Millions in the Metaverse
With Dean Marks, Sterling Bay, Luis Ramirez, Mawari, Paul Hsu, Decasonic, Zunaira Arshad, Drive Capital
By Alejandro Ballesteros, Venture Investor, Decasonic
Dean Marks works as managing principal of Sterling Bay. In his thirteen years at Sterling Bay, Dean has overseen all legal aspects of their business, including acquisition and disposition transactions and lease negotiations. One of Dean’s biggest successes includes the assemblage and execution of the transformational Lincoln Yards project and the acquisition and development of more than 20 properties in Fulton Market between 2013-2014. Prior to joining Sterling Bay in 2009, Dean worked in private practice as a commercial real estate attorney at Greenberg Traurig LLP and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons US LLP).
Luis Ramirez is Founder & CEO of Mawari. Luis’s main focus is to democratize the creation and distribution of XR Content. He is a pioneer in cloud rendering and streaming technology for interactive XR experiences. Prior to Mawari, he spearheaded and co-founded the Japanese version of MUTEK, a world-renowned festival dedicated to the dissemination and development of digital creativity in sound, music, and audio-visual art. He also served as a Global Head of Marketing at MUSIC Tribe, one of the world's largest holding companies for pro audio and musical instruments.
Zunaira Arshad is a partner at Drive Capital. Zunaira specializes in seed to pre-IPO investing. After her education at Yale, Zunaira worked in product and content for two years at ConsenSys, a company developing GTM strategies and content/brand identity for projects across various verticals including finance, healthcare, government, education, and real estate. Zunaira has also been an investor in Kyro Digital Corp. for 7 months.
Paul Hsu is Founder and CEO of Decasonic, the venture and digital assets fund building blockchain innovation. As a tech investor and operator, Paul partners with outlier founders to accelerate product market fit and systematically scale early stage companies. Paul has been a blockchain investor since 2013 and previously an executive with Zynga. Paul is a speaker, writer and media commentator on web3 topics, with his perspectives appearing in broadcast outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Coindesk, Forbes, Bloomberg TV and Yahoo! Finance TV.
Paul kicked off the panel with an overview of the current state of the metaverse. Facebook was renamed to Meta, Mckinsey estimated $120 billion of investment going into big companies, $10-20 billion of venture also went to small companies. The Metaverse is the unifying layer of the next generation of internet; immersive internet with meaningful interactions.
Dean shared that modern computing has helped a lot in real estate marketing and selling because visualization is getting significantly easier. Zunaira believes that the metaverse will have huge use cases in the work place model. The metaverse can simulate the physical space in the virtual world, such that in the future we can still reap the benefits of being able to work in person while working remotely. We will be able to ask questions and receive feedback real-time remotely. Luis gave examples in healthcare and health tech that enable real-time rendering of MRI exams for diagnosis through the use of smart glasses. Entertainment use cases are also incredibly broad and will change the way people communicate, work and interact. The buying and selling experience is a huge opportunity to discover in the metaverse because current online commerce is not satisfying, especially when it comes to items with different sizes and types that people need to try on.
Metaverse has the potential to disrupt the mainstream with its capabilities in a whole virtual world, but it does have many requirements to achieve. Let’s look at some of the. A big problem of Metaverse is that we don’t have enough computing and networking power. Luis suggested that we can divide the problem and conquer them one-by-one: if we need faster network, we switch to 5G. If 5G is too short-range, we build 5G stations inside our projects. “The Holy Grail is the interoperability of 3D data”, Luis shared, interoperability is the key entry to the open metaverse, which is the ability to transfer assets and information among different metaverses. For entertainment aspect, Luis shared his advice: When designing applications, understanding the computing ability is as important as understanding the human behavior. Dean furthered the communication to assure us that many use cases do not require brand-new ground-up construction, we can use thoughtful design to build products that are compatible with the current state of technology.
Educational technology and medical technology are what investors like Zunaira is seeking for in the metaverse. She thinks work the most closely with Medtech since she was in Syria and discovered a huge opportunity for medtech metaverse applications such as augmented surgeries. Luis added that healthcare technology and more industrial types of use cases are the lowest hanging fruit for adoption because they're already providing value. Luis stated that there are many things that we never thought of, unexpected use cases will soon be discovered. He gave a very solid example of Twitch. Before Twitch, no one knew about game-streaming, but Twitch changed and created an entirely new industry: e-sports. New use cases will continually be developed and will eventually transformed our habits and society for the better.
At Decasonic, we believe in innovation for the better. We see the metaverse experience lifting living standards for billions of people. The open metaverse has the potential to improve billions of lives, which is why we partner with companies to build these innovations.