I am admittedly new to the Metaverse. However, the opportunities presented by the metaverse as a powerful corporate tool are already clear to see.
Many companies still struggle with creating and maintaining websites. Some companies, particularly in the mining sector, consider websites a necessary evil and cost centre instead of the important IR tool that they are. A website is still the first point of contact for an investor or shareholder in making an investment decision. And while they are prettier than they were in the year 2000, they still contain the same basic elements of text, pictures and links. The metaverse is poised to change all that.
As Morgan Stanley explains, the “metaverse blurs the lines between our physical and digital lives, potentially transforming advertising, e-commerce, entertainment and education.” It is an immersive, interactive experience that creates a virtual environment where visitors can learn, explore, and participate in events and presentations in a whole new way. While the leading users of the metaverse are currently entertainers and gamers (Disney is working on a Metaverse theme park, and Roblox’s Lil Nas X show had a viewership of 33 million), Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Google and Apple are all investing heavily in the metaverse for a wide variety of applications and users. Brands like Nike, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tommy Hilfiger all have had metaverse-based marketing campaigns, and retailers are making major investments in metaverse ‘real estate’.
It is important to think about the metaverse as a platform or infrastructure for future business and entertainment, and not simply a “place”. Like the web or internet, it is a vehicle for many different activities, the same way that the internet made possible both e-commerce and the sharing of cat videos. As Bloomberg Intelligence Industry Analysts Matthew Kanterman and Nathan Naidu observed, the “metaverse is the next big technology platform, attracting online game makers, social networks and other technology leaders to capture a slice of what we calculate to be a nearly $800 billion market opportunity.” It will get its next big boost as Facebook’s Horizon Worlds mobile phone version launches later in 2022, removing the requirement for VR goggles.
The metaverse will also prove disruptive for traditional investor relations and capital markets. It is already being used for presentations and annual meetings. It is a way to explore an interactive trade show that never closes. While there is a novelty that will surely wear off as it becomes more common, its ability to put people face-to-virtual-face, or transport an investor to an interactive factory floor or mine site, will eventually become as common as a corporate website.
A little more than 20 years ago there was a new gold rush for domains and internet technologies that made some companies and individuals very rich. Some of them were people who simply jumped blindly on the dot-com bandwagon, but others saw the business potential of the new platform. While some failed when the greed far outstripped the reality, it also gave birth to the new economy that underpins almost everything businesses do today. It has become the water in which we swim. Like goldfish, sometimes we are not even aware of the medium that surrounds our daily lives as we reach out to the world and each other with our mobile devices. Companies like Amazon and Facebook got their start while traditional economists and analysts questioned their business models and future profitability.
InvestorIntel already has its own metaverse platform in development, joining this bold new frontier as Investor Meta World, bringing capital market companies to this platform. Stay tuned for our ten client pilot projects and our own World at PDAC. Here’s a sneak peak – https://youtu.be/iXNrKbcUyg8.
At one time the internet was the playground of kids. Twenty five years later, some of those kids are investing the millions (sometimes billions) they made in the next big thing. Many are betting big on the metaverse, or more specifically, individual projects within the metaverse – whether it is e-sports, online casinos, social media, games, entertainment, advertising or PR, or more traditional business.
See you in the metaverse.