The Next Earth metaverse platform has created a replica of the earth with about 5 trillion tiles and minted non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to let users buy pieces of that virtual land.
The project also started a formal business to offer metaverse-as-a-service and launched a $60 million venture fund to build the digital globe.
Since its launch last July, Next Earth said it has attracted more than 230,000 registered users, 45,000 landowners and over $10 million in revenue.
By comparison, The Sandbox, a metaverse platform that is owned by venture capital and gaming software firm Animoca Brands, hit 2 million registered users last month.
With a fresh development push, Next Earth represents one of several novel approaches to capitalizing on metaverse mania.
Limitless will have two arms: Limitless Capital, a venture fund that plans to raise $60 million to invest in startups interested in joining Next Earth, and Limitless Network, which will launch an application programming interface (API) in the coming months to help projects join Next Earth.
Limitless could also offer its back-end metaverse technology to large companies looking to build independent metaverses.
“I think that most metaverse [projects] are just trying to recreate Second Life,” Limitless co-CEO David Taylor told CoinDesk in an interview, referring to a popular metaverse game in the 2000s. “Instead of doing that, we’re going to create a middleware layer for the metaverse. Through our API connections, any business small or large can connect to Next Earth.”
Taylor will share the reins as Limitless CEO with Mike Vitez, who also serves as IT director for Next Earth.
Next Earth released its own utility token, NXTT, at the end of January, which now has a self-reported market cap of $181 million, according to CoinMarketCap. The token and NFT capital could self-fund the $60 million venture capital fund, said Taylor, who served as Next Earth’s token architect. Next Earth, however, would rather build out its network through outside investors.
“If we are to believe that the metaverse is an industry that is currently being born … then we need to enable network effects through a bunch of investors into our ecosystem,” Taylor said.
Limitless is assembling the management team for the venture fund with plans to launch the vehicle by September.
He said Limitless is also forming an idea for a future $200 million NXTT token fund to back companies that want to join Next Earth without having their own tokens. The idea is the companies could launch using the native token and the fund would match those earnings.
“We see that the big battle of the market is not between us and The Sandbox or Decentraland. The big battle is between Web 2 and Web 3,” Taylor said, adding:
UPDATE (April 21, 14:33 UTC): Changes headline, adds clarity throughout.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.