Metaverse is not a specific type of technology but an umbrella term for how people interact with multiple latest technologies. Broadly speaking, “the metaverse” may include virtual reality, consisting of virtual worlds, and augmented reality, a combination of physical and digital worlds. Another way to closely define the term is to consider it as a graphical and hypothetical iteration of virtual spaces where people can interact with each other, work, play, and socialize. Many tech companies have ventured into the metaverse space in tandem with their vision of a new digital economy and interoperable platforms. These companies aim to allow people to exchange virtual items from one platform to another. Many top Indian companies working on metaverse also aim to build and develop technologies to interact with virtual worlds.
Metaverse offers endless possibilities, but the most prominent is the potential for a full-fledged and decentralized economy with both physical and virtual elements. The concept goes hand-in-hand with two others, NFTs and cryptocurrencies. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, will be the currency units to make transactions and work as proof of ownership. NFTs can also have non-economic value because they are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them, based on some “intangible” criterion, like desirability. On the other hand, cryptocurrencies have a similar implication of being used in transactions, but they have a purely economic value.
The takeaway is that these technologies are a core element of the idea of a metaverse. This article enlists some of the metaverse companies and briefly discusses their approach and achievements in metaverse, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs.
Top Indian Metaverse Companies
HTC is a tech innovation company focused on developing powerful products and solutions in mobile and immersive technologies. It began with a vision to put a personal electronic device with the latest technologies in the hands of every customer. The company is now applying those technologies in evolving smartphones and connecting them virtually by venturing into the era of the metaverse.
For the past few years, HTC’s mobile division has been looking for the best approach to rekindle its mobile technologies by shifting to the metaverse. In 2018, HTC released Exodus; a smartphone focused on blockchain and cryptocurrencies that was ahead of its time. But it did not gain momentum then.
With the rising popularity of metaverse companies, many smartphone companies like HTC are aligning themselves with the new age of virtual reality. Now, HTC has re-entered the market with the HTC Desire 22 Pro, the “metaverse smartphone.” The device will be compatible with NFT and crypto functionality and was released as a companion device to the company’s VR headset HTC Vive Flow.
The highlight is the company’s Viverse, a platform leveraging AI, AR, and VR, enabling users to create their own virtual spaces and make NFT transactions.
- Capgemini India Pvt Ltd
Capgemini is an IT consulting firm specializing in engineering and technology professional services. The company is striding towards the metaverse to provide its clients with a premium interface that will help them create advanced applications featuring blockchain-related attributes. Capgemini has a dedicated metaverse lab to work on newer technologies and enhance customer experience.
Capgemini won the HeroX/Airbus metaverse challenge, becoming one of the most potent metaverse companies. The challenge aimed to draw ideas for enhancing the passenger experience and bringing virtual reality into air travel. The winning entry by Capgemini proposed the virtual Airbus town square that would come alive after the plane takes off and serve as a hub of experiences. Passengers simply have to log in via tablets/smartphones and use VR headsets to experience the virtual township.
The company also recently entered into a partnership with Unity, a real-time 3D content-creating organization, to build on business opportunities and benefits of metaverse experiences across multiple industries.
The next on our list of metaverse companies is Tata Consultancy Services, a tech consulting firm that offers a cognitive-driven approach to business, technology, and engineering service provision. Around 2017, when TCS was working with an undisclosed European airline client, the company started its metaverse adventure. The airline company asked to teleport photorealistic avatars for official meetings. The company built a platform called Avapresence, a combination of the words “avatar” and “presence,” and leverages XR, blockchain, cloud, AI, and IoT to help clients.
Recently, TCS began working with tech professionals in Ireland to build a new global delivery center in Letterkenny to service companies in the country. The center will work with clients interested in being a part of the metaverse and transforming digitally.
TCS is also engaging with other Tata group companies like Tata Motors, Croma, and Tanishq to deploy metaverse solutions. TCS is also developing a plan for the Tamil Nadu government to introduce a metaverse museum.
- Zensar Technologies
Zensar Technologies is an Indian software and services company that provides tech solutions to enhance the digital experiences of its customers. The company utilizes AR/VR integrated technologies to create digital items based on non-fungible tokens. Zensar is also involved in modernizing legacy technologies, migrating to the cloud, and turning intelligent data into actionable insights.
