Singapore is emerging as a hub for the Metaverse as global companies are attracted to the country to establish web3 businesses, presenting a significant opportunity for local talent. Singapore, known as a finance and tech hub, is now positioning itself as a Metaverse hub as well.
“A lot of companies from all over the world, including China and Europe, are starting their operations in Singapore and I think there will be a lot of opportunities,” said Mr Shawn Lim, founder of The AceMeta Company.
Companies are using virtual spaces, along with games and social activities, to promote their brands and attract customers. There is a new buzzword in the industry: “phygital”—a physical and digital experience for the customer.
The industry player’s vision is not just limited to the Metaverse; they’re planning a smart city and see the Metaverse as the bridge between the physical and virtual worlds.
“Sometimes when we don’t see it or touch it then you cannot relate. But once we have these solutions out in the open, then people start figuring out what to do,” said Mr Warren Woon, co-founder of local Metaverse platform Xctuality.
Mr. Woon explained that the Metaverse represents a new medium for consumption, and companies are increasingly using it to create more immersive experiences for their customers.
Whole immersive experience for user
Xctuality’s gamification of the agricultural industry is an exciting Phygital venture.
“We connect physical farms – the farmers, the operations, the lifestock and the cash crops, with the Metaverse and gamification side of it. So kind of think of it like FarmVille, but connected to real farms,” Mr woon said, referring to the popular video and mobile game where users farm and harvest crops.
Similarly, The AceMeta Company is focusing on building a digital community of like-minded artists to interact and co-create in their Metaverse. The platform allows its users to decide and vote on desired games and functions.
“At the moment, I think a lot of NFT projects are not very focused on Metaverse. We want to provide (users) with NFTs and not just focus on art, we also want to focus on the whole immersive experience we can get coming to the Metaverse,” said Mr Lim.
Finding local talent is challenging
Singapore is entering the competition to become the hub of the Metaverse, but the concept of web3 is not yet well-known among the local population. As a result, companies in Singapore are finding it difficult to find talented local professionals with expertise in web3.
Despite having 9.40% of the total population holding crypto assets, Singapore lacks local talent for web3.
“The biggest hurdle is the number of talents that we can find that have the proper skill set to really build what we need,” Mr Woon said. He has 32 remote workers form eight different parts of the world in his company.
“We require our tech staff to have domain knowledge in areas that a lot of schools don’t teach. So how do we then build such a team?” he asked.
Despite the bearish year for cryptocurrency, Singapore has remained nonchalant about phygital projects. Some companies are even expanding to accept fiat currency in an effort to boost adoption of the Metaverse.
As technology advances, industry players expect more talent to emerge, which will help to popularize the Metaverse.
“For the metaverse to really take shape, and for the technology to be more mature, maybe another 5 to 10 years. But it will be good for us (Singapore) to get into the industry now,” said Mr Lim.