Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Whether it is hype or the future, there are different opinions

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

In the past year, the term Metaverse has often appeared in our sight. According to the Axios report, investors have used the Metaverse theme 128 times in speeches in 2021, compared to only 7 times in 2020. At the same time, the technology giant Meta even plans to transform the Metaverse platform in 5 years. At last year’s FC conference, its CEO Zuckerberg talked about the Metaverse in public and in the founder’s internal letter many times.

So what do investors in the industry think about Metaverse? To answer this question, foreign media Geekwire interviewed a group of venture capitalists in the Seattle area to learn their definition and views of the emerging concept of the Metaverse, and the origins of people’s rush to it. In this interview, you will find that different investors have very different attitudes towards the Metaverse, which also reflects the current state of the mainstream market with mixed opinions on this concept.

1. Andy Liu, Partner at Unlock Venture Partners

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: The Metaverse will become the intersection of the physical world and the virtual world. It helps people to actively develop and experience the immersive world in the Metaverse through AR/VR, blockchain and other technologies. People can express themselves, Connect, interact, develop business models and experience new realities.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: The concept of Metaverse has existed for a long time, and e-sports and Second Life are related to it. Unlock Venture Partners sees a huge opportunity in the Metaverse, which is expected to be worth trillions of dollars. It can change the way people interact at work and meetings, or help brands provide consumers with a fully digital retail experience, bring pure digital asset trading systems, and application scenarios such as games.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

Answer: 5 points or more. Although we can’t predict what the Metaverse will look like in ten years, it is certain that digital content and virtual-real fusion technology will grow exponentially. Overhyped companies may not survive, but Metaverse technology will continue to evolve. Unlock Venture Partners will also make sure to invest heavily in the Metaverse.

Q: From the perspective of investment in innovative concepts, why are you optimistic / not optimistic about the Metaverse?

A: I’m bullish on the Metaverse, as the global network speeds up, some conceptualized technologies are no longer limited by bandwidth and are even expected to reach billions of people. The rapidly developing technologies such as 3D, AR, VR, hardware, and digital transactions will become the basis for building an interesting/effective Metaverse experience.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

A: Compared with 3-5 years ago, technologies such as bandwidth, chips, software and hardware have been greatly improved, and the AR/VR user base will continue to increase. After this period of epidemic, people’s awareness of digitalization and online applications has been improved, especially in work, study, transaction, shopping, social/life and other scenarios, online technology has begun to gradually change people’s behavior habits.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: Unlock Venture Partners is actively investing in startups in related fields such as the Metaverse. In my opinion, there are big opportunities in the Metaverse market, and this will require keen enterprises and abundant capital to support. Contrary to popular belief, Unlock believes that large-scale Metaverse platforms will accelerate the scale of Metaverse development by partnering with startups, including cooperating to develop new content experiences, application scenarios, and more.Also, I think there will be other giants joining the Metaverse market in the future.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

A: Unlock has invested in DressX (digital clothing business), Pixel Canvas (virtual event Metaverse), Irreverent Labs (games), Gen G (e-sports), all of which have Metaverse-related businesses. Next, we will continue to invest in related fields.

2. Kirby Winfield, founder/general partner of Ascend

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: I think of the Metaverse as a collection of spaces where people use virtual identities to represent physical bodies. For example, Roblox is a gaming space, Discord is a social space, and Demio is a digital meeting space. In my opinion, these applications are some form of Metaverse that exists.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: I think the Metaverse is largely nothing more than giving existing concepts new names (like Facebook with the new Meta brand). The technology that the Metaverse represents has been around since the early days of the internet (e.g. The Well, MMOs, Second Life), and in the early days of AR/VR, people were already over-investing in resources to develop it.

The prevailing concept of the Metaverse is nothing more than a product of the growing digital revolution. So for startups, I think the key to their success in the Metaverse is finding a valuable use case that may not have been possible in the past due to technical limitations, or macro views/entrenched user behavior. After the concept hype period is over, we will see more good startups.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

Answer: 2.5.

Q: From the perspective of investment in innovative concepts, why are you optimistic / not optimistic about the Metaverse?

