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The UAE-based Extended Reality (XR) Tech startup HyperSpace raised $11M in an equity round by a strategic investor network. The SEED round was led by Introsight and Dubai Financier Mohammed Afkhami, GoPuff (US) Founder/CEOs Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, Bolur Capital, Architecture firm Farbro Group, and Scott Ross of HillPath Capital Partners.
Founded in 2020, Hyperspace is building the world’s first native Blockchain-enabled and Extended Reality (XR) physical attractions. The UAE-based startup is designing an uncharted physical front end to the metaverse through purpose-built physical environments with real-time connectivity to digital worlds and lifestyles. In doing so, HyperSpace is positioned as a first-adopter out of the region in developing technology for the metaverse, what they see as a natural progression of our digital and physical lives converging.
As startup ecosystems like the UAE, KSA, and Egypt lead MENA's Tech evolution through industries of digitization like FinTech and Transport & Logistics, Venture Spaces have been shifting to meet this strong technological drive. Over the past two years, major local players have taken a special interest and backed various AI and AR Tech ventures in MENA, including the likes of DASH Ventures (JO), AB Ventures(JO), Falak Startups (EGY), Vision Ventures (KSA), Google MENA, and WOMENA (UAE). Even though HyperSpace will be the first startup to fully take on digital integration in the physical space to create immersive metaversal realities, other MENA-based Tech startups have attempted on creating impact through augmented solutions. Saudi-based VEEM set forth to create a fully integrated, cross-platform, virtualization solution for retailers, brands, and businesses empowering them with unmatched, expansive VR, AR, and Ai Tech, earlier last year it has closed Saudi's only Series C round closed at $31M.
HyperSpace plans to open two entertainment parks in Dubai in the second half of 2022 – House of Hype in Dubai Mall across 100,000 sq. ft, and AYA at Wafi City across 40,000 sq. ft. These ticketed venues will see the developed technologies brought to life, fusing the digital and physical world to create an interactive, exploratory, and immersive physical social media arena. The parks will bring to life various "experience zones" allowing visitors to discover a variety of environments, from surrealist playgrounds and built immersive neighborhoods, to virtual production stages with holographic high-speed supercars and high-end digital fashion using innovative real-time visual effects. Alexander Heller, founder and CEO of HyperSpace, highlighted "Digital natives are continually demanding evermore immersive and real online experiences. We are answering the demand for interactive experiences by building entertainment parks, in the real world, overlaid with the latest digital technology. This funding comes at a significant time for the future of the metaverse as we find ourselves at the juncture of never-before-seen digital technology and an increasingly engaged customer-base who are already living between both these realms.”
HyperSpace's funding will support the development of the interconnected software platform and real-world locations to create a bridge to the metaverse. It comes at a time when the world's largest social media companies are investing in the space, with Facebook recently announcing its seminal rebrand to Meta. The funding will be used to develop proprietary-owned technologies that will create transparent blockchain integration, real-time asset creation, and a living augmented reality (AR) layer over physical space within an entertainment park. COO Desi Gonzalez commented “Leveraging the utility between physical and virtual worlds, HyperSpace parks are a uniquely positioned customer acquisition tool to the metaverse. We believe the future of real-world locations will have an ever-evolving and responsive augmented landscape that entertains, educates, and incentivizes audiences.” CCO Rama Allen concluded, “With over 3 billion people spending hours of their day on social media and in gaming worlds, we believe the future lies in convergence; bending our reality to meet what the future demands.”
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