Zensar Tech is exploring MaaS (metaverse-as-a-solution) as one of the uniquely emerging Indian metaverse companies for providing integrated services and implementing virtual reality in enterprise applications. It aims to enhance the productivity of enterprise workers, build self-learning systems, leverage MLops for automation, and maximize business ROI.
Some Indian Metaverse Startups
Many Indian startups have been on the path to joining other metaverse companies over the last few years. Some of them are mentioned below.
- LOKA Metaverse
LOKA is one of the first few metaverse companies to launch an application that allows users to interact with people worldwide. It surfaced in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Its platform provides users with a multiplayer gaming application (available for Android and iOS) designed for social engagement, gaming, E-commerce, content, and entertainment. The app features actual locations and provides real-world experiences, allowing users to have genuine gaming and social engagement experience. LOKA was also featured on Shark Tank India and raised angel funding of ₹1.33m from Anupam Mittal, founder of Shaadi.com.
Zippy is one of the most famous metaverse startup building ‘the third format’ of running by developing a metaverse for runners. It is an innovative mobile application that generates an immersive indoor running experience. Founded in July 2021, Zippy’s metaverse idea preserves all indoor and outdoor formats required for running, bringing it naturally to the people like other physical exercises.
Users typically need a treadmill and a computer, tablet, or smartphone to download and run the Zippy application (marketed as “Zippy Fit” on both iOS and Android platforms). Once a user gets on the treadmill, they are “teleported” into a virtual world where they can run with their digital twins or avatars through iconic marathon locations like Boston, London, Mumbai, and Tokyo or beautiful landscapes like a jungle path or beach.
NextMeet is a VR-based platform that allows users to generate 3D avatars and interact with their friends in real-time. This is yet another startup story that gained recognition during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide people who have been displaced from their offices, schools, and colleges with a platform where they can have an immersive experience via virtual reality. The app was launched in October 2020. After three upgrades, it now features four virtual environments: classrooms for education, meetings for businesses, conferences, and expos for commercial purposes, making it one of the most purpose-driven metaverse companies in India.
The platform has recently been tested by Amity University, Reputation Today magazine, and many other institutions. In the VR paradigm, schools have held summer camps and storytelling events where kids can complete tests while being physically present with their teachers and peers.
Invact Metaversity is one of the ed-tech metaverse companies developing immersive learning experiences for students across the globe. Their objective is to provide a possible campus-like environment in the metaverse, making education both experiential and accessible. No matter where they are physically located, students can communicate with their teachers and peers via animated avatars thanks to the platform. With Invact Metaversity courses, students can experience peer-to-peer learning with added community layers that other online learning platforms do not offer. The platform currently offers two courses, the metaMBA in Marketing and the metaMBA in Product.
- Wall App
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have gained momentum over the last few years. Realizing the need for a reliable platform allowing access to NFT trends, data, and analytics, Anuj Kodam, and Amarnath JV felt the need to develop Wall.app, a Web3 project to build a social NFT discovery platform. With Wall.app, users may explore NFT statistics on Ethereum, including volumes, price action, sales, and other leading NFT collections. The app also stores information on particular whale wallets that influence markets, significant sweeps in the industry, etc.
The startup plans to become a Solana-driven metaverse company, a decentralized blockchain, as the next chain for its chain-agnostic backend.
- Atirath Gaming Technology
Atirath Gaming Technology is one of the many metaverse gaming companies that create mobile games involving strategy, puzzles, and even casual games with elements of sub-continent cultures. Many games like Assassin’s Creed and God of War are based on mythology and perform exceptionally well worldwide. With the same belief, the company, launched in mid-2020, focuses on Indian mythology and creates applications with a global appeal of making people aware of each other’s roots and traditions.
It plans incorporate AR/VR technologies in its upcoming application Asva, developed after raising an undisclosed amount of seed funding from venture capitalist Kalaari Capital in February 2022. The investment will go into improving the company’s services, growing its workforce, and gearing up for the metaverse.