A: In the Metaverse space, I am more interested in startups leaning towards Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). I think shared ownership, distributed decision-making scenarios are more attractive than VR spaces in the short to medium term. Nonetheless, massive government and B-side contracts will likely continue to push VR into the Metaverse.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

A: I always have only two views on AR/VR: 1) The era of contention among a hundred schools of thought in the AR/VR head-mounted display market is still far away from us, and the most promising form of head-mounted display at present is the mobile all-in-one machine; 2) B-side applications bring The value of , still significantly exceeds the C-side. So I don’t think the trend you’re talking about has changed much, and while AR/VR headset technology continues to develop, it hasn’t reached a breaking point. Next, government, industry, and enterprise application scenarios are still the development direction of AR/VR.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: When there is a real shift in computing platforms, new giants and leaders will naturally emerge. This is a normal world law. In the future, it should be surprising if a whole new crop of Web 3.0/Metaverse startups doesn’t impact existing businesses.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

A: Taqtile, Vouched, SyncFloor, Worksphere, Makara Digital. Among them, Taqtile provides flexible deskless work solutions for military and industrial fields through AR space computing/Metaverse applications to improve work efficiency. Vouched is engaged in digital identity verification technology, SyncFloor provides legal copyrighted music for digital creators, and Worksphere is dedicated to developing hybrid/remote working and digital collaboration solutions. If the Metaverse involves Web 3.0/crypto technology, it also includes Makara Digital, a retail investment management firm in the digital asset space.

3. Martina Welkhoff, founding partner of WXR Fund

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: The lines between reality and virtual/digital life have been blurring for a long time. The Metaverse will further this trend, creating a persistent, immersive digital world (or worlds) in which people can socialize, learn, play, and work.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: Actually, many companies have been innovating in the Metaverse before, so this is not a new opportunity. Nonetheless, I think the current hype around the Metaverse is good for attracting more resources and accelerating technological development. Often, emerging technologies go through a hype cycle, and to ride the wave, some startups may position themselves as Metaverse companies. As an investor, I pay more attention to the foundation, vision, and advantages/prospects of the startup company than existing similar solutions.

It would be a red flag for some businesses to add the Metaverse concept to their business only after seeing a trend emerge.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

A: 4, because I think the Metaverse technology is really a bit overhyped at this stage. In the long run, the Metaverse is still very promising at this stage, and I believe that many excellent companies will emerge in the near future.

Q: From the perspective of investment in innovative concepts, why are you optimistic / not optimistic about the Metaverse?

A: Humans are three-dimensional creatures. Compared with 2D platforms, 3D technology is more likely to help us reach our maximum potential. During the pandemic, I have hosted several large events in VR and hosted many VR conferences.The interaction I experienced in VR was a stark contrast to the video calls we were already familiar with.

I’ve found that communicating in VR keeps me energized and happy, despite the occasional vertigo. In VR, I can shake hands with colleagues, hug my friends, and simulate the experience of speaking in front of a live audience.

Although VR technology is not mature enough, it is enough to start delivering meaningful value, bringing people closer and closer to the ideal digital experience.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

A: In many ways, the epidemic has profoundly changed the way people live and work, and they have to use online tools more frequently. At the same time, the need for a more intuitive and richer tool became apparent. As the technology matures, people’s interest in AR/VR is getting higher and higher, its hardware cost is lower and lower, and user resistance is smaller and easier to use. With the gradual popularization of 5G, the threshold for AR/VR will continue to decrease, and content development will also be easier.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: Startups have an advantage in innovation because they can learn and iterate faster. Large enterprises have more resources, and they usually use a lot of resources to invest in startups, develop an entrepreneurial/developer ecosystem, and encourage startups to continue to innovate on the platform of large companies.

