Some entrepreneurs have received 120 million US dollars of investment, and Tencent, Byte, Hillhouse, Sequoia, IDG, etc. have all invested in the Web3 track
The government is also paying close attention to Metaverse and Web3. In January this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated at a press conference on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises that it would cultivate a group of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises that enter emerging fields such as Metaverse, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.Up to now, the governments of 17 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have expressed their support for the development of emerging industries in Metaverse.
In recent years, Metaverse and Web3 have become an emerging “blue ocean” track. In this wave of entrepreneurship, it is worth paying attention to those Web3 entrepreneurs with backgrounds in large factories. What are they doing? (Here, “big companies” generally refer to well-known large companies, including BAT Internet companies, game companies, mobile phone companies, etc.)
We have summarized several types of typical projects, including making games, making Metaverse social networking, and making VR, AR, XR, digital human, 3D content and technical service solutions.
Since Web3 is a brand-new industry, everyone is in the period of exploration, the boundaries of each business are not very clear, and the business model has not been fully established, so we do not evaluate the project and the product itself.
To develop a 3D platform, the AI tycoon received US$120 million in financing from Sequoia, Hillhouse, Tencent, etc.
In March 2021, Yao Xing, vice president of Tencent Group and dean of AI LAB artificial intelligence laboratory, left Tencent to start a business and founded Yuanxiang Weisi. During his tenure at Tencent, he was responsible for the team management and project development of the basic technology platform, search technology platform and artificial intelligence R&D of Tencent’s technical engineering business group, and engaged in research in AI fields such as computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning. Work.
At first, Yuanxiang Weisi defined itself as a “full real Internet” company, and this concept was proposed by Ma Huateng, founder of Tencent. However, the term “full Internet” is rather illusory and difficult to understand.
Now, Yuanxiang XVERSE describes the company’s vision as: to create a one-stop platform for the production and consumption of next-generation 3D content, providing a new 3D experience that is large, real, multi-dimensional and light, hoping to help entertainment, social networking, marketing, e-commerce Wait for the 3Dization of various industries, and realize the vision of everyone freely “defining your world”.
There are currently two common technical solutions for 3D virtual world production: pure end (such as Unity or UE) or pure cloud (such as cloud games). Pure-end puts computing and rendering on the PC or mobile phone, and performs lightweight state synchronization on the cloud. The image quality is good, but the requirements for client terminal equipment are high. Pure cloud renders computing to the cloud, and only performs video stream analysis on the end, reducing terminal requirements, but the image quality is sub-optimal and cloud computing costs are high.
Yuanxiang has explored the third technical route: device -cloud synergy , which ensures a good experience and may reduce usage costs.
It is understood that Yuanxiang has obtained a total of 120 million US dollars in Series A financing, of which the A round was led by Hillhouse Ventures, and the old owner Tencent and other investors; the A+ round was led by Sequoia China, and Temasek and CPE Yuanfeng also participated in the investment. , the old shareholders Gaorong Capital, Wuyuan Capital and Hillhouse Venture Capital have continued to increase their investment since the angel round.
Image source: Screenshot of Yuanxiang office product interface
In terms of application cases, at the end of 2021, Yuanxiang XVERSE cooperated exclusively with Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME) to create an online virtual music festival TMELAND, and restore the grand occasion of offline music festivals through 3D terminal-cloud collaboration technology. It is said that TMELAND will continue to operate in the future, providing functions such as exclusive digital islands and free layout landscapes, and meeting the needs of musicians in terms of creative tools, growth resources and incubation plans in the virtual world.
To play games, he came out of the perfect world to make MetaAPP
Duan Jinwei, the co-founder of MetaApp , was the No. 1 Scholar of Science in Yunnan Province in 2003 and a Bachelor of Computer Science from Tsinghua University. He used to work in Perfect World.
MetaApp, a subsidiary of Beijing Zhanxin Zhanli Information Technology Co., Ltd., was established in 2017 and has received US$100 million in Series C financing. As of October 2021, the company has more than 500 employees.
MetaAPP historical financing information, source: IT orange official website
Duan Jinwei believes that the common dream and career planning of many game practitioners is to work in a big factory for 10 to 20 years, earn the first pot of gold, and then come out to make an interesting game that they really want to do. However, the pain points of the traditional game industry are the high cost of R&D and purchase promotion, the high innovation risk, and the low degree of atomization of creation, which makes it difficult for small and medium-sized creators to truly implement their ideas even if they have good ideas.
The core product of MetaApp is the MetaWorld editor released by it, which is a 3D creation tool and community for game developers. It adopts an easy-to-use low-code editor and has a rich art and resource library, which greatly reduces the threshold for creation. , the platform can be promoted and distributed after it is released online.
