Dubai is seen as the main hub for blockchain and Metaverse: LandVault CEO Sam Huber

Though there is a lot of investment activity in the USA, Dubai is ahead when it comes to making it a government priority and developing a state-wide Metaverse offering, he says

By Joydeep Sen Gupta

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Published: Wed 26 Oct 2022, 12:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Oct 2022, 12:41 PM

LandVault, the largest Metaverse real estate company facilitating the entry of major brands into the Metaverse, has completed 100 million square feet of virtual real estate across platforms such as Sandbox and Decentraland.

This includes work for large brands like Mastercard, L’Oreal, Heineken, and Standard Chartered Bank, as well as native Web3.0 projects like World of Women, MAYC or AlienBoy.

LandVault has developed an estimated 10 per cent of open Metaverse completed experiences, considered as live builds with a playable experience, and has built the equivalent of 1,300 football pitches worth of virtual land and is leading the way in creating a rapidly expanding virtual world.

The company’s origin was in gaming, and it was formerly known as Admix — building technology for brands to enter games via product placements. Founded in 2018 by Sam Huber, Admix has raised $37 (Dh135.90) million from top venture capitalists (VCs) and works with over 300 top brands such as McDonalds or Calvin Klein and helps them activate their brands inside games via product placements.

Sam Huber
Sam Huber

Earlier this year, Huber decided to pivot the company from gaming into the Metaverse, acquiring a Metaverse studio and rebranding into LandVault, to provide an end-to-end solution to brands and internet protocol (IP) entering the Metaverse, from land rental to build and monetisation.

The recent merger with LandVault involved the acquisition of more than 180 staff, including over 120 specialised metaverse developers and artists, making the company the standout powerhouse in metaverse building — exemplified by this latest development milestone. LandVault is pioneering the development of an ecosystem that has the potential to generate up to $5 trillion (Dh18.37 trillion) in value by 2030, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.

The same report notes that more than $120 (Dh440.76) billion has been invested in the metaverse in the first five months of 2022, more than double the $57 billion (Dh209.36 billion) invested last year — with VC, private equity (PE), start-ups, and established brands all seeking to capitalise on the opportunity.

The report shows 59 per cent of consumers are excited about transitioning their everyday activities to the metaverse, highlighting how pivotal it is for brands to achieve their Metaverse strategy and presence in place.

Khaleej Times spoke with Huber about LandVault’s growth story.

Edited excerpts from the exclusive interview:

How is LandVault a pioneer in developing the largest Metaverse real estate company in the world? is unique in our proprietary technology to monetise experiences such as product placements or e-commerce. Overall, brands work with us because we are helping them build their business in the Metaverse — not just a marketing campaign.

How is Dubai, the UAE and five other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries tapping into this opportunity?

We have seen a huge interest from Dubai and GCC countries to create digital twins of their real estate, to enable actual utility for residents, but also a new wave of digital tourism. We are working with a local real estate company and attraction park to bring these in the Metaverse.

Who are the global brands and those from the region partnering with it?

Can’t disclose all the names, but an example is construction company Aldar, and Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Why will e-commerce be dependent on the Metaverse?

We believe that the Metaverse is the next generation of the internet — a three-dimensional (3D) immersive internet that enables much richer and interactive integrations. Over the next decade, it will attract billions of people and redefine the way we interact, shop, play and do business online. As such, a fraction of the ecommerce market will be generated in the metaverse instead of the traditional internet. Companies, shops and retailers therefore need to prepare for this and be ahead of the curve, by jumping in early to learn the ropes of this new channel.

What’s the trend in the uptick of the land prices on the Metaverse?

Land prices are mainly driven by supply and demand and speculation, but their intrinsic value is the business that you can generate on top of it. If you own land, you own the business model on top of it. More and more investors understand the value of owning a piece of the Metaverse to be able to do commerce there in the future.

What has been the global and regional trend regarding investments in the Metaverse?

There is a lot of investment activity in the USA, but Dubai is ahead when it comes to making it a government priority and developing a state-wide Metaverse offering. Dubai is seen as the main hub for blockchain and Metaverse — a great way to attract worldwide talent and ensure it remains positioned as the market leader for the next phase of the internet.

How will businesses look at the Metaverse over the next decade?

By 2030, businesses will look at the Metaverse just like they look at the internet today — a new, indispensable platform to reach their customers and grow.



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