Many people believe that the upgrade from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 may involve decentralization technology. Although decentralization technology is not perfect, it will be a necessary part of promoting the development of the Metaverse.Because diverse businesses and creators will develop products and content on the Metaverse platform, they will need a fair profit model. In the future, a Metaverse platform or ecology that does not support decentralization may encounter bottlenecks in the long run.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

A: Every business the WXR Fund has invested in is advancing Metaverse goals in some way, with Obsess, Scatter, and ShapesXR (Tvori) more directly related to the Metaverse. Among them, Obsess is a virtual store platform that helps brands provide consumers with a more immersive, fun and social digital content experience. Scatter’s business includes lowering the threshold for holographic creation and developing real-time streaming solutions for realistic avatars. ShapesXR is a VR collaboration and creation tool that can be used to develop 3D models and content for AR/VR and other scenarios.

4. Heather Redman, Managing Partner of Flying Fish Partners

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: Flying Fish Partners believes that the Metaverse is not an actual thing, but more of a collection of technologies and behaviors. The concept of the Metaverse already exists, but it has not reached its full potential before, and people will accelerate the application of this technology. The Metaverse is reaching its potential only when the mainstream population begins to move a large number of life scenes into a fully immersive digital environment. Eventually, people will experience the Metaverse through some kind of VR interface, better than existing technology.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: Both cases are true. When the Metaverse technology becomes more and more realistic, it will also bring greater opportunities, including the emergence of a new UI, more application scenarios, and new behaviors (UGC, etc.).

Over time, the computing method and interface will be upgraded from 2D to 3D, and at the same time, it will bring a new experience for work and entertainment, as well as new forms of social networking, content creation, communication, profit, asset binding and other scenarios. In addition, distributed technologies such as encryption technology and blockchain will also become part of the Metaverse.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

Answer: 4. The prospect/scale of the Metaverse will be similar to that of mobile devices, PCs, but AI prospects are better in comparison.

Q: From the perspective of investment in innovative concepts, why are you optimistic / not optimistic about the Metaverse?

A: There is no doubt that it may take longer than expected for the Metaverse to open to the mainstream market.Nonetheless, its potential opportunity will be comparable to that of mobile devices, so sooner or later we will be investing in this area.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

A: The epidemic has brought great changes to the industry. Compared with the past, more and more B-side solutions are now supporting AR/VR functions. Previously, AR was more favored by capital than VR, and now the investment prospects of VR are better than before.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: The epidemic has changed people’s office habits, and the market’s growing demand for online office has led to more online scenarios. Therefore, in the future Metaverse field, I am optimistic about the opportunities of Microsoft, and as a large platform, this company also has the ability and advantages of hardware/UI innovation. At the same time, Microsoft may also encourage startups to develop Metaverses to explore new user behaviors together. Therefore, there are still many opportunities for startups, which are mainly concentrated in edge markets such as cross-platform.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

A: We are currently following several Metaverse-focused companies. In addition, there are many companies that have invested in the underlying technology of the Metaverse, such as natural language processing company Symbl.ai and AR company Steem (sold recently).

5. Ben Gilbert, General Manager, Pioneer Square Labs

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: First of all, I don’t know. Despite the tech industry hype, Facebook even changed its name to Meta and transformed the Metaverse, but the Metaverse doesn’t exist yet. In my opinion, the final Metaverse will consist of two parts: 1) a whole new form of user interface, including AR/VR/MR; 2) an online virtual world, similar to Second Life, Fortnite or Rec Room, but with a Metaverse There will be richer interoperability than existing products.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: There are both situations.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

A: I think there are two very different ways people use the Metaverse at the moment. The first refers to the AR/VR Metaverse being developed by companies such as Meta and Microsoft. The second refers to the creator ecological platform based on encryption technology and Web 3.0.

For the first one, I give 2 points to the investment opportunities of Metaverse startups, because the specific shape of the Metaverse platform is not yet clear. In the case of BigBox VR, a VR game studio that Pioneer Square Labs has invested in, I’m not sure yet whether the company’s VR development is Metaverse content.

For the second usage, I give the Metaverse a 5 for investment opportunities. I look forward to more creators developing composable, interoperable content based on cryptography.

Q: From the perspective of investment in innovative concepts, why are you optimistic / not optimistic about the Metaverse?

