“Metaverse” Zepeto, which raised approximately US$200 million

Zepeto valued at $1 billion

Recently, Zepeto, a virtual social platform of Metaverse, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Naver Z, announced that it has received approximately US$189 million in Series B financing.

This investment was led by Vision Fund 2 under the SoftBank Group of Japan, with an investment amount of up to US$150 million. The remaining approximately US$41 million in funds came from Mirae Asset, a Korean financial company, JYP, a well-known k-pop brokerage company, HYBE, the brokerage company of BTS, and YG Entertainment.

After the financing is completed, Zepeto’s valuation will exceed $1 billion. Naver Z said that these investments will be used to expand its global services and talent recruitment. It is foreseeable that this round of investment will promote Zepeto to gain an important place in the field of Metaverse.

On the other hand, for Softbank, this is not their first investment in the field of Metaverse.

Not long ago, they also invested in one of the hottest Metaverse blockchain games, The Sandbox, with an amount of US$93 million. In this regard, Greg Moon, managing partner of Softbank Investment, said: “We believe that Metaverse may become the next evolution of the Internet.”

Zepeto: Build the world’s largest fashion social Metaverse platform

Zepeto was launched in August 2018. It is a virtual fashion social platform that can freely create a personal digital image.

In addition to virtual people than objects, Zepeto also create a virtual game world, users can operate their own virtual characters in the world of action. The social scenes set up on the platform are rich and varied, including haunted houses, classrooms, schools, famous scenic spots, etc. Users can attend parties, camping or even virtual weddings of friends.

On the other hand, Zepeto works closely with the field of fashion and entertainment, often inviting famous fashion brands to release virtual clothing accessories on the platform, and also launches activities with k-pop entertainment companies.

In February of this year, Gucci released a virtual “Gucci Villa” imitating the Italian headquarters on Zepeto, and launched NFT fashion items. Users can use their avatars to try on or purchase virtual clothing released by Gucci, and they can also check in to roam the “Gucci Villa”.

In addition, D&G, Dior, Nike and other famous brands have also settled on the platform. The globally popular k-pop groups Blackpink, ITZY and SF9 also held virtual events on Zepeto to release k-pop related content.

"Metaverse" Zepeto, which raised approximately US0 million

(Zepeto and Blackpink linkage)

A differentiated Metaverse focusing on young women

According to the “Wall Street Journal” report, Zepeto has about 2 million daily active users, making it the busiest Metaverse network service platform in Asia. (For this “most”, Sanwenyu is suspicious)

The market research company Sensor Tower survey pointed out that in July this year alone, Zepeto has been downloaded 400,000 times.

Although compared to the 47 million daily active users of Roblox, a game-oriented Metaverse platform, Zepeto is far from the first echelon in the entire Metaverse field, but as the world’s largest virtual fashion platform, Zepeto has attracted a large number of users. Young female users have achieved sufficient differentiation effects in the field of Metaverse.

Most of the current Metauniverse platforms are still dominated by adult male users, and there are not many Metaverse platforms with teenage women as their main users. Zepeto has more than 240 million users, 90% of which are from outside Korea, 80% are teenagers, and 70% of users are women.

Rajiv Biswas, chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region of research company IHS Markit, analyzed:

“Zepeto has a large number of Gen Z and Gen A users in Korea, which makes it the focus of digital advertising for Korean and international fashion brands.”

This difference in the teenage female market and the associated brand advertising attraction it brings is one of the important reasons why SoftBank and other capitals are optimistic about Zepeto.

The presence of the brand has indeed brought considerable revenue to Zepeto. Currently, hundreds of companies and 1.5 million studio creators have promoted their virtual products on the Zepeto platform, and 50 million studios ?virtual design products are on sale.

Nazer Z was separated from Nazer in May 2020, with a total revenue of US$7.4 million from May to December. This year, the company’s monthly revenue hovered between US$2.117 million and US$2.794 million, an increase of about 70% over the same period last year. Most of these growth came from advertising cooperation with famous brands such as Gucci, Dior, Samsung, and Hyundai.

