Gemini Space Station, LLC, founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss plan to use the $400 million they recently snagged through an investment round to build a metaverse for the $7.1 billion platform, according to a Forbes report Thursday (Nov. 18).
The Winklevoss twins are expected to hold on to 75% of their company after the investment round led by Morgan Creek Digital and with participation from ParaFi Capital and other companies, which will jolt their combined net wealth from $6 billion in April to $10 billion.
Last month, dozens of blockchain startups raised $4 billion in an effort to knock down so-called Walled Gardens with a metaverse — a virtual, hologram-filled, augmented reality-fueled version of the internet — for the masses that will take on the closed-off versions planned by Facebook and other tech giants.
“There’s these two parallel paths, in terms of technology right now,” Cameron Winklevoss told Forbes. “There’s a centralized path, like Facebook or Fortnite, that is one step away from being a metaverse, and that’s totally fine.
“But there is another path, which is the decentralized metaverse and that’s the metaverse where we believe there’s greater choice, independence and opportunity, and there is technology that protects the rights and dignity of individuals,” he said.
Morgan Creek General Partner Sachin Jaitly became the third member of the Gemini board of directors as part of the company’s $75 million investment. Other likely investors in the crypto company include rapper Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, former Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WnderCo, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, private equity firm 10T, family office advisory Newflow Partners, United Talent Agency, Jane Street, K5 Global, Pantera, VanEck and BoostVC.
Related: Metaverse: Big Tech and Wall Street Seek Real Profits in Virtual Space
A growing number of companies are rushing to find new ways to make real money hawking goods in a virtual economy through the metaverse, which is likely still years away from full realization.
In the “2022: A World Transformed” report, app analytics platform App Annie said “Play-to-earn models — games that allow players to monetize in an open economy — combined with metaverses which emphasize players’ self-expression will be the biggest drivers of mobile gaming innovation in 2022.”
Meanwhile, Entrepreneur.com reported on Monday (Nov. 15) that the metaverse could represent an $800 billion market by 2024.