South Korea’s Naver Z Announces $100M Creator Fund for Its Metaverse Project

South Korea’s Naver Z, the platform behind 3D creator app Zepeto has launched a $100M fund to expand its metaverse product offerings.
Image source: studios.zepeto.me

Quick take:

  • Naver Z a subsidiary of the South Korean internet conglomerate Naver Group has launched a $100M creator fund.
  • The platform runs a 3D creator app called Zepeto, which allows creators to develop 2D and 3D content across multiple devices. 
  • Zepeto will use the funds to diversify its metaverse product offerings.

Naver Z, the subsidiary of the South Korean internet conglomerate Naver Group has launched a $100 million creator fund for its metaverse project. Naver Z is the platform behind the 3D creator app Zepeto, which allows users to turn their selfies into 3D avatars. 

Zepeto plans to use the fund to expand its metaverse product offerings across multiple devices, including mobile phones, PCs, and virtual reality. 

Zepeto launched four years ago, offering entertainment, gaming and social networking experiences. Besides helping users to convert their selfies into 3D avatars, it also lets them create digital spaces where they can interact.

The app has seen its monthly active users grow from 10 million in May last year to 20 million this January, Naver Z’s chief strategy officer Ruby Lee told TechCrunch in an interview. Overall, the app has 290 million registered users, nearly doubling over the last 18 months. 

The average user session on its virtual world lasts about 30 minutes, driven by its unique composition of users.

Although it has users spread across multiple age groups around the world, it is particularly popular with female teenagers and early twenty-somethings in South Korea and China. 

As a result, it has attracted some of the top designer brands in the world, including Gucci, which recently collaborated with Superplastic for its second NFT drop, dubbed SUPERGUCCI. 

It has also inked deals with Ralph Lauren, as well as, celebrities Blackpink and Selena Gomez.

Naver Z will use its Unity plugin to take equity stakes in exciting creator Studios. It will also use the plugin to hand cash rewards to top creators on Zepeto, determined using various performance metrics like plays, visits, and active users.

Naver Z’s $100 million creator fund launch comes at the back of a huge Series B funding round last year when it raised $190 million from venture capital firms, SoftBank’s Vision Fund II. It also attracted participants from Mirae Asset, major K-pop talent agencies and several individual investors.

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