Will the metaverse disrupt our lives in the same way as the iPhone’s unveiling in 2007?

Many now think so. And some of the world’s largest tech companies are betting big on it too. Facebook has gone all-in on the idea, boldly changing its name to Meta and outlining plans to recruit some 10,000 technologists to make their dreams reality.1

Nvidia and Microsoft are pouring billions into the metaverse, and Google is investing heavily in Augmented Reality (AR). What the metaverse, a constellation of fledgling technologies like AR, VR (virtual reality), the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, eventually looks like isn’t clear yet.

But the wagers these tech giants are placing reflect a growing belief the metaverse will unlock serious value, with Bloomberg Intelligence predicting the market could be worth some $800 billion before 2024.2 So, how can investors capitalise?

There are several themes evolving. As the metaverse grows, security will become paramount. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain can bolster security. Yet companies such as Zscaler and Palo Alto Networks, which offer cybersecurity solutions for networks, stand to benefit from the increased security requirements.

Second, the metaverse will require enormous computing, graphics and storage capacities. Companies like Nvidia (graphics) will be key to the design and feel of the metaverse, making it as lifelike and immersive as possible. And storage firms like Digital Realty Trust and Equinix are needed to accommodate this growing digital world.

Finally, there’s the digital asset space. Beyond cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are perhaps the best example, with over $10 billion worth of artwork, gaming memorabilia and other digital assets swapping hands (or digital wallets) in Q3 2021, according to analytics platform DappRadar.3 That represents an eightfold increase over the previous quarter.4

And while some fear the NFT market is a burgeoning asset bubble, Nike, Burberry, LVMH and Kering are just some of the big names to dip their toes into the space in recent months. That’s likely to legitimise and strengthen the nascent market as traditional consumer brands, and new digital companies, look to tap into a fast-growing but purely digital marketplace.

With the metaverse about to become reality, investors should get ready for the very real opportunities that lie ahead.