Hong Kong-based financial-services group AMTD has opened a virtual presence in The Sandbox, a virtual-reality operator.
AMTD, which owns DigFin, is entering the virtual world initially via a new acquisition in the fashion and media world, L’Officiel. AMTD Group subsidiary AMTD International announced it is taking a 100 percent equity stake in the French company, for undisclosed terms.
L’Officiel’s CEO, Benjamin Eymère, has also been named AMTD International’s chief metaverse officer. “Our goal is to showcase AMTD International’s leadership in metaversal entertainment and cultural areas, and metaversal investment banking,” Eymère said.
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What metaversal investment banking means has yet to be identified, but AMTD outlined several themes it intends to build within its virtual real estate acquired in The Sandbox.
AMTD is calling this its SpiderNet World, after its “SpiderNet”, an alliance of partners and subsidiaries that includes banks, fintechs, media brands, and other businesses.
SpiderNet World is meant to incorporate a business district, which will provide a presence for AMTD SpiderNet’s members, including insurtech AMTD PolicyPal; digital asset company CapBridge; payments company FOMO Pay; and AMTD Solidarity Community, including CardUp, Active.ai, and Transwap, as well as other SpiderNet alliance partners.
Other zones will include a university and education space; an area for hotels, entertainment, and fashion; and a space for various members of the SpiderNet community, ranging from charities to banking partners to industry associations, including DigFin.
Calvin Choi, chairman of AMTD Group and founder of AMTD International, said of the L’Officiel deal: “This acquisition is the ideal springboard for L’Officiel Inc. to spearhead the adoption of new Web 3.0 practices and technologies, coupled with the comprehensiveness of the financial services tools and infrastructure set up by AMTD across Asia.”
L’Officiel Inc. serves as the operational holding company for a French magazine and publisher of the same name, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, as well as the global L’Officiel network of fashion and luxury media brands, which reaches 80 countries and nearly 100 million people around the world.
Choi will now become chairman of L’Officiel’s board, and help it expand activities in Asia and worldwide; the company operates in more than 30 countries.
The Sandbox is a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, offering virtual real estate, called LAND NFTs, in the open metaverse.
It has partnered with major IP brands and partners including Adidas, PwC, Snoop Dog, The Walking Dead, and others.
The Sandbox IP now has more than 40 million global installs on mobile, and powers a metaverse that offers creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences, and to safely store, trade, and monetize their creations. Animoca Brands is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification.