PRESS RELEASE — Lighthouse Labs , the company building the open metaverse navigation engine, today announces that it has raised a $7 million seed round co-led by Accel, BlockTower and Animoca Brands. The round includes participation from White Star Capital, Sparkle Ventures, Gemini Frontier Fund, The Graph core developers StreamingFast, Tiny VC and angels including Patricio Worthalter (founder, POAP), Ryan Selkis (founder, Messari), Alex Svanevik (founder, Nansen), Thibault Launay (founder, Exclusible) and other high profile Web3 investors.
On the back of a year that saw virtual worlds like The Sandbox, Decentraland and Otherside sell hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of land and attract names such as Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and Snoop Dogg, the metaverse has rapidly captured public interest. Many new worlds have emerged to empower creators and capitalize on a market opportunity estimated at US$680 billion by 2030 (Grand View Research). The ecosystem’s rapidly growing level of fragmentation is making discovery an increasingly daunting experience for users and creators, who are now left wondering which world to explore and build experiences into.
Founded by Jonathan Brun and Justine Massicotte, Lighthouse seeks to solve this problem by simplifying discovery and mobility across the spatial web. Its platform, which will launch this summer, will enable users to search for places, events, creators, experiences, and even friends across and within virtual worlds. Beyond search, Lighthouse will offer a portal where users will be able to see trending activities, build groups of friends to explore the metaverse, see where their NFTs are usable and follow the work of specific brands and creators. Prior to launching Lighthouse, Jonathan Brun was Entrepreneur in Residence in White Star Capital’s Digital Asset Fund while Justine Massicotte was in charge of the Query Suggest engine at Coveo, a publicly-traded enterprise search company with global operations.
“If you are curious about the metaverse and don’t know where to start, Lighthouse will be the place to go,“ says Jonathan Brun, co-founder and CEO of Lighthouse. “Right now, discovery in the metaverse feels more like gaming, where you need to jump from one game to the next to find things, than the internet, where you can access everything from a single entry point. By building Lighthouse, we take the view that siloed worlds will eventually merge to become closer to the web. We’ve all seen how much standards and principles of openness propelled our digital lives with the internet. We are confident that Web3 virtual worlds will unite behind our vision of making the open metaverse a searchable place.”
“Lighthouse has the exciting opportunity to build a part of the unifying infrastructure for the metaverse,” said Andrei Brasoveanu, Partner at Accel. “The power of the metaverse lies in making it discoverable to a broad range of users, creators, and brands. Jonathan and Justine have thought hard about the opportunity ahead and what it takes to enable everyone to immerse themselves in this increasingly fragmented virtual world. We’re looking forward to partnering with the Lighthouse team on this journey!”
To power its platform, Lighthouse partners directly with the worlds for which it provides search capabilities. “Web search engines like Google or Brave use crawlers to discover publicly available web pages. However, because of the heavy and dynamic nature of 3D interactive media, powering real-time search across and within virtual worlds requires direct data integration. The open metaverse is still early, which gives us the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with projects to deploy standards that will ensure that the spatial web forms a cohesive unit,” said Lighthouse’s co-founder and CTO, Justine Massicotte.
Yat Siu, the executive chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands, commented: “As a long-time builder and supporter of the open metaverse, Animoca Brands is well aware of Lighthouse’s overall value proposition and in particular of the pain points that the company is working to solve. We believe that Jonathan and Justine have the right vision and expertise to execute and we look forward to providing our assistance as they expand the universe of worlds they partner with.”
“As users will be spawning with their Avatars identity into many parallel virtual worlds in the open metaverse, we believe a new standard for a navigation system allowing for both content discovery and socialization layers will be needed, to aggregate metadata that facilitates connecting with your friends and communities across them and exploring content from one to another,” said Sebastien Borget, COO & co-founder of The Sandbox. “Lighthouse’s vision just focuses on that and we are happy to be working closely with them at The Sandbox and look forward to continuing providing our support to make the future truly open, transparent and interoperable.”
The funding will be used to grow Lighthouse’s engineering and community teams, expand the universe of worlds it partners with and launch its platform in Summer 2022.
About Lighthouse Labs
Lighthouse is an open metaverse navigation engine that enables the search for places, events, friends, creators, assets, and experiences across and within virtual worlds. Through its portal, Lighthouse empowers users to find trending activities, build groups of friends to explore the metaverse, see where their NFTs are usable and follow the work of specific brands and creators. Lighthouse powers its solution by directly integrating with the virtual worlds for which it provides searchability capabilities. For more information visit: https://www.lighthouselabs.xyz/
Lighthouse is currently looking to expand the universe of worlds it partners with. If you are building a virtual world and would like to collaborate, go to https://www.lighthouselabs.xyz/ to book an intro meeting with the Lighthouse team.