The World Wide Web was created to connect people. After 50 years of innovation, scale, and adoption, the richness of our interactions on the internet has massively increased, but human connection is still at the core. Web3 is rapidly reinventing computing paradigms, notions of identity, organization structures, and modes of commerce and ownership. The web, both the current and blockchained-powered versions of it, will soon also radically reinvent our foundational concepts of place and presence. “The Metaverse” is a term now so overused to the point of meaninglessness, but the immersive, connected virtual worlds and experiences being built today will have a very real impact.
In many ways, we are already very online, together. Our time watching videos and streams, sitting on Zoom calls and in Discord chats, playing games, and curating our identities are all part of our shared digital world. But the convergence of advancing communication and browser technologies, programmable ownership, portability of digital inventory, and community coordination serve as a fertile primordial ooze. Out of it is emerging a step-function change in the potential of online places.
Today, we are excited to announce that we are leading a $5m seed round in Portals, investing with our friends at Solana Ventures, Foundation Capital, Alameda Research, Multicoin, MonkeDAO, among others. Portals is an interactive, 3D metaverse platform that is accessible to anyone through a browser and Solana wallet. No downloads, no hardware. It is an immersive virtual world where creators can design and build rooms, buildings, and cities with simple drag-and-drop tools. Creators can invite friends, host parties, and organize gatherings, navigating space as 3D avatars with audio and text chat. We’re already seeing many creative spaces like town halls, art galleries, bars, shops, arcades, and movie theaters.
The vision and early experience of Portals has quickly attracted a fervent community, and in less than 3 months since launch, Portals has become the largest metaverse NFT collection on Solana. The current average sale price is 110 SOL, up 72x from the initial mint price, with only 2% of supply listed for sale; Portals owners are believers. Prominent projects like Audius, Magic Eden, Raydium, Bonfida, GenesysGo, FTX US, and Binance.US have acquired and built out their own spaces in Portals’ downtown, joining professional developers Republic Realm, GrowYourBase, Arca and TerraZero, and the 13K Discord community members building the world of Portals together.
We first met the co-founders Adam Gomez, Jacquie Chang, and Christian Lund just a few days after they launched the project in November. The mint of 5,000 spaces sold out in 4 minutes but we were lucky enough to snag one, and became immediately hooked on the magic of Portals. We couldn’t wait to jack in, customize our own spaces, and explore the downtown. As we got to know the team, we were impressed by their ambition, and creative vision to build a fun, dense, immersive metropolis – one driven not by speculation but filled with experiences, discovery and connection. Their execution velocity and AAA game-quality care for the details of the experience are unmatched.
Virtual spaces are a key element of the next frontier of our collective Internet experience and will play a critical role in how we imagine, create, and connect with people. They bring new dimensions to our digital identities and collections. We couldn’t be more excited to work with the Portals team. To learn more, visit https://theportal.to/ + https://twitter.com/_portals_.