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Metaverse firm Everyrealm closes $60m funding round

Artist-backed metaverse firm Everyrealm has closed a US$60 million funding round.

The company (rebranded from Republic Realm) describes itself as “one of the most active investors in and developers of the metaverse ecosystem”.

The Series A funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, and individual investors in the platform include stars like Nas, Gunna, Baby Keem, Gene Simmons and Lil Baby.

The firm, led by CEO Janine Yorio was co-founded by TJ Kawamura, Julia Schwartz, Jesse Stein, and Kostas Ketikidis. According to the company, this investment marks one of the largest Series A rounds for a company led by a female CEO.

Founded in 2021, Everyrealm says that it has real estate holdings in 25 metaverse platforms, and that it has developed more than 100 metaverse real-estate projects. It also owns over 3,000 NFTs and manages an e-sports gaming guild.

Everyrealm’s metaverse real estate development projects include Fantasy Islands, an “ultra-luxury master-planned community” within the Sandbox platform which sold an associated NFT megayacht for 150 ETH (approximately $650,000).

The firm’s other projects include Metajuku, a shopping district in Decentraland; Realm Academy, an online educational campus in the metaverse, which is located in Somnium Space; and the GFT Shoppe, a multi-metaverse retail concept that sells NFTs “inspired by cult brands like Atari”.

“We are building the gateway to the metaverse”

According to data, sales of real estate in the metaverse topped $500 million last year and could double this year, according to investors and analytics firms.

Janine Yorio, CEO of Everyrealm, says: “Metaverse real estate development is all about placemaking.

“Everyrealm creates innovative and addictive social spaces that are futuristic and interactive like video games but still familiar to a mainstream audience, by invoking real-world architecture, culture and events.”

Yorio added: “Everyrealm is developing this interactive content across many genres, including sports, education, fashion, gaming, art and social experiences–all designed to draw users to the metaverse.

“We are also creating the infrastructure required to distribute that interactive content to a global, mainstream audience.

“We are building the gateway to the metaverse, to do for the metaverse what Coinbase did for crypto, what Netflix did for streaming entertainment, and what Google did for the internet.”

 


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Live entertainment platform Fever raises $227m

Live entertainment discovery platform Fever has raised $227 million in a funding round that values the company at more than $1 billion (€900m).

Led by Goldman Sachs, the round is said to be the largest ever for a live entertainment tech startup and attracted investors including Alignment Growth, Goodwater Capital and Smash Capital. Eurazeo and Vitruvian Partners have also participated through a secondary investment of an undisclosed amount.

Based in Madrid, Spain and New York, US, Fever is led by Spaniards Ignacio Bachiller Ströhlein, Alexandre Perez Casares, and Francisco Hein. The platform makes personalised recommendations for users to enjoy unique, in-person local experiences such as immersive exhibitions, interactive theatrical experiences and festivals. It also collaborates with event organisers to create new attractions through its Fever Originals series.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the novelty of the metaverse, there has never been a better time for thrilling and well-curated IRL events”

“We’re proud of our role in empowering experience creators to deliver memorable real-life experiences to millions around the world seeking to share unique moments,” says Fever CEO Bachiller Ströhlein. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic and the novelty of the metaverse, there has never been a better time for thrilling and well-curated IRL [in real life] events. Fever and the amazing event creators who use our platform are well-placed to meet the zeitgeist.”

Fever, whose largest market is the US, has grown its revenues 10x since its last financing round in 2019 and has expanded its international presence from three cities five years ago, to over 60 cities across Europe, America, Asia, and Oceania.

“Fever’s ability to grow revenue ten-fold in the last two years demonstrates both the strength of its team and the enduring demand for real-life experiences,” says Stephen Kerns, MD in the growth equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

“Fever’s success is underpinned by smart technology, amazing partnerships, and dedicated creators –three factors which we believe will ensure its continued growth and expansion in the future. We are thrilled to support Fever’s team in its mission of making culture and entertainment more accessible across the world.”

Upcoming Fever Orginals include its Candlelight Concert series in London, showcasing the music of Hans Zimmer (Central Hall, Westminster, Taylor Swift (Butchers Hall) and Coldplay (Southwark Cathedral).

 


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AmazeVR raises $15m for virtual reality concerts

LA-based startup AmazeVR has closed a US$15 million round of funding to support its vision for virtual reality concerts.

Funding was provided by Partners Investment, Smilegate Investment, Quantum Ventures Korea, ABC Partners, Everrich Group, and GS Futures – the corporate venture capital arm of GS Group, one of the largest Korean conglomerates.

In addition to these investors, AmazeVR has been backed by several other major investors: Timewise Investment, venture capital arm of CJ Group; LG Technology Ventures; Mirae Asset Capital; Mirae Asset Venture Investment; Murex Partners; Dunamu Partners; Base Investment; and We Ventures.

