- AR/VR + Metaverse/NFT Battle became the fifth in the Unicorn Battles Q1 2023 series
- A whole 12 startups competed for the winner’s title and the chance to go to Unicorn Cup Finals Q1 2023
- Mexican Expediente Azul won decisively
February 9th marked the 5th Battle in the Unicorn Battles Q1 2023 series. The AR/VR+Metaverse/NFT Battle followed the Robotics & Hardware Battle, the eCommerce & Logistics Battle, the Software & Services Battle, and the HealthTech & BioTech Battle. And the fifth participant of the Unicorn CUP Finals Q1 2023 (that will take place on March 16th), was determined.
Unicorn Events’ CEO Anna Fedorova, the Battles’ regular host, was joined by the event management specialist Lidiia Mitina. They began by announcing the sponsors – Network.VC, Silicon Valley Syndicate Club, and Startup Inc., they quickly moved on to introducing the judges:
Those who follow Unicorn Events could notice all the familiar faces in the Judges Board:
- Alexander Soroka, CEO at Network.VC
- Gabriel Žanko, venture partner at Urano Capital (Colombia)
- Aldo Schenone, founder and CEO at Palgo Peru (Peru)
- Gaurav Shah, managing partner at Arete Ventures (India)
- Nikhil Choudhary, founding partner at Nirman Ventures, (The USA)
- Kay Gruenwoldt, investor at Midgame Fund (The Netherlands)
- John Kojiro Moriwaka, director of Startup Grind Fukuoka (Japan)
Not to waste any time, the voting started together with the pitches themselves, and after the pitches were through, it took only a few minutes before Ms Fedorova could announce the winner – Aradena. Union Avatars and Virtway came close but had to share the silver and the bronze. Here is how they pitched.
Jose Antonio Tejedor García, the Spanish startup’s co-founder and CEO, claimed that his company began to build a metaverse around their technology long before Zuckerberg even began to think about it. Virtway has already broken even and boasts about 450+ customers and 700,000 downloads in 28 countries.
Essentially, Virtway is a metaverse technology for mobile devices. The array of use cases is broad – from meetings and entertainment to training, onboarding, and exhibitions. The list is growing as companies realize that the metaverse has more value than they thought.
Virtway’s excessive experience in the market allows the company such advantages as broader functionality, wider user capacity, and cost efficiency. The startup’s reason for further fundraising is to accelerate the scaling.
This Spanish startup aims at helping users access metaverses through avatars and power web2-web3 interoperability through web identities. Putting it simply, with Union Avatars, users don’t have to rebuild their identity anew each time they want to access a new world.
As the company’s CEO Cai Felip pointed out, the lack of interoperability is too time-consuming and creates a lot of pain for the developer. Union Avatars – instead – offers an intuitive AI-powered avatar generator. Naturally, Union Avatars also has its own marketplace for trading digital assets.
Aradena is actually the first product of Litoja Labs (the latter being the company name). Liam Bacon, the co-founder and CEO, began by sharing the ambition of revolutionizing the way people interact online whilst onboarding millions of users through web3. Gaming is the primary focus with adjacent markets to follow in the near future.
According to Mr Bacon, mass adoption of web3 gaming hasn’t taken palace yet due to three reasons:
- Lack of quality gameplay
- Poor implementation of web3 technology
- Troublesome onboarding
Aradena is a PVP game inspired by TCGs and hex battles. The game’s main value proposition is a whole new gaming experience that doesn’t exist in web2 gaming. Specifically, it gives the value back to players who are now able to actually trade their cards. In terms of onboarding, the entry model is freemium: users don’t need to buy an asset or own a crypto wallet to start playing. This is how the company plans to bring traditional gamers into the sector.
Other esteemed participants were:
- Ailand – a Portuguese decentralized platform for creating and selling games and virtual items
- 3Blocks – an American DeFi marketplace for tokenized real estate
- XSight – an Australian AR adventures platform
- metalistings.xyz – a Canadian social web3 marketplace
- Gaize – a US-based developer of VR headsets for detecting cannabis empairment
- Gabb Global – an American VR-based language learning platform
- Walker Industries – an American manufacturer of stand-alone VR headsets
You are welcome to view the AR/VR & Metaverse/NFT Unicorn Battle in full here.
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!