The so-called metaverse has a “big time” investment case, according to Puerto Rican billionaire businessman Orlando Bravo.
Bravo, co-founder and managing partner of private equity firm Thoma Bravo, told CNBC that he thinks “metaverse” is the big word of 2021.
The metaverse is a sci-fi concept whereby humans put on some sort of headset or smart glasses that allows them to live, work and play in a virtual world much like the one depicted in the “Ready Player One” novel and movie. Depending on your point of view, it’s either a utopian dream or a dystopian nightmare.
The term metaverse was thrust into the spotlight last month by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg when he changed Facebook’s name to Meta and said the new company was going to focus on the metaverse.
“The is metaverse investable “, say the billionaire. “The metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started,” he said at the time.
The announcement was mocked in a video published last week by Inspired by Iceland, a marketing campaign for Icelandic tourism. In the video, a Zuckerberg lookalike introduces viewers to “Icelandverse,” a place of “enhanced actual reality without silly-looking headsets.”
Thoma Bravo has more than $83 billion in assets under management and a portfolio that comprises more than 40 software companies. It has invested in the likes of cybersecurity firms McAfee and Barracuda, as well as enterprise software firm Dynatrace.
In addition to the metaverse, Bravo is also bullish on crypto and he owns an undisclosed amount of bitcoin.
“How could you not love crypto?” Bravo said at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference in September. “Crypto is just a great system. It’s frictionless. It’s decentralized. And young people want their own financial system. So it is here to stay.”
Correction: Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced in October he changed Facebook’s name to Meta. An earlier version misstated the timing.