According to the official website information, MetaApp cooperates with 200,000 games, of which the game masterpiece 233 Paradise will exceed 60 million MAU in 2021.
In addition, at the end of July this year, MetaApp started foreign investment, participating in the $8 million seed round of investment in P12, a Web3 start-up game company in the United States.
To engage in Metaverse entertainment/social networking, Tencent and IDG Capital have invested in him
At the end of 2018, Yang Yan, the former senior vice president of Meizu Technology and president of Flyme, left to start a business and founded Shenzhen Magic Ability Technology Co., Ltd. Since then, it has led the development of the Wonder Party APP, an entertainment and social product based on avatars, and another app “Woo Ya”.
At present, Wonder Party has less publicity in the media and PR, and can only learn some information from the official website and public level.
Wonderful Party cuts into the Metaverse dating scene through sound, combining 3D avatars, cool stages, mic singing/chatting, voice matching and other social gameplay.
In a more vivid way, Wonder Party can be called a 3D “Cloud Bundi” application, which allows users to make friends in the virtual community through various forms such as exclusive 3D virtual images, online Livehouses, and online KTV singing rooms.
Online social apps tend to be reduced to a “face-seeing world”, and photos are the key to opening the door to social networking. However, in the virtual Metaverse, users can pinch their faces to change clothes and create their own 3D images, which not only effectively restores the offline social interaction and K-song meeting experience, but also leaves the reality with a sense of novelty.
In general, Wonder Party is a product that combines elements of the Metaverse, social networking, and live broadcasting.
Source: Wonderful Party Official Website
It is worth noting that in 2020 and 2021, Wonder Party completed two rounds of financing in a low-key manner, with a financing amount of tens of millions of US dollars; investors include Internet giant Tencent, A-share game company Sanqi Interactive Entertainment and Headquarters. Venture capital firm IDG Capital. Additional information was not disclosed.
Engage in VR/AR/XR, Alibaba AI executives leave to start a business and start XR, and get byte investment
In January of this year, Hangzhou Li Weike Technology Co., Ltd., which was established three months ago, announced that it had received an investment from Beijing Quantum Yuedong Technology Co., Ltd., a ByteDance affiliate, with a 20% stake.
The founder and CEO of Hangzhou Li Weike Technology is Ru Yi. He used to be the head of the intelligent terminal of Alibaba Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AILabs) and has rich experience in intelligent hardware; he was also the product general manager of Tmall Genie, Xiaomi TV partner, participated in the creation of Xiaomi TV and Alibaba’s first artificial intelligence voice assistant Tmall Genie.
Li Weike laid out the XR track and plans to launch mass-produced XR glasses this year. The so-called XR, or Extended Reality, is a general term for various human-computer interaction, virtual and reality interaction technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality).
The company has developed a virtual IP of the same name, “Li Weike”. Ru Yi described her as “Siri for iPhone”. “Li Weike” is not a tool-type virtual person. She will interact with users through AI in XR glasses. It can be projected into reality, become an NPC in the user’s real life, and assume specific roles in some specific scenes.
Ru Yi said that in the future, with the popularization of digital twin basic tools, users can use their virtual identities to come to the AR scene, centering on the virtual world of ‘Li Weike’, to realize the interaction between people in a specific scene. ‘s social.
Virtual digital man Li Weike
In addition to Ali executive Ru Yi, Shang Jin, another executive who left Xiaomi, is also starting a VR business.
Shang Jin, the founder of Beijing Yuanye Technology, is a senior in the IT industry. In 1999, Shang Jin, a graduate of the Department of Physics of Dalian University of Technology, joined Kingsoft as the programmer of the WPS R&D team, and was later promoted to the director and president of Kingsoft Beijing Research Institute (Lei Jun) Technical assistant; in 2003, he established Jinshan Lihuo Studio and launched the work “Fengshen Bang”; in 2005, Shang Jin participated in the establishment of Sohu Changyou’s predecessor, Firefox Studio, and left Sohu after his work “Dragon Babu” was launched.
After leaving Sohu, Shang Jin has had several entrepreneurial experiences, basically focusing on the direction of games, such as making Kylin games.
In January 2014, Shang Jin joined Xiaomi as the general manager of Xiaomi Game Center. In January 2022, Xiaomi announced that Shang Jin, the former vice president of the group and the general manager of the new retail department in China, resigned due to personal reasons. After leaving Xiaomi, who has served for 8 years, Shang Jin started his own business again.