According to the company, the bridge funding was oversubscribed within three weeks. It includes $9.5m in previous bridge financing and brings the company’s total raise to $30.8m.

“This funding allows us to keep hiring aggressively,” says AmazeVR co-CEO Ernest Lee. “In 2021, we tripled our team in Hollywood and Seoul. We’ve been able to attract top talent from the industries we touch including creatives who have worked with artists such as Kanye and Cardi B; a former marketing director at Live Nation; a film buyer for Regal/Cinemark; and an AI engineer from NVIDIA.

“This puts us in an ideal position to take full advantage of VR and the metaverse’s growing popularity”

“This puts us in an ideal position to take full advantage of VR and the metaverse’s growing popularity, as we deliver breathtaking VR concerts from major artists, first to theatres, then to homes worldwide.”

AmazeVR’s first-ever VR concert tour is taking place in spring with three-time Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion, it was announced last August.

The ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience will be developed for cinemas outfitted with haptic motion chairs and VR headsets, and will also be available via a ‘music metaverse service’ using at-home VR headsets.

“You really need to experience our VR concerts to get a full grasp of how impactful they are. VR can finally blow all 2D experiences out of the water. Thanks to our tech, we can evoke a real sense of presence you can’t get from a screen, the feeling that your favorite artist is right there, face to face with you,” explains Lee.

“This opens up a new dimension for music, one of the first new ways for artists and fans to connect since recordings appeared. We’re thrilled that investors are grasping this and are supporting us as we innovate and grow.”

AmazeVR is planning to raise a Series B in early 2022.

 


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TicketSwap raises $10m in first funding round

Price-capped ‘ethical’ ticket marketplace TicketSwap has raised US$10 million in new funding from Amsterdam-based venture-capital firm Million Monkeys.

TicketSwap, also headquartered in Amsterdam, will put the money towards expanding into new countries while reinforcing its presence in existing markets, the company says. TicketSwap has ticket resale partnerships with more than 6,000 events worldwide, including DGTL (Amsterdam), Sziget (Budapest) and Hellfest (Clisson, France).

“We are delighted with our first funding in the existence of TicketSwap”, says founder and CEO Hans Ober. “Instead of having to take a step back due to Covid-19, we can now accelerate our growth.

“We are expanding to new markets and improving the quality of our service. Million Monkeys has a lot of experience in building marketplaces like ours.”

“Million Monkeys has a lot of experience in building marketplaces like ours”

The funding will also allow TicketSwap to accelerate the development of new features, continues Ober –for example, new ways to handle scarce tickets for high-demand events, to which end TicketSwap is trialling a raffle technology that would allow more people to have a chance to enter and an increased chance to get a ticket.

It is also building technology to understand fans’ needs better, allowing them to recommend personalised events. “We want TicketSwap to become more than a marketplace for tickets”, says Ober. “It will be a part of the anticipation for an event or day trip. TicketSwap will develop into an app that people like to use regularly to discover new artists and shows, not just when they are looking to buy tickets.”

Over five million fans have used TicketSwap, which caps the resale price at 20% above face value, to buy and sell spare tickets since the company’s launch in 2012.

 


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AmazeVR secures $10m for virtual reality concerts

LA-based startup AmazeVR has raised $9.5 million in new funding to accelerate the company’s growth in the world of virtual reality concerts.

The virtual reality content service specialises in ‘the highest-fidelity performances in surreal CG worlds’, which can be viewed on the AmazeVR immersive tour bus, in cinemas and via the AmazeVR app.

Last week the company announced funding from a number of global investment firms including Murex Partners, We Ventures, Bass Investment, and Dunamu & Partners. Existing investors including Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Partners Investment and Timewise Investment also participated in the funding round.

According to the company’s announcement, the funding will be used to hire additional staff as AmazeVR “rapidly scales to meet demand, secures top artists for future projects, and invests in product innovation to ensure the highest quality productions”.

“As more consumers gain access to VR technologies, there is enormous potential for immersive concerts”

According to PitchBook Data, the latest funding round brings the total amount raised by the company to just over $34m since 2015, when the company was launched by the founders and former executives of South Korean-based mobile platform company Kakao.

In 2019, the company underwent a rebrand and honed in on virtual concerts as its primary focus before partnering with hip-hop duo Ceraadi on its debut immersive concert, the following year.

Ceraadi’s debut immersive concert experience, initially scheduled for release in late 2020, has been rescheduled for later this year when it’s safe to hold an in-person launch.

The company said it plans to make upcoming shows available to more viewers through a partnership with Canadian company D-Box Technologies, which manufactures haptic motion systems used in cinemas, theme parks and simulation devices.

“As more and more consumers gain access to VR technologies — be they through headsets, theatres, or even their phones — there is enormous potential for immersive concerts,” AmazeVR co-CEO Ernest Lee said in a statement.

 


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