Tokyo, Japan – Virtual reality (VR) company HIKKY has announced that its latest event ‘Virtual Market 2023 Real in Akiba’ will bring various metaverse experiences into real life. The event, which will happen from July 29 to 30, will be held at the Bellesalle Akihabara venue in the popular Akihabara district.

According to HIKKY, some of these experiences include food-related metaverse experiences, testing of virtual reality tools, and experiencing how to use virtual avatars to interact with fellow users.

Moreover, several brands have also joined to launch brand experiences within the real-life metaverse experience. They include pen manufacturer Pilot, photography company Canon Marketing, the Japan Racing Association (JRA), technology company Sony, the Kyushu Railway Company, broadcast company TV Asahi, TCL RayNeo, Toyo Construction, amongst others.

The ‘Virtual Market’ event has been HIKKY’s largest VR event. It first started as a place to buy and sell 3D data products between individuals, but in recent years, major companies that want to enter the metaverse business have expanded the sale of real products, creating new possibilities for VR commerce.

Tokyo, Japan – HIKKY, a Japan-based virtual reality startup, has raised another ¥500m (around USD4.3m) in a new series A funding round through a third-party allotment with management consulting company MEDIA DO. Said funding will help the startup amplify its services to the local and global market.

This funding follows the recent ¥6.5b funding round (around USD57m) raised by the startup with the aid of mobile phone operator NTT DOCOMO. In total, HIKKY has raised a total of ¥7b (around USD60.6m) in funding.

The funding will also aid in strengthening HIKKY’s organisational structure and building a new VR consulting service. Their services include development and operation of a Vket Cloud-powered open metaverse, Vket events and Vket Cloud.

Other objectives include service provision and development of the open metaverse, team building for Vket Cloud engine development, improving the development system for Vket events, launching a VR consulting business, and internal team recruitment.

“HIKKY is developing and providing services for the open metaverse using their proprietary VR engine, Vket Cloud, and with the help of many creators and partner companies connected by the Vket business. The open metaverse will also provide a variety of innovative services recognizing the unprecedented value of creativity and communication,” the company said in a press statement.

As part of the funding round, HIKKY and MEDIA DO also entered into a partnership, which entails the two companies creating an official publisher’s space where users can exchange their thoughts and opinions in the metaverse. In this place, users will enjoy meeting other fans of their favourite manga or other content, publishing and exhibiting their fan art, and expanding the possibility of IP collaborations with exhibitors at Vket events.

In addition, the partners will also pursue synergies with MyAnimeList, a global anime and manga communities and database site, which is operated by the MEDIA DO Group.

For Yasushi Fujita, president and CEO at MEDIA DO, they believe that the metaverse, with its diverse communities just as in physical reality, will become an ecosystem with a large area for content distribution as the gap between the metaverse and physical reality disappears.

“We are delighted to partner with HIKKY, organisers of a global event in the metaverse who develop a unique and open VR platform. We empathise with the concept of creating a new ecosystem in an open metaverse, and we take on the challenge of metaverse content distribution in a wide variety of sectors, including e-books. Together, we will deliver new experiences to users and help expand the distribution of all kinds of content,” Fujita said.

Meanwhile, Yasushi Funakoshi, CEO at HIKKY, commented that through leveraging the trust and experience that MEDIA DO has built with many publishers and bookstores together with HIKKY’s know-how, they plan to elevate how users read content in the metaverse.

“We also aim to build a new environment where users interact to share the charm of manga and other content, either with other users or with publishers. I am confident that these initiatives will further expand creator potential,” Funakoshi said.

He added, “Today’s announcement with NTT DOCOMO and MEDIA DO is a first step towards the realisation of other ideas in the works, and we will continue our efforts to expand the metaverse and provide experiences that bridge it with the real world.”

Tokyo, Japan – Virtual reality (VR) startup HIKKY has announced that it has successfully raised US$57m or around ¥6.5b during its recently-concluded series A funding round. Part of the funding will be used in developing and operating a new open metaverse project using the company’s Vket Cloud, a browser-based VR engine.

The company will also use said funding to help expand their virtual reality services both domestically and abroad, as well as to strengthen their organizational foundation.

The Vket Cloud is used to create metaverse content that users can access with a link click, without a dedicated computer or mobile application. It also supports multiplayer mode, and users can enjoy communicating with others in the same space with voice or text chat.

According to Yasushi Funakoshi, CEO at HIKKY, they will be accelerating their metaverse business with the help of communication infrastructure, research institutes, and global networks of the Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DOCOMO, which is under the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Group.

“We will continue to provide NTT DOCOMO with XR services, technologies, and content production as per our strengths. We are extremely grateful to all the creators who have supported us, as well as the visitors and companies who have taken part in Vket events,” Funakoshi said.

HIKKY is known for hosting a VR-based event called Vket, where thousands of artists, many international corporate sponsors, and millions of users visit these events. For this year, Vket 2021 will run from 4 to 19 December this year.