[Orignally posted Feb 10, 2022]

Janine Yorio, Co-Founder and CEO of Everyrealm

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Everyrealm as they announce their $60M Series A.

Everyrealm is an investor and developer of NFT properties in the virtual world. They launched in April 2021 and built Fantasy Islands and the infamous $650k yacht in Sandbox. The team believes (as do we) that people need places to go and things to do in the metaverse, and is using their backgrounds as IRL hotel developers, gamers, and real estate investors to build this.

When I first connected with Janine Yorio, CEO of Everyrealm, I was excited by her passion and relevant background in the space. Janine covered the hotel industry in her investment banking days before running acquisitions at The Standard. She often speaks about how the people in the metaverse need places to go and things to do, and that the skillset of place-making is often missing from these virtual worlds.

Building the Metaverse

Real estate in the metaverse has been a controversial topic. Skeptics believe it will not “be a thing” as there is no inherent value. As history has shown us time and time again, inherent value doesn’t equal pricing power. Take luxury handbags or digital advertising, for example.

As a consumer investor who pays close attention to consumer behavior, I’m of the belief that the value of virtual objects and places derives from how they’re utilized, and who attaches meaning to them. Virtual space and objects in the metaverse create space for people to host and meet others remotely, a sense of status (perhaps because it’s scare or expensive), a sense of presence and community, emotional bonds and ties to aesthetic improvements made by consumers, and a location identifier of where to find people in a vast virtual world. They do this and so much more, and anyone who’s played a MMO game or tried virtual reality can see the value they provide for players.

The Everyrealm team’s unique insight about how place can influence human psychology makes them the perfect team to build this company. The team’s strategy around developing properties is to create spaces that feel special, create a sense of place, presence, and are distinctly unique.

Right time, right place

Everyrealm is also building this company at the right time and the right place. As I wrote in October 2021, “the metaverse” is seeing a huge resurgence as a term thanks in part to Facebook changing their name to Meta.

The metaverse’s resurgence is also driven by the pandemic — as we spent more time inside, hundreds of millions of us picked back up gaming and experienced new synchronous-first social platforms that became a “third place” where we could hang out, watch concerts, even date. All of this with the infusion of crypto and virtual currencies driving real-world outcomes, has made the metaverse even more real.

The metaverse is not just VR (virtual reality primarily refers to a head-mounted piece of hardware that lets you access virtual worlds with 3 to 6 degrees of freedom) and we don’t yet know if the virtual worlds we spend time in in the future will be interoperable or closed ecosystems. The metaverse is the fully realized digital world, a network of virtual worlds and economies where we spend time digitally.

The Everyrealm team takes an expansive view to the metaverse ecosystem — they see it consisting of metaverse gaming and content, mass social experiences, play-to-earn games and guilds, NFTs, and DAOs.

While we don’t know which virtual spaces will take off, Everyrealm’s metaverse-agnostic stance allows them to be flexible.

Everyrealm is also a merchant bank, holding company, incubator, and asset manager for virtual real estate. They have diversified business lines across asset management, proprietary content NFTs sales, and development in 3rd party metaverses. They are building the crypto native version of IAC and will do 8-figures of revenue in their first year of operation.

I’m excited to partner with Janine, Arianna Simpson at a16z and Nas, Paris Hilton, Gunna, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lil Baby, Randi Zuckerberg, Mark Pincus (of Zynga), Jeffrey Zirlin (of Axie Infinity), Sebastien Borget (of the Sandbox), Anthony Saleh and more, and can’t wait to see what this team builds next.

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