British tech company Improbable has attracted a handful of backers for the launch of a new network that promises to bring a new level of interoperability, interactivity, and scalability to the metaverse.
The company has raised $150 million in new funds which it plans to use to develop M² (MSquared), an interoperable web3 movement-based metaverse network (an idea for a new blockchain-based version of the World Wide Web ). The realities it will develop will be powered by Improbable’s Morpheus technology, which the company has built for enhanced social interaction and “a sense of presence in virtual spaces.” In fact, the technology provides a way for over 10,000 physical users to interact simultaneously in one place, and it claims it’s a “lag-free experience.”
In its announcement for the new financial injection, Improbable criticized the current state of virtual experiences, which it says are unable to support “the large numbers of people or the rich interactivity needed to fulfill the promise of the metaverse.” Moreover, he added, what we have today can be described as “closed platforms unable to provide the level of sophisticated interoperability and shared governance expected by users and necessary to build economies investable assets”.
This is where Improbable comes to the rescue – or at least hopes to.
The new network, M², that it will establish with the new funding would combine its Morpheus technology with new services that it says will help with interoperability, digital asset trading and Web3 governance. It will support integration between existing virtual worlds and new projects.
“It will bring together businesses, existing communities and fans of sports, music, fashion and entertainment and allow them to interact in dense virtual spaces with unprecedented fidelity,” the company explained.
In fact, Improbable probably has reason to be overconfident that it can save futuristic worlds from the problems they currently face (like the lack of a real sense of interconnectedness and interaction), because it’s not a rookie to create technology designed for the virtual world. For nearly a decade now, it has been developing multiplayer services which it provides to more than 60 global game publishers, with the list of major companies including Epic Games, NetEase Games, and Gearbox Publishing, among others. It also provides a “large-scale simulation platform” as a synthetic environment technology demonstrator to the British Army and British Strategic Command.
She announced her intention to play a role in the Metaverse in January, which is anything but surprising given not only her experience, but also the lucrative opportunities she could unlock through new virtual creations: The company quoted figures from Bloomberg Intelligence that estimate global revenue from metaverse services to reach $800 billion by 2024.
Due to such potential, investors are eyeing any opportunity to inject funds into the metaverse sector in hopes of backing the winners in the sector. The 14 backers of Improbable in the latest funding round are an impressive group and include SoftBank as well as venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Mirana Ventures and Digital Currency Group.
Investors believe Improbable can deliver social experiences of unparalleled scale and resolution, and is the first company to technically and live-produce immersive virtual experiences.
“We founded Improbable to deliver on the promise of amazing online worlds that were more than just games – they were extensions of our lives. our society towards a ‘fulfillment economy’ where the experiences made by an open network of creators and businesses can create enormous opportunities for everyone”, exclaims Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable who was created in London in 2012.
Its funding phase began in 2015 where it raised $20 million from Andreessen Horowitz, along with other investors including Horizons Ventures and Temasek. It also received $502 million in funding led by SoftBank in 2017, with follow-on investments from others. According to Crunchbase, Improbable has now raised over $750 million.
As with any such trend, the telco community is looking to find its role, leverage powerful partnerships and collaborations, and take advantage of any new business opportunities as they transform into digital service providers. There’s already plenty of action from carriers in Asia-Pacific, but telcos elsewhere that have the scale and R&D muscle are likely to join the fray as well. (See Will Mobile Operators Jump on the Metaverse Bandwagon?)
And, of course, participation isn’t limited to telcos: Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Meta (formerly and more commonly known as Facebook) are also betting big on the metaverse.
– Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, TelecomTV