At the Metaverse Insider, we had the pleasure of interviewing the CEO of LandVault – Sam Huber. LandVault is a company that aims to provide an end-to-end solution for anyone who wants to enter the metaverse. From land rental to build and monetization, LandVault looks to turn metaverse experiences into profit centers.
Sam has a wealth of expertise in the metaverse industry, having served as the CEO of LandVault since before it was rebranded from Admix. This organization was responsible for creating the pioneering platform for generating revenue during gameplay in both the gaming and metaverse realms, amassing an impressive $37 million in funding from well-known venture capitalists.
How it all started
Sam has an intriguing origin story for his company. A few years ago, he was running a small indie game development studio that created mobile games, but he was dissatisfied with the lack of tools available for monetizing content without interrupting the user experience with intrusive ads. He conceived of a concept that permitted brands to integrate into the experience in a more organic way, using product placement, a strategy that was prevalent in film but not yet in the gaming industry.
“We had the idea of creating a model where brands could be part of the experience, but more like a product placement, which exists in film and in other media, but it just doesn’t really exist in games.”
He created a solution called Admix that enabled game developers to identify areas of their content that could be sold to brands for product placement, such as billboards or avatar clothing. This allowed creators to monetize their virtual worlds by selling real estate inside them. The company grew quickly and raised almost $40 million in three years, working with major gaming studios like Supersonic and Gameloft.
As Sam was investing in Bitcoin in 2017, he discovered the potential of Web 3 and blockchain for the creator economy. He decided to discontinue the Web 2 business and focus on building creative tools for the metaverse, working with companies like Sandbox and Decentraland. To fast-track its entry into Web 3, LandVault acquired a metaverse studio and rebranded itself. With a team of nearly 180 people, including builders, designers, and game developers, LandVault can bring any ideas to life and monetize experiences through their technology:
“We now have the creative capabilities to build any experiences for brands who want to enter the metaverse… We aim to be a one-stop-shop solution for any brand or IP who wants to enter the metaverse.”
The significance of LandVault for content creation in the Metaverse
Sam believes that the key to the success of the metaverse lies in the availability of high-quality content. While there has been a lot of buzz around the metaverse recently and the business model it offers creators, there is still a lack of engaging content that would attract users to spend more time in virtual worlds:
“There is not a huge amount of people in those worlds yet…there are a few experiences that are great, but it’s not something that you would go to every day…And that’s why the user base is so up and down.”
LandVault aims to change that by building fun, engaging, and gamified content that would attract users to the metaverse. As Sam puts it, “The most important part of the metaverse is going to be the content…the reason why people are actually going in those worlds.” LandVault, with its team of 120 builders and designers, aims to play a major role in creating the kind of content that users would want to consume and interact with.
Sam also stresses the importance of incentivizing creators to keep building by enabling them to make money from their content:
“Building the content first, and then building the tools to enable creators to actually make money from this content…is an important part. So, they have the incentive to keep building.”
Despite the current lack of engaging content, Sam is optimistic about the future of the metaverse, given the large number of users who already have crypto wallets, which can serve as their credentials to the metaverse:
“We have now close to 300 million people that have a crypto wallet. And the crypto wallet is basically your credentials to the metaverse. So, the users are there, they just need a reason to actually step in.”
How is LandVault strategically positioned for a mainstream Metaverse?
LandVault’s approach to the metaverse is centered around three pillars that they believe any brand or IP entering the metaverse would need. The first step is finding a location in the metaverse, and LandVault’s Land Conservancy service owns about 150 plots of land that they can rent to brands that want to come in:
“We make it super simple for them, reducing barriers to entry for them to start.”
Once the land is secured, the next step is creating the project and bringing the vision to life. This is where LandVault’s team of over 120 developers and designers comes into play. They build and construct the experience for the brand or IP.
The third step is about the growth of the experience and monetizing it. LandVault brings an understanding of business models into the experience to turn the build into a business:
“That is really our pitch to brands…we are providing to them the ability to create a business in the future version of the internet.”
Sam believes that within the next decade, the metaverse will be a 2 billion customer segment, and brands need to be relevant today by experimenting with the metaverse just like they did with MySpace and Facebook for social media.
Who is LandVault currently working with?
LandVault has built around 200 projects for brands so far, including MasterCard, Heineken, Loreal, and Standard Chartered. They’ve also worked with a range of Web 3 projects, such as the Mutant Apes and World of Women, one of the largest NFT projects that were recently featured in the sandbox alpha:
“We are signing some pretty large IPs right now…it’s just exciting to see the range of those brands from supermarkets to…fashion products and banks, and other types of services.”
Sam believes that the metaverse is not just a game or a platform for fashion, but the next generation of the internet. He thinks that every business currently on the internet will need to have a presence in the metaverse within the next decade to stay relevant to the new audience:
“It just shows that the metaverse really is the next generation of the internet. And so, every single business currently on the internet within the next decade will need to have a presence in the metaverse if they want to stay relevant to that new audience.”