NetEase joins the metaverse race. Recently, NetEase, through NetEase Media Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., participated in the B++ round of financing of Sky Limit Entertainment, which famous director Zhang Yimou holds shares and serves as the co-founder of.
Recently, Sky Limit Entertainment (Chinese: 当红齐天), an Extended Reality (XR) company co-founded by Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, completed the B++ round of financing. The registered capital of Sky Limit Entertainment increased from the previous CNY 78.31 million (USD 11.37 million) to about CNY 79.92 million (USD 11.61 million). The newly added investor is NetEase, which holds 2% of the shares through NetEase Media Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
Before the backing of NetEase, the company has already secured funding from capital giants, including AVIC Trust, Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, Mango Cultural Creativity Investment Fund, Intel, Xiaomi, Weed Ventures, Lakala, and BlueFocus.
How did the company attract such a luxurious investment lineup? According to the company's official website, Sky Limit Entertainment is a technology and cultural company dedicated to creating the ultimate immersive entertainment experience, integrating XR content production + carrier R&D + digital operation total solution. Co-founded by Qi Xiao, Zhang Yimou, and Wang Lei, it has been deeply involved in the XR field for 6 years and has successively obtained 29 patented technologies, 43 software copyrights, and 13 copyrights of works. It has also participated in the compilation of more than a dozen industry standards and won more than 10 industry awards.
It is worth mentioning that NetEase, once started as a portal website, now mainly relies on games to support itself. Q3 2022 financial report suggests that NetEase’s gaming business accounts for nearly 80% of its total revenue. Due to its over-reliance on the gaming business, NetEase’s stake in Zhang Yimou’s XR Company might indicate its determination to find new growth points in the metaverse.
But judging from the current situation of the metaverse track, most players domestically and globally have not seen any impressive results, and tech giants like Meta, Roblox and Baidu have also suffered huge losses. Therefore, NetEase might still have a long way to go to achieve its Metaverse dreams.