In each edition of Business Leader magazine, we profile the top 32 companies in a specific sector. For our latest Top 32 list, we profiled the top companies that create technologies for use in the metaverse, the universal and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.
How were the Top 32 chosen?
We asked our readership to suggest companies that deserve to have the spotlight shined on them for their impressive exploits in the metaverse.
This list is in no particular order.
Voxels is a user-owned virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain that supports VR experiences and PC use. Players can build real estate and put it up for sale, including empty land parcels, prefabricated buildings, and art galleries, whilst there is a large marketplace for buying and selling digital collectables, such as NFTs, which range from wearables and gaming props to artwork and apparel.
Global professional services firm Accenture serves clients in more than 40 industries and 120 countries. It also operates its own metaverse, known as the Nth floor, where the company’s 699,000 employees can take part in new hire orientation and immersive learning, or meet and socialize with one another. They are expecting 150,000 or more new hires will work in the metaverse on their first day. Through its investment platform, Accenture Ventures, the company has also recently invested in the enterprise VR training platform Strivr.
Emperia develops immersive virtual stores and galleries for the fashion, retail and art sectors, boosting sales, customer engagement and brand perception. Consisting of a team of 3D environment engineers and technical artists along with fashion and art industry veterans and branding experts, the Emperia platform enables luxury brands like Burberry, Dior and Lacoste to express and display their collections in more bespoke, engaging and unique ways in the digital realm.
Bristol-based Condense is bringing real-world live events to the metaverse, providing the tools to allow artists to stream live performances into virtual events. Founded in 2019 and backed by one of Europe’s top Seed Funds, Condense has raised £870k over two funding rounds.
Their deep-tech solution captures live performances as 3D models and then streams them into game engines in real time. Their cloud platform then ensures the performances can seamlessly reach a global audience.
Qasim Tabrez, Bilal Khan and Rashid Ali
Exarta is a place where the real and virtual worlds meet. Its users can experience social interaction with gamification, retail commerce, and the ability to create unique buildings as NFTs, education facilities and medical applications, all of which are powered by their own proprietary AI/machine-learning engine and blockchain. Exarta intends to build a truly unique experience that will take their Web3 metaverse to the next level, with their Unreal Engine with high-definition graphics and huge incentives for users and merchants.
One of the first companies to come out with a viable proof-of-concept for the metaverse, Decentraland is a 3D virtual world browser-based platform that houses an official Barbadian embassy and a new Samsung mini-city. Developed by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano, users can buy virtual plots of land in the decentralised platform as NFTs via the platform’s own cryptocurrency, MANA.
Its metaverse platform went public in 2020 and allows users to create content, interact with one another, and earn money, primarily through NFTs, VR real estate, and other digital assets.
Cudos is powering the metaverse, bringing together De-Fi, nonfungible tokens and gaming experiences to help realise the vision of a decentralised Web3. Some of the major criticisms of Web3 include its reliance on centralised entities for compute capability and storage and the insecurity and unreliability of centralised hubs, but Cudos aims to solve these issues by distributing computing resources that blockchains can reliably leverage to supplement on-chain transactions.
Formerly known as Facebook Inc., the company announced its intentions to develop a metaverse platform based on its existing Oculus products when it rebranded to Meta Platforms in October 2021.
Although they are yet to launch a fully viable, consumer-facing version of the metaverse, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta had spent an estimated $10bn on the metaverse in 2021. They also launched the first official app for the metaverse, Horizon Worlds, last year and have also released their Presence Platform, which allows for the designing of naturalised immersive experiences.
Sébastien Borget & Arthur Madrid
The Sandbox is a decentralised, community-driven gaming ecosystem where creators can share and monetise voxel assets and gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s one of the largest independent user-generated content and gaming platforms, with 40 million downloads and over one million monthly active users. The platform also has an impressive list of clients, including Gucci, who have opened a VR store on their metaverse platform, and Ubisoft, who have added elements from gaming franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia into The Sandbox.
Eyeora is a technology company that is redefining how Virtual Reality content is created, shared, experienced and monetised. Its turnkey studio provides entertainers, athletes, brands, rights holders, influencers, businesses and educators with all the tools they need to create, share and monetise content quickly, easily and cost-efficiently, with no technical skills needed. Thus, making it cheaper and easier to create and share VR content in the metaverse.
Blueberry empowers self-expression through digital fashion in the metaverse. The digital fashion label has sold more than 20 million digital wearables, amassed a library of more than 10,000 digital SKUs optimised for hundreds of design attributes, and scaled an engaged community of loyal customers. Boasting an all-female senior leadership team, Blueberry is live on multiple metaverse platforms and is currently expanding to other Web2 and Web3 metaverses.
