Odyssey, the maker of metaverse stack for collaboration based in The Netherlands, has raised €4M in new funding round. The startup originated in 2016 as an incubator for multi-stakeholder collaboration and solutions. With the new funding round, the incubator aims to further accelerate the development of its open-source web3 version of Odyssey’s 3D mass collaboration space.
Funding and the Investor
Odyssey has confirmed that it has raised €4M from a range of investors including Scytale Ventures, Maven 11 Capital, BR Capital and tech entrepreneurs Trent McConaghy, Ben Woldring and Ewald Hesse. With the new funding, Odyssey aims to accelerate the development of Momentum, an open-source, web3 metaverse software stack that allows online 3D worlds tailored for collaboration. These online 3D worlds will then be connected through an open network owned by the users.
Multiverse is being touted as the next big frontier for technology companies and one that could bring us closer to living in a virtual, three-dimensional world like Ready Player One. The opportunity is so huge that Facebook recently renamed itself to Meta and Microsoft announced plans to bring elements of Metaverse to its Office productivity software.
Odyssey has a lead here with its Momentum metaverse stack currently being used by several large institutions. The platform is being used by Vattenfall, SAP, the Dutch government, and a number of universities, for their online collaborative activities. It is also being used by SMEs and NGOs such as the Sovereign Nature Initiative.
“With the emergence of the metaverse we can see how the web is going from pages to places. Where pages host content, places host activities. With that, new business models for the web emerge that will be less about advertising and consumption, and more about engagement and collective value creation. The most fundamental question people and organizations should ask themselves is: Will I host my initiatives in a metaverse space owned and controlled by a third party that also owns my data? Or do I want to be in full control and ownership of my own space in the open metaverse, including its data and digital assets? We are excited to contribute to the latter, with the Momentum stack, building a network where people can freely shape and grow their future together and own it too,” said Rutger van Zuidam, CEO of Odyssey.
Balder Bomans, Chief Investment Officer of Maven 11 Capital, observes: “Odyssey is well placed to build a leading position in the metaverse field, with their extensive experience in complex collaboration and coordination processes integrated into the DNA of the product and the ecosystem. Odyssey has found a way to bridge the gap between DAOs, web3 and NFT communities with institutions like corporates, governments, universities and NGOs while upholding the values of an open metaverse and decentralised web3 space. We are big believers in utilising the metaverse for collaborative activities and excited to be backing the Odyssey team.”
Sharif Sakr, CEO of BR Capital, adds: “Remote collaboration has changed the working lives of millions of people, but the technology has much further to go. Through decentralisation, Odyssey will ensure that the social capital generated by people’s efforts, skills and collaborative instincts will be kept and re-invested by those people, rather than be continually extracted by today’s generation of web2 platforms. One day, I hope collaborating this way will feel more like playing a fun, community-modded, real-time strategy game than like going to work.”
Odyssey Momentum: What you need to know
Odyssey Momentum is being dubbed as a merger between a collaboration tool such as Trello and a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) like Eve Online. Momentum was first introduced in November 2020 during the Odyssey Hackathon, hosted entirely in the metaverse. The event saw hundreds of organisations and over 2,000 people collaborate simultaneously for 48 hours.
The Momentum went live as a closed alpha release in May 2021 and on November 1st, the Odyssey team opened the alpha release to the public. Odyssey says Momentum currently “has thousands of users experimenting and collaborating on innovation, art, education, events, hackathons, policy-making and design sprints”. While Facebook wants to own both the hardware and software ecosystem that will enable its Metaverse, Momentum is taking a collaborative as well as open-source route.
As a stack, Momentum allows individuals and organisations to build their own self-designed, self-owned 3D worlds. Its open-source web3 infrastructure allows each 3D world to act as a node within the metaverse. Odyssey is also promising creators that they can own their 3D environment, their data and digital assets without any lock-in.
Odyssey is also working on a native social token to enable socio-economic network activity. This will help drive engagement, co-creation and ownership. The €4M in funding will help Odyssey to further build various elements of its metaverse stack and convince creators to build their 3D world using its stack. Metaverse may still be in its infancy but its impact could be as profound as the impact created by the iPhone since its launch in 2007.