Viewpoints: September 2022 wrap-up

Welcome to this month’s curated digest of viewpoints, news, and investment activity covering the Metaverse, XR, and Spatial Computing - brought to you by FOV Ventures. We're always on the lookout for fellow investors and founders, so if you find the digest useful, please forward us along!

Are you heading to AWE in Lisbon? Make sure to hit us up, as we do a panel on the show floor. If you are coming, please reply to this email and let's chat.

Dave Haynes & Petri Rajahalme (FOV Ventures)

In this edition:

  • News from FOV Ventures

  • Industry analysis

  • What we enjoyed reading

  • Datapoints

News from FOV Ventures

We were busy travelling across Europe in September. Highlights included several days on the Immersive Island at Venice Film Festival, where virtual reality and the Metaverse (via VRChat) took centre stage, as well as a great investor panel at the new Immersive Global Summit in Madeira.

But what is the state of funding Metaverse companies in Europe? We spoke to The Next Web, who explored the topic in great detail. Our point boils down to talent retention within an early-stage company and beyond.

“We’re not lacking in talent, that’s for sure,” we said. “If you look at historical M&A, a lot of the companies that US [businesses] have snagged up are talent coming from Europe… The big question is how do you keep that talent in Europe?”

As a fund, we're now up to 6 investments since launching in March. That's an average of one new startup every month. Those companies will be announcing during the next quarter, so watch this space!

Industry analysis

Welcome to the 'enterprise metaverse'

The 'enterprise metaverse' remains a strong area of growth. PwC estimates that VR training will contribute $294bn to the global economy by 2030. Businesses are implementing various solutions to create digital replicas of the world, from creating digital twins to constructing virtual worlds.

Enter Lenovo and Magic Leap 2, both stepping into the following stages of their enterprise metaverse plans. Lenovo unveiled the ThinkReality VRX, an all-in-one headset with end-to-end solutions for businesses deploying immersive works. Meanwhile, Magic Leap 2 was released in the US, with a lighter frame and wider FOV. Both tap into a lucrative and consistently-growing market that will likely remain strong through 2023.

Pico unveil their new VR headset

Stepping away from the enterprise metaverse, the consumer world is getting a range. Pico launched the Pico 4, a dinky and powerful headset with bold promises for growth in Europe and Asia (but not the US). In a price-competitive market, Pico 4 offers a compelling proposition for new and interested shoppers compared to the Quest 2 - and competition should remain strong on the hardware side.

Consumers get more options, too. More open platforms, like SideQuest, saw a fresh injection of $12m to help them grow. Developers have more options than ever to reach their customers, as more flood into the space.

What we enjoyed reading

  • Adweek's Metaverse Marketing. Cathy Hackl returns with season two of the podcast series. Following a successful first season, Cathy works with a leading marketing publication to explore how marketers can explore the role of spatial computing.

  • Niantic's John Hanke on the metaverse. Niantic has been focusing on a 'real-world' vision of the metaverse, which he explores in great detail via an interview with the Financial Times. An insightful piece outlines Niantic's views of the metaverse, contrasted with other companies in the same industry.

  • Vogue and the fashion metaverse. Conde Nast has grappled with the metaverse's role in fashion for some time, and the company explored it further via the launch of the Meta-Ocean. Fashion remains a vibrant and lucrative area; Vogue used its project as a platform to explore the broader industry impact.


That’s all for now. Have a great October, and as always, please do send us your feedback, comments, or any interesting new startups you know of in this space!

Dave Haynes & Petri Rajahalme (FOV Ventures)