Eikonikos, a Dubai-based metaverse start-up, raised $2 million in pre-seed funding from angel investors as it seeks to expand its ecosystem and attract more users into the emerging digital realm.
The money will be used to issue new digital assets, market the brand and pursue its global expansion to become a “preferred choice for digital currencies and trading in the metaverse”, the start-up said on Thursday.
About dozen investors, including blockchain players, participated in the funding round.
“We believe we are unique and we have already begun to demonstrate that through our execution — the quality of our design, experience, platform design and so on,” said founder and chief executive Mohamed Vasif.
The metaverse is the new digital space that allows those in it to communicate and move using three-dimensional avatars or digital representations.
The global metaverse industry was valued at $47.69 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 43.3 per cent to hit $828.95bn in 2028, according to Emergen Research.
It is also slowly registering a growth in demand for jobs in a sign of its imminent integration with the future digital economy. About 23 per cent of the jobs that will be made available on the market in 2022 will be new to society, global consultancy McKinsey said.
Organisations have an opportunity to expand their business models in new ways by moving from a digital to a metaverse business, research company Gartner said last month. About 30 per cent of them will have products and services ready by 2026, it said.
The announcement by Eikonikos comes after the government of Dubai adopted a new law last week regulating virtual assets, joining other global economic centres in placing the nascent market under their purview.
Eikonikos is currently in the process of issuing digital assets for investment as it prepares for its commercial launch in May.
It aims to build a dedicated a crypto-native audience that would patronise its non-fungible token designs, said Vineeth, the company's chief marketing officer and co-founder.
“We are very determined to create a platform that directly competes and rivals metaverse giants like Decentraland and Sandbox. We will be able to interact with other metaverse economies in the future,” he said.