Highstreet Raises $5m to Expand Unity Team

The Upcoming Metaverse Firm Is Set to Build 'Sustainable' Virtual Marketplaces

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Published: August 19, 2021

Demond Cureton

Metaverse eCommerce platform Highstreet has raised $5 million in funding to expand its engineering team, it announced on Wednesday.

The decentralised finance (DeFi) marketplace raised capital with crypto and venture capital firms Mechanism Capital, Palm Drive Capital, NGC Ventures, Cherubic Ventures, GBV, Panony, Shima Capital, and Jump Trading.

Influencer firms Miss Bitcoin, Encrypt Club, and Mr Block also joined the fundraiser.

Highstreet aims to use the funds to mainly expand its Unity engineering team and build a sustainable Metaverse for commerce backed by the blockchain. The company also plans to release companion apps for mobile phones and browsers for ubiquitous access to the Metaverse.

The Metaverse firm’s Highstreet World will feature numerous islands to explore, residential areas, and ‘phygital’ products purchasable as nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

Phygital products are digital assets linked to physical products, which users can buy on NFT markets.

StreetSmart, a bonding curves feature on Highstreet Market, will ensures liquidity for buyers via a smart contract vault. All products are tokenised with ERC-20 tokens to verify purchases originate from real merchants and collectors, and the platform has received help from tech giants HTC and others.

Highstreet bought subsidiary companies LumiereVR and Retinad Analytics in 2018, with the former providing mixed reality (MR) technologies for brands and the latter eye-tracking consumer insights.

Travis Wu, Chief Executive of Highstreet, said in a statement:

“Many believed e-commerce was the dusk of extravagant brand activations and storefronts. However, the excitement of shopping lives on in the metaverse. In a virtual world, brand expression is limitless. The ultimate retail experience will debut soon on Highstreet”

Andrew Kang, Managing Partner at Mechanism Capital said consumers have show a rising interest in digitally native goods, but brands have not tapped into the potential, adding Highstreet could boost such interest with NFTs. “Highstreet offers the potential for retail brands to generate interest among its customers innovatively through NFTs.”

Mai Fukimoto, or Miss Bitcoin, added:

“The fact that NFTs and the metaverse are the keys to the Fourth Industrial Revolution is now being taken for granted […] NFTs and the metaverse are elements complementing each other and we believe that Highstreet, which fuses both, will set a new standard”

Highstreet, founded in 2015 by Jenny Guo and Travis Wu, is available on browsers and native PC-based VR devices, and aims to join reality and the digital world as well as reshape global marketplaces.

The announcement comes amid a global ‘virtual space race’ to develop and design the Metaverse, namely amid a surge of growing interest from firms such as Facebook, Nextech, AMAXG, and Boson Protocol.

South Korean firm AMAXG confirmed this week it would launch its ‘BIZA-Metaversity’ in late August for users to access eLearning platforms backed by blockchain, NFTs and artificial intelligence.

London’s Boson Protocol also announced the launch of its Portal virtual space, which would be the world’s first “virtual lifestyle and commerce playground” for markets, event spaces, and boutiques.

Vancouver, Canada-based AR firm Nextech acquired British spatial computing company ARway to build its Metaverse marketing capabilities, namely in AI-backed location mapping. Nextech’s HoloX content creation platform also aims to host digital creators on an NFT market with a massive global reach.



eCommerceImmersive ExperienceMetaverseRetail

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