A: The reason to be optimistic about the Metaverse – the mobile/social boom has passed for 10 years, and you can expect a new computing platform in the future to break the existing pattern.

Reasons for not being optimistic about the Metaverse – companies such as Meta, Microsoft, etc. have invested billions of dollars internally in order to develop Metaverse concept platforms. However, it is uncertain how much the AR/VR Metaverse opportunities conceived by these companies will bring startups. value.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

Answer: Yes. Back in 2016, VR headsets were expensive, $799 for the HTC Vive and $599 for the Rift ($199 for the controller). Now, Quest 2 is priced at only $299, and the cost reduction has brought great changes to the C-end and B-end markets. In addition, the all-in-one VR machine eliminates the need for cables for PC VR, as well as an additional gaming computer.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: I think the Metaverse that Meta and Microsoft will build is a bit like a mobile ecosystem, with most of the revenue going to hardware manufacturers, as well as service and transaction system providers. Still, startups have a chance to seize the multibillion-dollar opportunity on this shelf, and there could be dozens or hundreds of great Metaverse startups in the future. Just like the iPhone set off the mobile ecosystem, the Metaverse platform may also spawn startups such as Uber, Snap, and Instacart in the future.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

A: Before BigBox VR was acquired by Meta, we invested in this VR studio. Maybe a year from now, we may continue to invest in Metaverse related companies, and the companies that have already invested may explore Metaverse technology in the future.

6. Kate Mitselmakher, General Partner, Bloccelerate VC

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: In my opinion, the Metaverse should be a distributed ecosystem consisting of interconnected people, objects, and assets. The people and content in the Metaverse will be displayed in digital form, with independent and exclusive IDs, and can be communicated on multiple platforms.

In the short term, the direct form of the Metaverse will be limited to native digital content such as game assets and digital art. In the long run, the Metaverse form will be similar to a digital twin based on the real world, and most real objects (houses, commodities, etc.) can be digitally presented in the Metaverse with unique identities and stored in the blockchain middle.

Ultimately, the digital and physical worlds will merge into an interoperable ecosystem based on innovative technologies such as AI, AR/VR, smart contracts, NFTs, distributed autonomous organizations (DAOs), and Defi.

When most commercial activities begin in the Metaverse, the original economic form will gradually be eliminated, forming a new Metaverse economy with new rules, currency and autonomous management capabilities.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: If future trillion-dollar commerce takes place in the Metaverse, the premise is likely because the Metaverse will bring the same trillion-dollar value. Currently, the architecture of the Metaverse is just getting started, there are few similar platforms, and there are some sporadic test projects. Next, we will need a system that connects all Metaverse platforms, as well as more functions, application scenarios, and infrastructure.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

Answer: 5.

Q: From the perspective of investment in innovative concepts, why are you optimistic / not optimistic about the Metaverse?

A: We are optimistic about blockchain and encryption technology, which may become the underlying foundation of the Metaverse, allowing the Metaverse to be distributed and decentralized. We are bullish on business models in the Metaverse and have been actively investing in related areas for the past 3 years.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

A: I think the AR/VR market is developing, but not mature enough. 3-5 years ago, AR/VR was seen as an entirely new tool for discovering and creating entirely new digital content. Now, the AR/VR digital content ecosystem is still composed of independent applications or games, and its value is limited to a single application, since the technology is based on Web 2.0. In the future, the Metaverse may accelerate the portability and composability of content through blockchain technology, unlocking more value.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: If these companies are not prepared for the upgrade from Web 2.0 to 3.0, their influence will gradually diminish. In the Web 3.0 era, ecosystems will be more distributed, weakening the institutional control capabilities of individual companies.Users of the community can control their own identities and data, and this form of autonomy will be the foundation of a future Metaverse.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

A: In our opinion, the Metaverse will consist of three technical layers: platform, middle layer, and application layer. The companies invested by Bloccelerate mainly involve the trading system part in three levels. At the same time, he is also optimistic about the concept of combining virtual and reality such as AR/VR, and believes that a distributed trading system will closely link virtual and reality platforms. At present, there is no investment in Metaverse-related game companies. In the future, the Metaverse will have more than one game scene.

