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Economy November 4, 2021

Metaverse: Softbank to invest in innovative platforms

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Metaverse platforms will be the focus of Softbank’s future investments. Among them, the group announced a $170 million wager on Naver Z to expand its global market presence.

metaverse : softbank to invest
ZEPETO is an avatar-builder from South Korean app developer by NAVER Z Corporation.

Masayoshi Son, the founder of Softbank Group, announced plans to invest $170 million in South Korean Naver Corp.’s metaverse platform. Therefore, the investment is likely to help Naver grow its company in a field dominated by global giants such as Roblox Corp., Facebook Inc., and Google.

According to investment banking sources, Softbank Vision Fund 2 plans to invest $170 million in Naver Z Corp. The group is the operator of South Korea’s metaverse platform Zepeto, alongside South Korean venture capital firms.

Naver Z is in the final stages of talks for the funds, according to the sources. The majority of the investment came from Softbank Vision Fund 2, while three or four local venture capital groups were said to be interested.

Softbank made the investment alone at first, but due to Zepeto’s popularity, more investors joined in. A representative from Naver declined to comment.

Except for online games, Zepeto acquired 240 million users, including the greatest overseas subscriber base for South Korea’s internet service. Users can use the program to play games, connect with others using 3D avatars, and earn money by creating fashion products and other content.

However, Zepeto is considered as a latecomer with a launch in 2018. It needs to focus on additional expansion in the global market. Meanwhile, Roblox, a larger competitor, began operations in 2006.

Metaverse, a global trend is taking place.

“Like the mobile transition period, a paradigm shift to the era of the metaverse is taking place,” said an information technology industry insider. Furthermore, “A business that dominates this market first, like Google, Facebook, and Apple, will become an industry leader.”

The worldwide metaverse sector is becoming increasingly competitive. With the company’s plan to migrate to the metaverse, Facebook’s latest META announcement has shook the markets.

Similarly, Roblox purchased Guilded Inc., a platform that connects gaming communities, while Epic Games, the creator of the popular game Fortnite, closed a $1 billion round of fundraising.

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Economy

Microsoft clearly engages in the metaverse using Q2 earnings call

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Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, revealed his vision for the metaverse at the company’s Q2 2022 earnings call.

Overall, the company’s Q2 2022 filing showed a significant increase in cloud-based services. Microsoft reported $51.7 billion in revenue, a 20% increase over the previous year. Intelligent Cloud revenue was $18.3 billion, a 26 percent increase over the previous year. Azure drove a 29 percent increase in sales for server goods and cloud services. As well as a 46 percent increase in revenue for other cloud services.

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Among the trends noted by Nadella on the earnings call was a “structural shift in PC demand.”

According to Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, Windows revenue from PC manufacturers increased by 25%, which was “far over expectations”. She stated that demand was being driven by the PC market’s success, particularly in the commercial category.

According to an earnings call transcript obtained on the financial blog site Seeking Alpha, Nadella envisions the metaverse as the next wave of the Internet. “Just as the initial wave of the Internet has allowed anyone to construct a website, I believe the next wave of the Internet will be a more open world where people, whether companies, game developers, or anyone else, may create their own metaverse world,” he stated.

“The first place we see this is the increasing digitization of people, places, and things to truly enable organizations automate operations at the next level,” he explained. “So, today, we have a number of examples of customers engaging with us through Azure IoT, Digital Twins, and Mesh. So that’s what you’ll see in Azure, and we’re investing heavily on it.”

Nadella sees prospects for Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces further up the software stack. This in-development technology is to control physical operations in physical areas such as a store, a connected factory, or a building. “We now have a suite that powers entirely by connected spaces,” he explained. Microsoft’s goal, he noted, is to automate physical operations.

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Economy

Style.me introduces its wearable NFTs in the metaverse

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Style.me, the industry-leading 3D fashion technology company, has launched a new innovative offering that enables designers to become metaverse-capable creators. In addition this latest step extends the company’s solutions into the world of digital fashion and NFTs. Moreover building on its growing success in virtual fitting and styling.

Style.me

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The company Style.me mints and distributes fashion NFTs

Style.me creates and distributes fashion NFTs, allowing people to wear, share, and use them across the metaverse. In addition, the company gives its partners the ability to bring their physical collections into the digital realm through bespoke “phygital” experiences.

The company Style.me’s plug-and-play technologies will allow metaverse projects to make digital fashion accessible to their communities. New experiences, such as virtual runway presentations, exhibitions, and live events, will be possible for designers and companies.

Style.me, with its 3D and AR technologies, is at the forefront of making digital fashion more accessible

Fashion NFT utilities are now limited, and Style.me is at the forefront of making digital fashion more accessible with its 3D and AR technology.

Style.me’s President, Rufus Parkinson, stated. “Style.me’s mission has been to enable consumers to see and interact with fashion in the digital environment since its inception. We believe that digital fashion and NFTs will alter the industry by allowing us to leverage our patented technology to open up a new dimension of user experiences.”

Combined with blockchain technology and the rapid expansion of the metaverse, digital fashion will explode in the next few years. Morgan Stanley estimates that the premium digital fashion sector alone will reach $20 billion by 2030.

Style.me’s goods are already in high demand, with consumption rising 386 percent in the last year, and this additional fashion NFT offering offers up even more prospects for growth in the digital fashion industry.

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Economy

Metaverse: Tencent is updating QQ with the Unreal game engine

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According to an upgraded version of the program, Tencent Holdings has stealthily integrated the Unreal Engine video game engine into its increasingly obsolete QQ messaging network. Hence, analysts believe the move is part of the social media and gaming giant’s entrance into the metaverse.

metaverse tencent

According to LibChecker, a third-party app inspection tool, the Shenzhen-based company updated QQ last month. The new version, which was formerly a chat app, includes portions of the Unreal Engine video game engine.

Tencent launched a new app feature called Super QQ Show, which is a 3D interactive arena where users can socialize, watch shows, and play games, at the same time as the update. As a result, observers claim the move is Tencent’s latest attempt to establish a footprint in the metaverse.

Resuscitating QQ.

The decision also demonstrates Tencent’s commitment to resuscitate QQ, its second most popular messaging platform behind WeChat with 590 million monthly active users, which had fallen out of favor in recent years as Chinese netizens shifted their attention to short videos and other platforms.

In China, the metaverse is gaining traction. Although the country has not yet developed a national plan for the concept, like South Korea has, officials in some key cities have pushed businesses to investigate it. For example, one of four frontiers to explore in Shanghai’s future five-year plan is the metaverse.

The Super QQ Show is currently under testing by a small number of users. Tencent staff uploaded screenshots and video footage of the functionality. Which shows players dressing up their avatars in 3D, decorating their homes, and visiting others. Thus similar to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing video game franchise.

The Unreal Engine is utilized in successful games such as Bioshock and Mass Effect. Tencent owns a 40% share in Epic Games, which operates the engine in the United States. Last year, Epic Games was one of the first worldwide tech behemoths to make metaverse development a top priority. Epic’s flagship game, Fortnite, considered as one of the market’s leading metaverse initiatives.

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