A few weeks ago, Washington DC-based expert network, Enquire AI, announced they had purchased virtual land in the metaverse. The land will be used to host virtual expert meetings and conferences, enabling clients to leverage remote immersive collaboration and learning.
Recent Virtual Acquisition
Earlier this month, technology enabled expert network provider Enquire AI announced that it had acquired virtual land in the Sandbox metaverse, making this the first transaction by an independent investment research firm to create a presence in the metaverse. Enquire AI plans to use this virtual land to host meetings and conferences for its clients to interact with the experts from its network.
Decentraland and the Sandbox are two of the biggest firms in the metaverse, particularly when it comes to selling virtual properties. Both platforms allow users to explore, build, and purchase digital assets like virtual real estate enabling owners to create virtual experiences that can be accessed by other users. PwC, JP Morgan, Samsung, and Adidas are a few of the well-known companies that have already established a presence in the metaverse.
This shift to the metaverse will allow companies to transcend physical and geographical limits, enabling them to host meetings, hold conferences, launch products, and bring people together in the same virtual space even when they’re at home or at an office in London.
Cenk Sidar, CEO and founder of Equire AI explained this unusual move, saying, “We are a company always looking for more innovative ways to provide more real-life experience for this interaction. We see Zoom fatigue from the last two years, especially with COVID, and people are getting sick of being on video calls all day now. … People are getting sick of looking at the screen all day with minimal social interaction.”
Enquire AI won’t be requiring its employees or clients to use the technology, and management thinks it will primarily be used as an option in external meetings. The firm hopes to start holding client meetings and expert interactions by the end of 2022.
Founded in 2017, Enquire AI is a technology-enabled information marketplace that connects public and private enterprises with experts on various sectors and topics ranging from healthcare and technology to finance and security.
The firm offers four core ways to access these experts including direct phone calls, deep-dive reports, in-person meetings, and their real-time expert sourced Q&A tool, Network Pulse™. Enquire AI’s network includes over 30,000 experts in 180 countries in the U.S., Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia-Pacific. The firm launched its platform to the market in 2019.
In December 2021, Enquire AI closed a Series A funding round totaling $5.5 mln led by Tokyo-based online financial data, media, and business intelligence provider Uzabase, Inc. Besides Uzabase, other investors who participated in the Series A include Teneo Ventures, Blu Ventures, and a number of other prominent industry angel investors. So far, Enquire AI has raised $8.7 mln over 3 investment rounds (January 2019, May 2020 and December 2021).
For Enquire AI, this move will enable them to build better connections between their clients and subject matter experts through leveraging their AI-powered platform. Furthermore, it lets them cater to their more tech-savvy clients, giving them access to a more innovative way of working and communicating.
Enquire AI’s move to purchase land in the metaverse in order to host expert meetings and conferences is interesting as it shows the firm’s willingness to migrate from Web2 to Web3, preparing it for a more digital future. However, we suspect that other research firms will be much more cautious in establishing a presence in the metaverse as it remains unproven whether clients will feel comfortable engaging with analysts and experts in this environment.