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Over $2bn of funding went across 216 metaverse funding deals in 2022

The Immersive Wire - 2 January 2023

Executive summary

Welcome to your weekly briefing on the metaverse. Here are your snippets to sound smarter in meetings this week:

  • Headline: Sales of VR headsets this year fell by ~2% in the US, according to the NPD Group (analysis below).

  • Stat of the week: Over $2bn of funding went across 216 metaverse funding deals in 2022, according to the Nasdaq (analysis below).

  • Funding: The European Media and Immersion Lab has funding for interested companies.

  • Conversation-starter: China's Zhejiang area wants to build a $28.7bn metaverse industry by 2025.

  • Other stories: Pico hosted a concert with a K-pop star, Meta acquired Luxexcel, and H&M is getting into digital fashion (more below).

  • Community insights: 71.81% of readers believe AR is the future, rather than VR. 

    • 'If AR can render an augmented environment with unnoticeable latency, the hardware is inclusive, and the dev libraries were open rather than proprietary, then we would see AR solutions preferred over VR.' - Alicia McCallen, Intel.

    • 'Since AR is a new way to see the world, I believe it will gain more traction and appeal to mass public from a "human pattern" point of view.' - Francesco Salizzoni, applied.

Community question:

Will 2023 be as economically weak as analysts expect?

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Welcome back! I am full of Italian limoncello, Austrian wine, and English tea after this holiday. Let's get cracking before my stomach complains too much. 

Tom Ffiske, Editor of the Immersive Wire


NPD Group found that sales of VR headsets dipped by about 2% in the US.

  • This coincides with CCS Insight stating that 2023 will see a slowdown in unit sales.

  • A few factors are at play here. Meta's price increases and the economic climate both contributed to the fall, as people readjusted their focuses. But what's less clear is the momentum of developer activity during the 'colder' market, as it may spike up again once the world leaves the recession.

  • Think of it as a cold snap before a warm spring. Based on what I have seen, it's business as usual for many companies who expect an uptick in demand afterwards.

Nasdaq found that over $2bn has been spent over 216 deals across 2022

  • The actual number is much higher. The data was taken from Crunchbase and pulled 309 deals in total - though only 216 had specific amounts. This means the actual amount invested will certainly be higher. In any case, it's a sign of a healthy market.

  • Additionally, more established players got the bulk of the funding, such as Animoca Brands. Support services, such as builders, came out on top.

  • The report's conclusion for 2023 neatly summarises its views: "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."

Other notable stories

Got stories? Do let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.

  • Fectar is helping Ukrainian children avoid mines using AR

  • H&M released a metaverse-inspired collection.

  • Magic Leap's CEO said consumer AR is about five years away.

  • Meta acquired Luxexcel for an undisclosed sum.

  • Metaverse Game Studios will use ImmutableX to host its 'AAA' web3 game, Angelic.

  • Metaverse Standards Forum announced its pipeline of exploratory and working groups.

  • Pico hosted.(G)I-DLE in a live VR concert. 

  • PlayStation is researching wireless VR tech.

  • Shaquille O'Neal hosted a VR concert on NYE.

    • The event is called The Shaq'tacular Spectacular, and I don't especially want to know where else Shaq uses the phrase.

  • SIMULCRA announced AI tools to help generate assets in its metaverse environment.

  • Star Atlas launched the pre-alpha of its title, another 'AAA' game.

  • Taobao (owned by Alibaba) will launch a metaverse livetreaming platform soon.

  • US Army will use 10,000 HoloLens devices across its missions in 2023.

That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Either reply to this email, or contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. Have an excellent day!