In March of this year, Beijing Yuanye Technology Co., Ltd. was registered and established, and Shang Jin was the major shareholder of the company, holding 80% of the shares; in addition, Liu Yang, the former head of Xiaomi Game Center, was also the major shareholder, holding 20% of the shares.
Most of the team members of Yuanye Technology are from VR hardware companies and well-known game companies, and have many years of experience in VR interaction design. At the same time, the company claims to use the latest “Unreal 5” engine for product development.
Engaged in digital people, the former leader of Alibaba Pictures started a business as a 3D content engine for film and television
In February this year, Strontium Technology announced the completion of a total financing of over 10 million US dollars, of which the angel round was invested by Yuanhe Capital, Jinshajiang United invested in the Pre-A round, and SIG invested in the Pre-A+ round.
Chen Dongyuan, founder and CEO of Strontium Technology, graduated from Tsinghua University. He used to be the product technical director of Alibaba Pictures. He has a deep accumulation of 3D, AI and computer vision technologies in Hollywood film production.
Based on the self-developed XR engine, Strontium Technology provides SaaS-based virtual production services for multiple application scenarios such as e-commerce, live broadcast, XR concerts, business conferences, social media communication, virtual human assistants and customer service. Provide real-time 3D interactive content production capabilities to B-end customers with a lower threshold like Canva or Figma.
Virtual human is one of the main application directions of XR creation tools. Xu Hao, co-founder and CTO of Shenstrontium Technology, introduced to 36氪: “A 4K high-definition photo-realistic virtual digital human that can interact in real time, with very subtle expressions and movements, especially when he moves and looks real. There is a very large amount of work in graphics rendering, geometric processing and physical simulation. Why everyone has not done a good job before is because the algorithmic logic involved is too complicated, or the amount of calculation is too large. In the past 2021, deep Strontium Technology has invested a lot of time and energy to make breakthroughs from the bottom layer of technology and core algorithms. In just one year, it has made significant progress in many key technical fields such as 3D reconstruction of the human body, photorealistic graphics rendering, and cloud-native SaaS services. .”
Strontium Technology has created its own virtual human IP An Ruohan
To engage in a decentralized community, NetEase started a business and made Web3 note-taking products to make original content NFT
Zheng Xiaoyue, who used to be the head of the mobile game business line and the head of the film and television content business in NetEase Hangzhou, founded Jizhixing Company (the parent company of Metanotey) in 2017. In 2019, it began to invest in the wave of Web3 and developed the Metanotey note-taking social product. The goal is to create a decentralized community platform that integrates wallet functions, NFT casting, display, and communication functions with notes as the starting point. However, the product is mainly aimed at overseas user groups.
Product Demo displayed on Metanotey’s official website
Compared with Web2 social media, the main feature of Metanotey is to tokenize original content and ownership through the blockchain protocol of the Ethereum/Polygon chain, support users to keep the homepage Mint as Profile NFT, follow users all the time, and support free and arbitrary generation of NFT and Publish OpenSea with one click, and bind the ownership of NFT notes to tokens.
According to reports, Denis Nazarov, a crypto partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known American venture capital institution, founded the decentralized content publishing platform Mirror in 2021, and the head decentralized lending platform Aave team also launched the decentralized social media Lens Protocol in February this year. , which supports users to own and control all the content they create in the form of NFT.
If the content goes from the cloud to the chain, will the original content be better protected? How is the dissemination of content controlled? These issues are worth exploring and yet to be verified.
In addition to the above application scenarios of Web3, in fact, many entrepreneurs from large factories are engaged in blockchain, such as blockchain wallets, payments, digital currencies, and blockchain-based technology, mainly involving finance, media and other aspects.
For example, Discuz! and Zhang Xiang, an entrepreneur from Tencent Group, founded BlockData, a one-stop business data research and tracking platform for blockchain in 2018, to provide users with timely data services and blockchain information. In September 2020, CB Insights| acquired this blockchain data service provider.
And so on, no longer enumerate them one by one.
Web3 is an emerging industry, although we cannot evaluate it at present, we can only learn and explore. But in summary, it is not difficult to find two points: First, the Web3 track is very broad, and its scope and usage scenarios are also very wide, but the core is inseparable from 3D, digital display, 5G, blockchain and other infrastructure. support and input. Second, VC institutions and capital have shown strong interest in this track, including Tencent, ByteDance, Hillhouse, Sequoia China, and IDG Capital. The future of the Web3 track can be expected.
In December 2021, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission published an article “How the Metaverse Rewrites Human Life”, which mentioned that the new round of technological revolution brought about by the Metaverse and its impact on society should be viewed rationally, and should not be underestimated5-10 Years of opportunity, and do not overestimate the evolutionary changes in 1-2 years .
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