Sunday, 12 March 2023
by Berkeley Lovelace
The Ministry of Science and ICT of South Korea has approved investments of $51 million in various metaverse projects, doubling down on its metaverse bet for the future. The investment includes a fund for supporting the growth of metaverse companies and another special investment to build several services including region-specific projects.
While the interest in the metaverse by some private companies has started to cool off, South Korea is doubling down on its bet to keep supporting the local metaverse economy. The country announced a pair of initiatives directed to support metaverse projects and companies to build products on top of virtual worlds.
The first of these projects, announced on March 8, constitutes a metaverse growth fund that will allow companies that want to develop virtual projects to get funding directly from the Ministry of Science and ICT of South Korea. For this, the institution has allocated $30 million.
The second project, announced one day later, has to do with the development of 13 specific initiatives which include the metaverse in different convergence areas, including technology, regional projects, the public sector, and industry. This second project has allocated $21 million for its completion.
The Korean institution recognized that the weakness of the current world economy makes it difficult for these kinds of companies to raise funds privately. On this subject, Oh Yong-soo, software policy officer at the Ministry of Science and ICT, stated:
Due to the deteriorating economic situation at home and abroad, civilian venture investment has dried up. Government support is needed more than ever. It’s time to do it.
Since last year, the Korean government has actively invested in the growth of its local metaverse industry, injecting millions in funds directly into companies in the field. In May, Lim Hye-sook, director of the Ministry of Science and ICT of South Korea, announced an investment of $177 million in metaverse companies, being one of the first countries to directly put funds into the sector at that time.
Also, in June, the ministry announced a program to recruit companies to be part of its metaverse content creation project. The program has the objective of kickstarting the local movement to create content in the metaverse as part of the country’s strategy to be a pioneer in the industry.
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