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.”