The Metaverse is hot, and many companies, established giants and startups alike, are either developing hardware and software, or using the space to expand their business into the virtual realm.
If you’ve been looking for healthy metaverse companies to invest in, stick around and we’ll drop a few names.
What’s a metaverse?
Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash, describes “The Metaverse” as a public space that exists only as computer code, with virtual land for sale by the creators and owners of the network.
Today, multiple metaverses created independently for different purposes exist on distributed computer networks, managed by blockchain technology and digital assets According to a Brandessence Market Research report, in 2021 the global metaverse market volume was $210 billion, and is expected to swell to $716 billion by 2027
The biggest metaverse companies
A few well-known tech behemoths have been laboring for many years, investing $billions in metaverse infrastructure development:
- Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) released its popular Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality (VR) hardware in 2020, which is the clear market leader in 2022, according to IDC. Its next generation of devices is being developed under the name “Cambria.” In 2021, the company produced Horizon Workrooms for remote collaboration.
- Google Glass was a commercial failure in 2013, but the company has long been working on its next-generation technology, in 2020 acquiring North, which developed the Focals I.O augmented reality (AR) glasses, and in 2022 Raxium, a tech startup specializing in MicroLED technologies. Its soon-to-be-released next-generation AR/VR headset is code-named “Iris.”
- Microsoft sold its original HoloLens hardware to the US Military in 2021. The HoloLens 2, a more expensive product designed for industrial applications, is now available. In 2021, the company announced Mesh, which enables metaverse software developers to create apps connecting multiple devices to the same digital reality.
- Nobody knows for sure what Apple is up to (except Apple), but it’s rumored that Apple VR headsets and Apple Glass AR glasses are under development, with possible product releases in 2023 and 2025, respectively.
New kids on the metablock
Joining these Wall Street giants are a variety of thriving, if less well-known, metaverse companies that are involved in creating software and content.
Chinese video game company Animoca Brands acquired well-known metaverse The Sandbox from Pixowl in 2018, adding the blockchain functionality that enabled users to monetize in-game intellectual property using its digital currency, SAND. The company has since released additional metaverse games.
Roblox Corporation provides an online virtual entertainment platform where users can make friends, share experiences and interests and undertake digital adventures. Roblox Studio is their toolkit for building and operating metaverse worlds. Roblox Client lets users explore metaverses created by other users, and Roblox Education is a virtual learning space. A collaboration with Nike footwear has produced Nikeland, a limitless metaverse of sports activities.
Unity Software Inc. offers a virtual platform for creating interactive real-time 3D content. In March 2022, the metaverse company announced a collaboration with Insomniac Events to build a virtual world for Insomniac fans to gather and enjoy live music events.
Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is best known for its subsidiary, Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite. Epic has been developing a metaverse platform capable of supporting millions of users. Fortnite has evolved from a traditional video game to a virtual world where visitors can socialize. In 2021, virtual concerts by Travis Scott and Ariana Grande drew millions of attendees.
Other businesses jumping into The Metaverse
Many brick-and-mortar businesses are developing long-term metaverse strategies. Fortune reported 4,150 metaverse trademark filings through August 2022, far exceeding the 1,866 total for all of 2021.
Recent applicants include Ford Motors, Formula One racing and luxury fashion brand Hèrmes. They join a growing list of diverse companies, including 3M, American Express, Blockbuster, Fender, Hugo Boss, UPS and Victoria’s Secret.
Food and beverage companies have been especially keen to establish a metaverse beachhead, on virtual land usually in The Sandbox or Decentraland. Virtual restaurants will take visitors’ real orders for home delivery. The first companies investing in the metaverse include Budweiser, Chic-fil-a, Chuck E. Cheese, Hardee’s, Hooters, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Panda Express, Subway and Taco Bell.
How you can invest in the metaverse
Virtual real estate agents have sprung up, performing the same metaverse role as their real-word counterparts.
Examples of established virtual realtors include Metaverse Property and 3ora. They can locate and expedite virtual land purchases in The Sandbox, Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Somnium, Cryptovoxels and Upland, to get your metaverse company up and running quickly.
Another option for a business not wanting to commit to the cost of prime metaverse property is to rent. The companies mentioned above can arrange virtual land leasing, as can Megaverse Group.
Investing in The Metaverse is relatively risky, a Web3 field of dreams assuming we’ll all come after they build it. But many of the world’s biggest companies already understand the importance of doing business in The Metaverse as soon as possible and are making their plans.
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.