British unicorn Unlikely has sharpened its metaverse focus with the launch of a new think tank.
Dubbed the metaverse society, the think tank will examine the social and economic impacts of the nascent technology. Improbable told TNW it wants to develop use cases, clear up misconceptions and reduce risks associated with the metaverse.
“We want to contribute to ensure the metaverse delivers on its promise to be a meaningful network that unlocks creativity, social interaction and economic opportunity, free of gatekeepers,” said Herman Narula, founder and CEO of Improbable.
“The convergence of AI, metaverse and blockchain technologies provides a unique moment to shape a space where communities, content developers and brands can reimagine engagement, loyalty and culture. We need to bring together the key players and address the misconceptions surrounding the metaverse.”
Unlikely plans to present a detailed program of metaverse society work at the end of June.
As a kick-off, the company is bringing its own research portfolio to the think tank. This includes studies of potential metaverse sectors, a report on European regulation – and a new research note that provides clues to Improbable’s evolving strategy.
“Without blockchain-based solutions, the metaverse is not possible.
The new memo highlights the value of blockchain in making the metaverse decentralized, interoperable, and monetized.
“The metaverse will rely heavily on blockchain technology, especially in terms of economic activity…Without blockchain-based solutions, the metaverse is not possible,” the authors write..
On the blockchain
The think tank and memo were unveiled during a major strategic pivot for Improbable. The company has been developing virtual worlds for over a decade, but recently shifted to focus solely on the commercial metaverse.
As part of the shift, the Softbank-backed company has abandoned plans to build its own video games. In December, the company also shut down its US defense arm, which provided war game simulations for military forces.
The subsidiary’s former president, Caitlin Dohrman, said Unlikely had decided to do so “refocusing on its commercial reverse business” amid a need “to accelerate its path to profitability.”
Instead of in-house games and defense, Improbable now focuses on metaverse infrastructure. An important part of this effort is blockchain technology.
In September the reported the financial newspaper that Improbable was approaching a new funding round of €100 million, which would value the company at more than €3 billion. The round was led by Elrond, a blockchain company.
The pivot to a blockchain-powered metaverse aims to end Improbable’s operational losses. Narula says she expects the company to be profitable by 2023.