Seven, Madrona Venture Group investor Elisa La Cava

Is the Metaverse reliable? Hear what these 7 venture capitalists have to say

Q: Please describe the Metaverse with your own understanding.

A: The Metaverse will advance the evolution of the physical and digital worlds, adding a new layer of virtual technology to existing user interfaces. The Metaverse is a collection of multiple virtual worlds that seamlessly blends and enhances existing ways of interacting, exploring, learning, working and playing, creating a richer, deeper experience.

For example, in the future, you don’t need to go to a 4S store or look at cars online, but you can check the details and appearance of different models in the Metaverse, conduct test drives, etc., and buy a car at home. The existing technology is still unable to realize the ideal online car viewing, but on the ideal Metaverse platform, various application scenarios and fields will become more smooth, high-quality, and easy to use.

Q: Do you think the Metaverse will bring opportunities for cutting-edge innovation and large-scale returns for startups? Or is the Metaverse just the next overhyped word?

A: From the current point of view, the Metaverse has enough potential. Several tech giants have announced that the Metaverse will be the next key area, and are expected to invest billions of dollars each year to develop the Metaverse. The vision of these companies is to unlock new interactions through the Metaverse, resulting in richer, more immersive experiences with younger and stronger users. Especially considering the possible B-side application scenarios in the short term, I am looking forward to the Metaverse even more.

In the past two years, online scenarios such as telecommuting have developed rapidly, and virtual technology has also been promoted. Still, we can’t perfectly replicate offline experiences like face-to-face communication, problem solving on boards, and private conversations with colleagues. And the Metaverse will hopefully solve this problem. Next, we will see tech giants introduce hardware platforms in the Metaverse, and then more applications and scenarios will follow.

Q: Please rate the Metaverse, assuming 1 is a completely overhyped concept and 5 is the hottest technological innovation in decades, how would you rate the Metaverse?

A: It’s closer to 5. If you combine the Metaverse with other innovative technologies like Web 3.0, NFT, Defi, etc., then my answer is 5.

It’s worth noting that Metaverse technology is still in its infancy, so it’s still far from mass adoption. Therefore, for start-ups, how to correctly grasp the market timing is a key issue. If users, students and companies continue to work online in the future, and online technology will become more and more popular, the application scenarios of the Metaverse will be more valuable. In the next few years, new technologies such as the Metaverse will continue to grow, and new user habits will also need to be cultivated.

During the development of the Metaverse, startups may take inspiration from the giants and rely on the giants to grow, and the Metaverse market is expected to accelerate within 5 years.

Q: 3-5 years ago, some venture capitalists had increased their bets on AR/VR, but because the market was not mature at that time, many investments were not successful. Has this trend changed?

A: 5 to 10 years ago, people expected everyone to have AR/VR headsets in their current lives, and obviously this goal has not been achieved.

In my opinion, the Metaverse is an all-encompassing technology, and AR/VR will serve as a key component of the Metaverse, as the immersive experience layer of the Metaverse.

Q: Will the Metaverse be dominated by big platforms like Meta, Microsoft or Roblox? Do you think there is still an opportunity for startups to grow/breakthrough?

A: The giant platforms will cement their place in the Metaverse early on. Nonetheless, there are still market opportunities for startups, as the Metaverse market will be sufficiently diverse that even users will develop, experience, interact and monetize in the Metaverse. Startups, on the other hand, will provide the Metaverse with tools, workflows, technology to connect different ecosystems, and more.

During the development process of Metaverse, it needs to solve technical challenges, find user needs, and explore application scenarios. These problems cannot be solved by a company alone, so startups still have opportunities to innovate and grow.

Q: Which Metaverse companies have you invested in so far?

Answer: VR social application Rec Room.

refer to:

https://www.geekwire.com/2021/we-asked-seven-venture-capitalists-if-the-Metaverse-is-the-next-big-thing-or-just-a-lot-of-hype/

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/is-the-metaverse-reliable-hear-what-these-7-venture-capitalists-have-to-say/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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