Naver Z and Softbank Launch Metaverse Shop on Virtual Reality Platform Zepeto

Gen-Z virtual reality platform Zepeto now hosts Softbank Shop created by investor companies Naver Z and Softbank.
Image source: Zepeto

Quick take:

  • The metaverse shop provides 24-hour customer service daily.
  • A real-life salesperson answers customer enquiries from 10am to 9pm.
  • Customer support outside business hours is provided by an AI bot.

The creator of Zepeto, Korea’s most popular virtual reality platform for Gen-Z, and Japan’s SoftBank have launched a metaverse shop called SoftBank Shop. The shop is hosted on Zepeto and will provide customer support 24 hours a day, all year round.

A real-life salesperson will answer customer enquiries from 10am to 9pm, but customer support outside business hours is provided by an AI bot. At the metaverse shop, visitors can listen to product descriptions and then purchase the products or receive coupons from their respective official stores.

Launched in 2018, Zepeto has since surpassed 300 million users, and allows users to turn their selfies into avatars. In 2020, its creator platform, Zepeto Studio was launched for users to directly produce and sell digital wearables on the platform. As of this month, 2.6 million creators have registered on the platform, with 150 million accumulated item sales, and 30 billion WON ($23.22 million) in transaction value.

Zepeto’s parent company, Naver Z, launched a $100 million creator fund in January to expand its metaverse product offerings across multiple devices, including mobile phones, PCs, and virtual reality. SoftBank and Y-Mobile’s official online store, which sells accessories and IoT products, is in the pipeline.

The metaverse platform is also collaborating with various fashion, beauty and entertainment brands and celebrities such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Nike, Dior Beauty, Titan (BTS), Selena Gomez, Blackpink, Nmix, Starbucks, Visa, Hyundai Motor Company, and Samsung.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 made a $150 million investment in Naver Z last December, valuing the virtual reality platform at more than $1 billion. The Vision Fund 2 previously led a $93 million funding round for The Sandbox. In April, SoftBank co-led Web3 startup Improbable’s $150 million funding round.

Besides investing in metaverse platforms, SoftBank also has plans to launch an NFT marketplace in 180 countries, as its holding company, Z Holdings is tapping part of its five-year $4.3 billion budget to expand SoftBank’s global presence.

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