Startups that look to improve an industry’s outdated infrastructure are definitely welcome in sectors like financial services and healthcare. But why would a company build infrastructure for an industry that seems to have hit its prime and zoomed past it in record time?
That was my question when I saw the news about Futureverse’s recent $54 million Series A round. The startup is a platform of 11 companies that range from gaming studios and entities that enable web3 payments, to blockchain startups providing the tools for brands and builders to more easily create content for the metaverse.
I’m missing something. Aren’t we all tired of hearing about the metaverse against our will? Haven’t we come to the realization that folks don’t want their social or work lives to look anything like Second Life?
Aaron McDonald, co-founder and CEO of Futureverse, told TechCrunch+ that some of the more vocal players in the category have made the metaverse seem like it’s one thing — a virtual world — as opposed to what he sees it as: technology that could create a virtual world and also power a lot of other things.
For McDonald, it’s not dissimilar to how we think about the internet today compared to when the term was first coined — it’s no longer a thing, but rather the thing that powers applications and websites. In line with that frame of thinking, Futureverse defines the metaverse as the collection of interoperable applications built on top of user data.
Essentially, the Futureverse is looking to help people build more encompassing experiences where the users don’t realize it’s run on the blockchain or utilizes NFTs, McDonald said.
One example of this is a game Futureverse launched with FIFA for the Women’s World Cup. Users coach a team of automated players in an immersive world, but they aren’t made aware of the fact that it is run on web3 and utilizes NFTs. To most users, then, it is just a game.