Condense, a UK-based company that brings the power, connection, and immersion of live, real-world events into the Metaverse, has raised $4.5M in a round led by LocalGlobe, 7percent Ventures, and Deeptech Labs. Other investors include angels – a platinum-selling grime artist, former England footballer and sports presenter, also Tom Blomfield (Monzo), renowned music manager Grace Ladoja MBE and Ian Hogarth (Song Kick).
The Bristol-based company has also created a metaverse studio in collaboration with Watershed, Bristol’s cultural cinema and creative technology venue, in addition to the funding, to provide established artists and up-and-coming talent access to the technology. The studio can host live audiences and is a “metaverse-first” event environment. A London studio will shortly open in collaboration with another organisation, and other studios across the world will follow, the company said in a statement.
The cash will be used to quicken business ties with musicians, record companies, content producers, and metaverse platforms. The firm is making the first streaming studio in a global network to record and transmit Video 3.0 live into the metaverse.
Condense, which was established in Bristol in 2019 by Nick Fellingham, has end-to-end capture and streaming technology that enables it to live stream real-world events like concerts and sporting competitions into 3D applications. The firm can record and embed live 3D video (Video 3.0) into any metaverse game, mobile app, or platform built with Unity or Unreal Engine using computer vision, machine learning, and proprietary streaming infrastructure.
Grace Ladoja MBE, co-founder of METALLIC INC and artist manager said, “Culture and community are what drives music forward. It’s how we connect with where we’ve come from and where we want to go. Condense technology is opening up a new platform for these communities and cultures, diversifying the voices in the metaverse by making it live and accessible. It’s got the potential to inspire and empower a new movement of artists and fans. This is both exciting, and significant.”
Condenses CEO and co-founder Nick Fellingham said, “The Bristol scene has long been a world-renowned melting pot of different cultures and music and, in the last few years, it’s become a hub for games development too. Now we’re going to put Bristol on the map once again with the world’s first metaverse live streaming studio to bring together the energy of live events with the massive scale of the metaverse. The Video 3.0 infrastructure we’ve built takes out the technical complexity of streaming live into the metaverse, so people are free to put their creativity in.Video 3.0 is going to change not just how we experience live events online, but fundamentally how we engage with each other.”
With Video 3.0, spectators can wander freely through the virtual crowds and get close to the action when watching concerts or sporting events with friends. Live performances allow for audience interaction with the performer. Performers can respond in real-time by shouting out fans, addressing their questions, or playing a requested song.
Bristol-based vocalist and producer Grove, who was among the first artists to pioneer Condense technology, said, “The minds behind the technology are pushing the boundaries of tech-informed performance sharing. This is great for accessibility and opens up exciting new opportunities for fans to connect with their favourite artists”
Grace Ladoja MBE, co-founder of METALLIC INC and renowned artist manager said, “Culture and community are what drives music forward. It’s how we connect with where we’ve come from and where we want to go. Condense technology is opening up a new platform for these communities and cultures, diversifying the voices in the metaverse by making it live and accessible. It’s got the potential to inspire and empower a new movement of artists and fans. This is both exciting, and significant.”
Ziv Reichert, partner at LocalGlobe (recently ranked the UK’s number one seed investor by Dealroom) said, “Hundreds of millions of people are hanging out in immersive 3D platforms like Roblox, Rec Room, Fortnite, Sandbox, Decentraland and VRChat; attending virtual events, socialising and being creative. At the same time, player demand for live entertainment inside these virtual worlds has never been greater. Condense has built the infrastructure to connect the two – now music artists, sports stars and creatives can perform and play live in the metaverse, to the largest stadium audience imaginable.”
Andrew Gault, founding partner of 7percent ventures said, “When I invested in Oculus nearly 10 years ago, the dream was to deliver experiences that seamlessly merge the digital and the physical. Condense has now made that possible inside all video games and platforms, without the need for VR headsets. What they have built is already a reality and it’s going to change the way the whole world engages online.”
Miles Kirby, CEO of Deeptech Labs said, “The metaverse requires a new infrastructure, much of it breaking new ground and requiring next-generation machine learning and machine vision. Condense has the deeptech experience and vision to make the metaverse the number one destination for live events.”