AFEN is a cutting-edge NFT project dedicated to the development of user-friendly blockchain solutions in real estate and education, arts & entertainment, and decentralised finance. The AFEN ecosystem is multi-chain and powered by the $AFEN token. It allows users to mint, buy and sell NFTs, including virtual real estate, and access blockchain courses and resources. In 2022, the company raised $1m to pursue its goal of using blockchain technology to open up aspects of the African economy.
11:11 Media is a global media content company and platform that elevates creators, brands, and IP through the power of storytelling and thought-provoking content.
Founded by Paris Hilton, who Forbes has dubbed ‘Queen of the metaverse’, Hilton’s media company launched Paris World; a virtual island complete with a replica of Hilton’s Beverly Hills mansion, in the online game platform Roblox at the end of 2021. Hilton has also previously designed and sold unique art NFTs, generating more than $1m in sales.
disguise is the platform to imagine, create and deliver spectacular visual experiences. Its extended reality solution has powered over 400 immersive real-time productions across live entertainment for music artists such as Katy Perry and Billie Eilish, film and episodic TV productions for Netflix and Amazon Prime, corporate presentations for Siemens and Verizon, and live broadcast programmes from Eurosport, MTV and ITV, in more than 40 countries.
With an ever-increasing global partner network and working alongside talented visual designers and technical teams in live events, TV broadcasts, films, concert touring, theatre, fixed installations and corporate and entertainment events, disguise is building the next generation of collaborative tools to help artists and technologists realise their vision.
Andy Sands & Shay O’Carroll
PixelMax creates bespoke 3D virtual workplaces that combine the power of human connection and seamless integration to transform hybrid working. Their workspaces are designed to promote engagement and well-being, and features include personalised and interactive avatars, V-commerce, wellness areas and third-party integrations. PixelMax also provides virtual events, digital twinning and product or process simulation.
Since being founded in 2011, top mobile app development company Hyperlink Infosystem has developed more than 4,000 apps, designed more than 2,000 websites, and worked on more than 400 projects featuring the latest technologies. In addition to the metaverse, the company works on AI, IoT, Blockchain, AR and VR. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, India, Hyperlink Infosystem has more than 700 highly skilled developers working on its projects and has offices in the USA, UK, Canada, France, UAE, and Australia.
Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. The platform has evolved to offer its users virtual experiences, which even include a metaverse game that was launched in partnership with the NFL ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl.
Free-to-use and with millions of users located around the world, Roblox experienced exponential growth during the pandemic. Its wide range of VR experiences covers a range of genres, including anime, horror, roleplay, action, and real-life simulations.
CEEK is an award-winning developer of premium social virtual and augmented reality experiences. The platform directly connects music artists and other premium content creators to their fans through VR concerts, NFTs and unique experiences in virtual worlds. Users of CEEK’s immersive virtual platform can join friends, watch 3D movies, get close to their favourite bands, and enjoy live concerts, festivals, and more.
Somnium Space is an open, social and persistent virtual reality platform powered by blockchain. Featuring its own economy and currency, Somnium Space offers a marketplace, games and social experiences, and allows for virtual ownership of land, goods, avatars and items.
Fully accessible from any device, this unlimited scalable world boasts of partnerships with Admix, Sony, Polygon, OpenSea, and the Blockchain Gaming Alliance to help create a truly decentralised metaverse platform.
US software giant Autodesk has technology spanning architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media, and entertainment, empowering innovators everywhere to solve challenges big and small. The company has over 100 million people using its extensive range of software, which includes visual effects, virtual reality and generative design software that developers and creatives can use to create virtual worlds and assets, including NFTs.
The parent company of Tinder and Match.com, the Match Group announced at the beginning of 2022 that they were planning to take dating into the virtual space. The company sees the metaverse as an opportunity to fulfil its mission of helping people make “meaningful connections”, and they plan to create virtual rooms where people with shared interests can strike up a conversation with other avatars, check out the full profiles of other daters and send messages to them.
Although Com Laude is primarily famous for corporate domain name management, they are also a key advisor in acquiring blockchain domains. Blockchain domains are essentially the way that metaverse and Web3 content are located on the internet, and they operate separately to how regular web domains do.
Securing blockchain domains is important for brands looking to get involved in the metaverse and Web3, and Com Laude is trusted by many legal and business professionals to keep their brands and intellectual property safe in the blockchain domain name system.
