The open metaverse remains the preferred platform as we head into 2023.
After a banner year in 2021 that saw the rise of platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland, billions in primary and secondary land sales and soaring NFT prices, investor interest in the metaverse came back to earth somewhat.
Ironically, this tempering coincided with corporate and private-equity money flooding into the space.
McKinsey & Company reported in June that $120+ billion had already been pumped into the metaverse, more than double what was seen in the entirety of 2021.
This year’s corporate metaverse activity bears that out. Brands from Nike and Gucci to Snoop Dogg and TIME
Magazine poured money into metaverse initiatives as a way of revolutionizing experiential brand engagement,
while Meta doubled down on its Horizon Worlds experiment.
With that in mind, we took a look at the 2022 venture investment landscape to understand what might be in store for 2023. What we found was that, according to our methodology, 216 metaverse funding deals were done
totalling almost US$2 billion.
With all the corporate money flowing into the metaverse, three things happened. First, demand for support
services skyrocketed. Digital architects, game designers, AI developers, content creators and custom metaverse
services were suddenly needed to build metaverse experiences, whether on open platforms or closed worlds.
There was a marked decline in funding deals from Q1 of this year to Q4. This coincides with the onset of the current crypto winter. What we’ve also seen is that investors have turned away from the hype-driven, more speculative investments that characterized Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. The goal now is to focus on the builders who are providing real value to customers. One such area is the startups making it easier for brands and enterprises to establish a
Looking ahead to 2023
If this year’s metaverse investment activity has taught us anything, it’s that the future of the open metaverse concept is bright. While the crypto winter drags on, the builders will continue to build and the innovators will continue to innovate. Now is the time to search out investment opportunities, to find the startups doing the work now that will help grow the industry tomorrow.
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