Telefónica, through Wayra, its open innovation hub, is opening a global call for startups in the metaverse. This was announced by Chema Alonso, Telefónica’s Chief Digital Officer, in his speech at Four Years from Now (4YFN), the entrepreneurship event held in parallel to the Mobile World Congress.
Open2metaverse is a global search call to support companies with the best technologies with metaverse applications to grow and reach global scale faster, connecting them with Telefónica to generate joint opportunities. Wayra will focus on companies that are developing these use cases: connectivity, devices, virtual platforms, identity tools, NFTs and marketplaces, among others.
Wayra will bring to the selected startups its experience in all areas accumulated in more than ten years of existence, providing technical and infrastructure support, access to the Wayra community, global reach and the innovation ecosystem of the entire Telefónica group.
Open2metaverse is the first joint exploration and knowledge project that reaches the innovation initiatives Wayra X, Telefónica Ventures and Wayra‘s seven hubs in Latin America and Europe.
Collaboration with Meta on metaverse network readiness
Chema Alonso used his speech to make another important announcement for Telefónica, a collaboration with Meta to expand and jointly explore new ways to drive innovation in connectivity and technology for the metaverse. The collaboration seeks to empower the creator community to unlock the development of new use cases.
The two companies plan to establish a Metaverse Innovation Hub to help accelerate metaverse network and device readiness through trials, metaverse-like experience use case and device testing, and more. Through this Metaverse Innovation Hub, Telefonica and Meta plan to provide local startups and developers with access to a groundbreaking 5G laboratory where they will be able to utilize a metaverse end-to-end testbed on Meta and Telefónica’s network infrastructure and equipment, as well as benefit from Telefónica’s open innovation ecosystem and Innovation and Talent Hub resources, and Meta’s engineering support, tools, and resources. This collaboration will initially be aimed at startups and developers selected by Wayra.
Telefónica sees the metaverse as an evolution of the Internet supported by a set of technologies that are transforming the digital economy such as augmented reality and virtual reality, the creation of new value assets such as NFTs, business models based on web architectures3 and cryptocurrencies. The company already has relevant capabilities in connectivity and network architecture that contribute to the realisation of metaverses. To bring together all the Telefónica Group’s initiatives around the metaverse, it has created a unit led by Yaiza Rubio as Chief Metaverse Officer of the company in order to continue to enter with determination into this new paradigm.