1

The momentum carried into 2022, with the metaverse being called “the heart of the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show” (CES) in Las Vegas. From a technology perspective, the metaverse is going to evolve quickly over the next 20 years, much like the internet has changed.2

According to Grayscale Investments, revenue from virtual gaming worlds are estimated to grow from $180 billion in 2020 to $400 billion in 2025, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 14.23%.3

The metaverse extends well beyond the world of gaming, influencing everything from advertising, social commerce, digital events, hardware, crypto, and developer/creator monetization. Together, these innovations have created new online experiences that is attracting a large and growing number of new users.  

Source: Techopian.com, “AI and blockchain to help create the Metaverse”

AR, VR, NFTs & Cryptocurrencies: The Future of the Metaverse

While the metaverse is still in its infancy, internet-native companies, and those that develop hardware, software, and virtual platforms will support the metaverse in order to gain a foothold in a trillion-dollar opportunity that is poised to become the largest and most influential in history. This helps explain why Facebook pivoted towards the metaverse and changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc.   

Over the coming quarters we will see more and more tech companies incorporating and even switching to areas that are forecasted to benefit from the emergence of the metaverse, this includes a surge in AR and VR devices, wearables, cryptocurrencies, virtual reality infrastructure, and non fungible tokens (NFTs).   

A Closer Look at Companies in the Metaverse

Matterport

Matterport, Inc. announced that it acquired Enview, Inc, a pioneer in AI for 3D spatial data, for $37.0 million.4 The company’s 3D AI platform has been used to help solve challenges ranging from infrastructure protection for Fortune 500 companies, disaster recovery applications, and logistics and mobility for national security companies. What’s exciting about the Enview acquisition is its ability to help Matterport speed up the development of its next-generation spatial data analytics platform. Perfect for the metaverse, Enview’s 3D AI platform solves complex 3D challenges as part of a digital twin ecosystem.

Source: Unity

Unity

Unity, which is also held by the fund, is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content. The company cemented its leading position in the metaverse with the acquisition of Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology, and engineering talent for $1.62 billion.5 New Zealand-based Weta Digital’s interoperable 3D art technology has been used to create the visual effects in movies and TV shows, including Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Avatar.

Investing in the Metaverse with MESH ETF

Looking to invest in the metaverse? Consider the Evolve Metaverse ETF (MESH ETF), Canada’s first metaverse ETF. MESH ETF provides investors with an actively managed diversified portfolio of companies involved in the development of the metaverse. To learn more about MESH ETF, please click here: https://evolveetfs.com/mesh/

For the latest information on investing in the metaverse and industry updates on related investment products, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

Sources:

  1. Oremus, W., “In 2021, tech talked up ‘the metaverse.” One problem: It doesn’t exist yet,” The Washington Post; December  30, 2021; https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/12/30/metaverse-definition-facebook-horizon-worlds.  
  2. Lecoq, M., “CES 2022: All roads lead to the metaverse as companies showcase their latest AR and VR tech,” euronews.com, January 7, 2022; https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/01/07/ces-2022-all-roads-lead-to-the-metaverse-as-companies-showcase-their-latest-av-and-vr-tech.  
  3. Grider, D., “The Metaverse,” Grayscale Investments, LLC, November 2021; https://grayscale.com/wp-content/uploads2021/11/Grayscale_Metaverse_Report_Nov2021.pdf.   
  4. “Matterport Completes Acquisition of Enview to Bring Powerful Property Insights and Analytics to Millions of Digital Twins,” Matterport, Inc., January 6, 2022; https://matterport.com/news/matterport-completes-acquisition-enview-bring-powerful-property-insights-and-analytics. 
  5. “Unity Completes Acquisition of Weta Digital’s Tools, Pipeline, and Engineering Talent,” Unity, December 1, 2021; https://investors.unity.com/news/news-details/2021/Unity-Completes-Acquisition-of-Weta-Digitals-Tools-Pipeline-and-Engineering-Talent/default.aspx. 
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