Saudi Arabia has recently announced investments in almost 40 venture capital firms in the United States, with a focus on funding rounds for businesses with new business models, including cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Web3.
Sanabel, the investment arm of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund, is committed to paying around $2 billion annually for this purpose, as stated on their website.
Sanabel has invested in several firms, such as A16z, Coatue Management, KKR, and Valar Ventures, backed by Peter Thiel. However, specific details regarding the investments, including contributions and dates for each investment fund, were not disclosed. In fact, Sanabel allocates 50% of its assets to investment capital, 30% to private equity, and 20% to the liquid portfolio.
As for the metaverse, Saudi Arabia plans to construct a double version of the futuristic $500 billion desert city of “NEOM” in the Metaverse offering. The government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Sandbox earlier this year to receive advice and potential collaboration on future metaverse projects.
In the same vein, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, established the first Metaverse Academy in the Middle East and North Africa region in Saudi Arabia, with the aim of accelerating the development of emerging technology. The Academy will be based in Riyadh and kick off on May 1, providing training to 1,000 individuals in the first 18 months, with a focus on shaping the Metaverse ecosystem.
FalconViz, a prominent Saudi company in the asset digitization field, also unveiled the FalconViz Metaverse at the BIM and Digital Twins 2023 exhibition in Riyadh.
The new technology aims to launch the company into the new era of digitization by opening up new possibilities for how FalconViz interacts with data in the future.
With the metaverse, the company can move beyond displaying data as AI-AR models, correlating critical information captured in structural reports such as cracks and damage to the building, and immediately jumping to those locations to examine the area and gain spatial awareness of the surroundings, and actions that need to be taken for immediate repairs. After all, there are no limits to how data can be explored to gain insights that are impossible from two-dimensional plans.