Virtualtech Frontier (VTF), a Malaysian virtual solutions startup, has closed its Seed III bridging round, according to a January 18 press release.
Dictionary time: Bridge rounds refer to interim financing rounds where a company raises extra funds between priced rounds.Carta.com
The fresh funds are coming from Blockchain Founder Fund (BFF), a Singapore-based early-stage Web3 venture capital fund.
According to VTF’s CEO and co-founder Jason Low, BFF typically kickstarts rounds with new companies in its portfolio with US$200,000. However, he did not disclose the exact figure VTF received.
Other than the funding, Jason shared that BFF is known to also offer additional support within their ecosystem, including access to BFF’s extensive curated expert network, an opportunity that the entrepreneur aims to capitalise on.
Specialising in Metaverse, Web 3, and virtual events, VTF is also backed by venture capital firm 500 Global.
VTF will use the fresh funds to grow its team, support its marketing activities, and further develop its Mitoworld.io (Mitoworld) platform.
A world of possibilities
Mitoworld is a no-code metaverse platform that enables the creation of metaverses for other businesses.
Early on, the VTF team realised that the metaverse industry has a huge barrier to entry due to limiting factors such as the complexity of building and owning a metaverse, as well as the expensive nature of creating such projects.
“The only way to encourage greater adoptability among business owners would come in the form of allowing people to access and create metaverses more easily, and also at a highly affordable price point,” Jason said. “This could only be done in a templated format like how wix.com does it.”
A wix.com-like platform is exactly what Mitoworld seeks to be. Mitoworld’s platform is currently in the Alpha testing phase and is up and running for partners.
Primarily a B2B2C company, VTF has secured 30 partners ranging from local companies to ones from countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
“All these partners have existing networks and clientele who have traditional websites as their digital channels,” Jason mentioned. “Hopefully with Mitoworld, these partners will then be able to utilise the metaverse for their clientele too by enhancing their website to have a metaverse layer.”
According to Jason, there will be a public launch in early March, which would be a great time for them to focus on user acquisition.
Hence, more efforts will be put towards awareness, particularly in terms of marketing, advertising, and sales.
Tapping into the power of networking
To Jason, the bridge round with BFF wasn’t brought on due to any specific reason.
“I was made to understand that for new tech startup companies, fundraising is a permanent process,” he explained.
“As they say it is always good to fundraise when you have good traction and are strong in your position rather than starting to only fundraise when you are dying out of operational bleeding.”
This mindset aligns with one of Jason’s advice to startup operators, which is to always dedicate a portion of their time to focus on fundraising, even if the company is in a good position.
In order to raise funds, Jason emphasised the importance of networking.
“Sounds super cliché but investors would only invest in you, if you are known to them,” he said.
Jason also recommends entrepreneurs to have an awareness strategy. This may mean keeping themselves “updated and strong” across various social media platforms, at events, and in the media. This further helps startups gain investors’ attention.
Backed by 500 Global and now the Blockchain Founders Fund, Jason certainly knows a thing or two about financing a startup.
Having penned a book on the Metaverse, the co-founder is arguably well-versed in all things Web 3. However, whether the Mitoworld format takes off will rely on whether or not other businesses are willing and open to familiarising themselves with the concept and spending time to adopt the technology.
If Mitoworld is indeed like wix.com, it will still take a chunk of time and effort for businesses to create and design their metaverses. Being able to learn the ins and outs of how Mitoworld functions is a barrier in itself.
With that said, Jason seems optimistic about the project, guided by the fact that BFF wants in on his startup too.
“Getting invested during the bear [market] is the greatest signal that we are on the right track,” he shared in the press release.
“We are all about long-term value creation and this funding will help us continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with Mitoworld and provide the best possible experience to everyone.”
Image Credit: Virtualtech Frontier