Release Date: August 17, 2021
For Immediate Release
HTC-Backed VR Metaverse Highstreet Raises $5 Million in Latest Funding Round to Expand Unity Mobile Team
(Vancouver, Canada) August 17, 2021 — Highstreet, the world’s first commerce centered metaverse with a DeFi marketplace for limited edition products, recently raised $5 million in funding. The funding round was led by both crypto and traditional VCs alike including Mechanism Capital, NGC, Palmdrive Capital, Jump Trading as well as many more tier-1 players in the space like GBV, Panony and Shima Capital. Aside from top firms, joining the round also are community builders and influencers like Encrypt Club, Mr. Block, and Miss Bitcoin.
Highstreet initially started six years ago under a different name, LumiereVR, where a strong computer vision team used mixed reality experiences that turned under-utilized real estate into immersive brand activations. In 2018, they acquired Montreal-based analytics company Retinad Realite Virtulle to add built in eye-tracking consumer insights to their services.
The fresh funds will be utilized to expand Highstreet’s engineering team, especially on the Unity side, to allow all the previously built pieces to interweave together into a fully sustainable commerce-based metaverse where players can shop together and experience the future of retail on blockchain. With a bigger team, mobile and browser companion apps will hit the market sooner, allowing users to tap into the metaverse no matter where they are.
Highstreet World consists of fully explorable islands powered by brands and partners alike, each with residential areas as well as various Phygital Products (digital assets pegged to real-world products) sold as NFTs. However, a key feature in this metaverse is the marketplace located at the center of Highstreet City. Highstreet Market is a marketplace for redeemable limited edition products, with every item having a physical equivalent. Highstreet Market's StreetSmart bonding curves ensure liquidity for the buyer at all times by using a smart contract vault. By tokenizing each individual product into ERC-20 tokens, Highstreet Market eliminates the logistical overhead for alternative asset traders, ensuring that the real product comes directly from the merchant every time, and only true collectors have to handle it. Highstreet, with the help of household companies like HTC, not only allows users to buy actual things through digital means but also allows friends to join parties to shop and earn together.
“Highstreet is excited to have such a diverse group of investors join us on our journey to build the future of retail. Many believed e-commerce was the beginning of the end for extravagant brand activations and charming storefronts. However, the excitement of shopping lives on in the metaverse. In a virtual world, brand expression is limitless, bound not by building costs nor physics. The ultimate retail experience will debut soon, right here on Highstreet,” said Travis Wu, CEO of Highstreet.
Andrew Kang, Managing Partner at Mechanism Capital, said: “Retail consumers have shown increasing attention and familiarity with digitally native goods, but most brands haven’t been able to tap into this interest. Highstreet offers the potential for traditional retail brands to generate interest and loyalty among their customer base in a completely new fashion through NFTs.”
“We are fascinated by Highstreet’s plan to combine NFTs with offline products and make more people participate in the metaverse. We think with brands entering into the space and looking for business partnership with NFTs and digital assets to attract more customers, Highstreet has an edge to become a leader in the field with the team’s great track record in virtual reality,” said Tony Gu, Founding Partner of NGC.
Seamon Chan, co-founder and managing partner at Palm Drive Capital, said: "We’re excited to invest in Highstreet because we see huge potential in the digital asset market. We’ve closely observed the market and find it full of possibilities for digital investing through NFTs and other innovative ways. Highstreet seizes the opportunity to stake their claim in the market of limited-edition goods, stabilizing the liquidity and value of digital assets and collectibles. We firmly believe there will be a growing demand for Highstreet’s solution in the coming years.”
"Highstreet is building the first metaverse that combines VR and crypto and allows brands to interact with its users in a fun and innovative way. We are excited to be part of this experiment with Travis and his team,” said Matt Cheung, Founder of Cherubic Ventures.
“The fact that NFTs and the metaverse are the keys to the Fourth Industrial Revolution is now being taken for granted and no one doubts the future. There have been many projects in the past that talked about the combination of the metaverse and NFTs but none have been working on the metaverse as seriously as Highstreet. Since NFTs and the metaverse are important elements that complement each other, we believe that Highstreet, which fuses both at a high level, will set a new standard,” said Mai Fujimoto, also known as Miss Bitcoin.
Alyssa Tsai, Founder & CEO of Panony, said: “Highstreet is a highly anticipated initiative aiming to disrupt the metaverse, decentralized commerce, and NFT markets. The team has years of experience, extensive knowledge, world-class resources, and fast execution. We’re very much looking forward to their success.”
Highstreet has two subsidiaries: Sundance-backed LumiereVR Studio and Retinad Analytics, which was acquired in 2018 and uses eye-tracking technology to transmit gaze data straight to brands as consumer insights.
For more information about Highstreet, please visit their official website.
Founded in 2015 by Travis Wu and Jenny Guo, Highstreet is a commerce-centric metaverse accessible on browsers as well as in Native PCVR. With a team of veterans from VR, DeFi, fine art, and hype markets, the mission of Highstreet is to bridge the gap between reality and the digital world, and to redefine how financial products should be consumed and sold on the market. Players are able to form parties to explore a vast new world on the Highstreet interface, own and expand their virtual reality estates, and buy tokenized products from their favorite brands.
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