Infinite Reality, a maker of immersive virtual experiences, bought Ethereal Engine for $75 million in a share swap.
Los Angeles-based Ethereal Engine is a creator of end-to-end frameworks for web-first, social immersive experiences. It sounds like a metaverse company, but Norwalk, Connecticut-based Infinite Reality isn’t using that word.
The share-for-share acquisition values Infinite Reality at $2.5 billion and Ethereal Engine at $75 million.
The transaction establishes a multi-billion-dollar valuation benchmark for Infinite Reality following the December 2023 partnership and equity swap with Greenidge Generation Holdings. That means that the market values the company at $2.5 billion.
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Founded in 2020 by industry veterans Liam Broza, Kyle Baran, Gheric Speiginer, Josh Field, David Gordon and Griffin Rowell, Ethereal Engine is a 3D web engine with an open core. It’s a new type of rival to proprietary game engines capable of personal world-building, allowing users to “build experiences once and run them everywhere.”
Ethereal has optimized its designing services for device-agnostic, immersive and enterprise-scale commercial experiences through a web browser rather than a downloaded client.
Infinite Reality has 106 employees, while Ethereal Engine has 29. Infinite Reality said it is not using the term “metaverse”, preferring “immersive experience” or “virtual experience.” or “spatial computing.
The company said Infinite Reality builds AI-powered virtual spaces for any brand or creator to create their own experience, connect directly with their audience on any device wherever they are, and own the data they generate, all for one monthly fee.
Both companies have been building towards a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for brands to create their own virtual immersive experiences with no code necessary. The approaches have been different, but complimentary, with Infinite Reality working on its AI product, and Ethereal Engine focusing on the backend technology. Combined, Ethereal Engine’s backend technology will serve as the base for the no-code platform while Infinite Reality’s cinematic-quality front-end and AI offerings greet customers day-to-day. The acquisition also speeds up the time-to-market, with a planned launch at SXSW March 8.
These are then able to be implemented and navigated across desktop and mobile devices including wearable technology such as Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest 2. Ethereal’s existing client roster includes T-Mobile, Johnson & Johnson, Ripple, LAX, Refactor Games and Arc Media.
With its extensive experience designing and creating digital worlds and virtual spaces with unparalleled user interfaces, Ethereal is able to integrate into Infinite Reality’s existing product offerings, enabling brands to further engage through content creation, paid media, marketing, customer relationship building and monetization, and more.
“This acquisition is yet another step in our journey towards becoming the leading vertically-integrated virtual entertainment and immersive experience company in the world,” said Infinite Reality CEO John Acunto, in a statement. “We are excited to begin working with Ethereal Engine’s impressive team of industry pioneers to integrate our technology stacks, and expand our product and service offerings.”
As part of the deal, the two companies engaged in a share-for-share exchange and Infinite Reality will integrate all of Ethereal Engine’s business units, technology products and personnel.
Ethereal Engine CEO Liam Broza said in statement, “We are incredibly excited to announce this transaction with Infinite Reality. The combination of our shared collective assets together creates an unparalleled leader in the immersive web experiences space. By integrating our two companies’ exhaustive capabilities, the new Infinite Reality will further establish its place at the forefront of the virtual experience and digital creation economies.”
This spatial web platform powered by Ethereal Engine is a no-code solution enabling creators and brands regardless of technical ability to build immersive web experiences in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the price.
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