Capital settled in Zepeto not only because of the above harvested results, but also because of its longer-term potential.

From a cultural and policy perspective, as a Korean company that values ​​k-pop culture and its main users are in the Asia-Pacific region, Zepeto has a closer cultural and geographic background to SoftBank, which is also located in the Asia-Pacific region, and the two are easier to get through. Sun Zhengyi, the founder of Softbank, is also of Korean descent.

On the other hand, the South Korean government also attaches great importance to the layout of the domestic metauniverse. On November 3, Seoul, South Korea announced that it will invest 3.31 million US dollars (approximately 3.9 billion won) from 2022 to build a metauniverse city. Various public services and cultural activities are provided in the city of Seoul. These cultural and policy benefits have increased the investment confidence of SoftBank and other capitals in this project.

From the perspective of future development, although Zepeto is still focusing on network services, Zepeto will gradually step into the game field as the highlight of the Metaverse.

This summer, Naker Z insiders also revealed to the media that Zepeto will open up game features: “From the perspective of user time and sales, games are essential to Metaverse.”

As early as 2020, Zepeto cooperated with the game engine Unity to hold the Unite Seoul 2020 event, introducing Unity’s 3d design function into Zepeto for users to make content, and more game functions are expected to be further developed.

Rudy Lee, chief strategy officer of Nazer’s apps, said: “The capitalists invest in Metaverse through us, not for the short-term prospects of 6 months or 1 year. What they want is to stay here for a long time.”

SoftBank invests in Zepeto to accelerate the layout of its Meta universe

From the perspective of Softbank, investing in Zepeto is an important move in Metaverse.

Metaverse continues to heat up in the cold winter of this year. SoftBank, a large Japanese multinational investment management company, owns the world’s largest investment fund in the technology sector, the Vision Fund. Naturally, it will not miss this trend. This investment in Zepeto is its largest Metaverse project investment so far, but this is not the first and will not be the last.

As early as September of this year, SoftBank officially entered the field of Metaverse. Its Opportunity Fund, together with the founders of Twitch, Lincoln Park musicians and Spacecadet Investment Company, provided a $1.2 million seed fund for the Metaverse project DNABLOCK. The latter is a virtual A 3D creation platform for avatars, virtual worlds and other digital content. Although US$1.2 million is not a big sum, it marks SoftBank’s test of the Metaverse.

It didn’t take long for Softbank to accelerate the pace of Metaverse’s investment. First, in early November, it invested US$93 million in one of the most popular blockchain metaverse games at the moment, The Sandbox. This is Softbank’s first investment and has issued exclusive encryption. The currency’s blockchain-based Metaverse project, the token market value of Sandbox is now close to 2 billion U.S. dollars.

This was followed by a larger investment in Zepeto at the end of the month.

Although it has not issued its own NFT token like The Sandbox, it is also a Metaverse-oriented project. Zepeto is very similar to Softbank’s first meta-universal investment in DNABLOCK. Both are platforms that focus on virtual UGC. , And Zepeto has been online for a long time and is already a relatively mature network service platform. Softbank’s large investment represents its further in-depth business model of virtual UGC exchange.

Regarding SoftBank’s accelerated deployment in Metaverse, Taiwan’s independent technology industry analyst Sean Su said: “This is an investment in the future of the Internet and a prayer for seeking a strong position on the edge of the cliff of web3. The value of web3 may reach trillions. Large companies are now participating in a race to define standards for virtual environments, and companies like SoftBank are competing for early leadership.” (web3 is a blockchain-based decentralized online ecosystem)

As far as the current situation is concerned, although Metaverse is still in the early conceptual stage, it has already shown a huge market, and any company with a long-term strategy hopes to occupy this place, and SoftBank is no exception. Although Zepeto’s user base is not the first echelon in the entire Metaverse field, its differentiated positioning and low entry threshold for young people have allowed some investors, including SoftBank, to see its future potential.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/metaverse-zepeto-which-raised-approximately-us200-million/
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