SoftBank and Herman invest $150m in Improbable and the metaverse
Improbable, a UK-based metaverse technology company, has raised US$150m to build M² (MSquared), a network of interoperable Web3 metaverses.
The company has secured its funding from a consortium of investors, both private and public, which includes Andreessen Horowitz, SoftBank Investment Advisers, Mirana Ventures, Digital Currency Group, CMT Digital, Morgan Creek Capital, Ethereal Ventures, AllianceDAO and Nexo.
“I believe the metaverse and Web3 movement, though very early, represent a once-in-a-generation redefinition of our society towards a ‘fulfilment economy’ where experiences made by an open network of creators and businesses can create enormous opportunity for everyone," said Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable.
"M² is our contribution to establishing this future and we hope to help our partners catalyse an open metaverse with many participants and success stories.”
Powered by Improbable's Morpheus technology, the M² network will feature new services that support interoperability, commerce in digital assets and governance in Web3. It has been designed to support integration with existing worlds as well as new projects across various communities including sports, music, fashion and entertainment.
"Giving people the tools to design their own metaverses at the scale that Improbable enables, with web3 interoperability and composability to expand on each other’s creations, will result in some truly ground-breaking virtual experiences,” said Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
“We are long-term backers of Improbable, and under Herman’s leadership, the team is making their lofty visions a reality.”
To date, Improbable provides multiplayer services to over 60 global publishers and through its large-scale simulation platform supports the UK government defence mission. In addition, its Morpheus technology supports over 10,000 players and processes over 350 million communication operations per second.
“We believe the core technology that Improbable has developed enables social experiences unrivalled in scale, resolution and fidelity for thousands of concurrent users,” said Antoine Theysset, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
“The emerging metaverse presents an opportunity for Improbable and its partners to collectively build a leading, decentralised network to bring creators and fans closer together, and reward each other with tokens for their contributions."
According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse is expected to be worth $800 billion by 2024. But the technology of today cannot support the massive numbers of people or rich interactivity required to deliver the metaverse, or according to Improbable are closed platforms unable to provide the level of sophisticated interoperability and shared governance required to build investable virtual economies.
"As major supporters of BitDAO, we are excited to support the Improbable team — and by extension all future players that will come to rely on Improbable's technology — in the years to come,” added Chris Kurdziel and Jon Allen at Mirana Ventures.
“Improbable's technology can improve the number of concurrent users and in-world complexity of the metaverse by orders of magnitude," said Matt Beck, director of investments, Digital Currency Group.
“As the metaverse continues to evolve, we believe Improbable's technology will be a core infrastructural component that redefines the way users will interact in this rapidly growing space," said Charlie Sandor, investor at CMT Digital.
"We are confident Improbable will help companies build and connect exciting virtual worlds and enable meaningful virtual experiences,” commented Sachin Jaitly, general partner at Morgan Creek Capital.
“Having developed the IP for creating game-changing tech for realising virtual worlds, Improbable is one of a small handful of players globally who can provide backbone infrastructure of the metaverse," said Min Teo, managing director of Ethereal Ventures.
"M²’s technology enables developers to build and scale composable metaverses, solving a core need for our founders within the Alliance accelerator," said Imran Khan, contributor at AllianceDAO.
"Through our partnership with Improbable, we aim to continue disrupting the traditional customer facing model and aspire to position Nexo as the prime digital bank across interoperable metaverses," added Tatiana Metodieva, head of corporate finance and investments at Nexo
Other investors supporting M² include Nexo Ventures, Saranac Partners, a private office for entrepreneurs and family capital, Round13 DAF, Zinal Growth, the tech investment vehicle of Guillaume Pousaz and David E. Rutter.