Informed by the core principles of musical composition, DAACI is a fully formed AI system that composes, arranges, orchestrates and produces the highest-quality original music. DAACI is set to power music creativity for the next generation of composers and content creators, forming a central part of game production, the metaverse and play-to-earn business models by providing the next step in the evolution of music creation.
SportsIcon is the company behind The Sports Metaverse, the world’s first virtual world specifically focused on sports. Built on the Flow and Ethereum blockchains, the platform aims to bring together the biggest sports stars, brands and clubs in one space, and enables users to watch live sports, acquire NFTs, play mini-games and take part in various fan experiences.
UFC icon Amanda Nunes has already signed a partnership with the platform to offer personal training in her Metaverse gym, and former Premier League footballer Shaun Wright-Phillips has purchased land.
Enterprise metaverse platform Spinview creates accurate volumetric digital twins of buildings and infrastructure to deliver insights on the health and structure of any building or space. Combining IoT, Building Information Modelling, scanning and advanced visualisation, they process this data into one simple-to-use visual model of the asset, whilst their AI translates and automates it into usable information for all the employees in a business.
Ivan Soto-Wright & Victor Faramond
MoonPay is a financial technology company that builds payment infrastructure for crypto. The platform is active in more than 160 countries and trusted by more than 300 leading wallets, websites, and applications to accept payments and defeat fraud.
Recently, MoonPay introduced HyperMint, a robust and flexible interface that allows users to mint, manage, and distribute NFTs at scale. The unified Web3 infrastructure effectively removes the barriers to entry for anyone who wants to tokenise their IP.
OnePlan is the event site and venue planning platform responsible for the creation of Venue Twin, the platform that creates hyper-realistic digital twins of major venues that can be used for operational planning of those actual stadiums and to unlock new commercial opportunities. The Venue Twin becomes the officially owned metaverse asset and can be licensed for use in any metaverse environment.
Venue Twin has already announced partnerships with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the professional basketball team the LA Clippers.
Founded in 2009, Sociallybuzz is the company behind MetAiBlock, the first marketing agency to use the metaverse, AI, NFTs and blockchain for the franchise industry. Launched in 2022, MetAiBlock helps franchises build, market, monetise and connect their brand to audiences across the metaverse, enabling them to have a stronger presence in the global market and give their customers a more immersive experience with the brands they love.
Another massive company moving into the virtual world, Amazon began incorporating metaverse technology into its digital marketplace after the creation of its Amazon AR View tool. Essentially, it facilitates the process of viewing products in your home before buying them to get a better idea of how something will match in your pre-existing space. Every product supported by Amazon AR View is sized and rendered to scale, allowing shoppers to know exactly how large an item is.
Bloktopia is a virtual skyscraper that consists of 21 levels to pay recognition to the 21 million Bitcoin. Users of its metaverse platform can not only own cryptocurrency but can also access crypto information and content, whilst Bloktopians can earn money through VR advertising, gaming, and real estate ownership. In addition to having its own cryptocurrency, Blok, there is also a networking space called Blokpad, which is a launchpad for new metaverse users and investors.
Founded in June 2016, STEMuli is an educational metaverse that connects companies to their future workforce and students from diverse and economically challenged households to a digital world of opportunities. STEMuli has created a 3D game-based platform that connects high school students and corporations via virtual mentorships, internships, scholarships and job opportunities. They originally launched the platform in schools around Dallas, Texas, but after a recent $3.25m funding round, they plan to expand to other major US cities.
Microsoft, arguably the world’s most iconic tech giant, has made sizable moves into the metaverse with the launch of Microsoft Mesh, the mixed-reality space that allows people to engage with one another and collaborate on persistent 3D content. The US tech giant has also introduced an augmented reality headset and platform, known as the HoloLens, which has helped companies operating in a wide range of sectors, from manufacturing, engineering and construction to healthcare and education, to boost their productivity with the power of mixed-reality technology.
Snobal is a technology company with a foundational enterprise metaverse platform that enables organisations to meet, discuss, collaborate, train and scale their VR apps and experiences with ease. Founded in 2014 by Ann Nolan and Murray James, the Melbourne-headquartered firm’s customers include some of the world’s leading companies across a diverse range of sectors. They also recently announced plans for a listing on the Canadian Neo Exchange.
PIXELYNX was created by veterans and music visionaries including deadmau5, Richie Hawtin, Seven20 and Graphite Media. Based in London and Los Angeles, the company is focused on building a music metaverse that will transform the way artists connect and engage with their fans through gaming experiences. Focussed on blurring the lines between music, blockchain and gaming, its debut mobile game, ELYNXIR, will be out later this year.