Refresh Miami – Meet the asset management firm that just launched a $30M metaverse fund
Hartmann Capital is betting on long-term metaverse trends
Pop on your VR goggles and buckle up. One forward-thinking South Florida investor is doubling down on the metaverse, placing calculated bets on what the ecosystem will look like in the long-term.
Hartmann Capital, which has spent the last four years investing in the crypto space, has just announced the launch of its second fund focused exclusively on the metaverse.
The fund will invest $30 million. Hartmann Capital reports that it managed to raise $10M from investors a month after announcing the fund (during Art Basel week, of course).
Felix Hartmann, managing partner of Hartmann Capital, told Refresh Miami that he’s taking a long-term perspective. “The metaverse is going to take years to play out, so I wanted to take a long time horizon and think about what the space looks like five years from now.”
“If a project is not going to be around five years from now, it’s a waste of our time and our money,” he continued. Hartmann drew a comparison with more short-termist investors, who think about profit in quarters rather than years.
“I think that’s the wrong approach,” Hartmann asserted. “People will miss the forest for the trees by chasing the small money, grabbing the small opportunities. But they’re missing like the actual next Facebook, the next Amazon, which I think is certainly coming.”
Already, the fund has made a few investments including in RedPill VR, a platform for virtual music events; SUBPAC, a patented tactile audio system that provides a high-resolution, physically immersive experience; and Andromeda, a new type of blockchain protocol designed for NFTs.
What does the metaverse look like to Hartmann? He sees two main trends converging into a megatrend – making the metaverse unstoppable.
First, VR technology is rapidly improving. “Metaverses are becoming more immersive,” he explained, underscoring that the technology has improved greatly since early iterations a few years ago. “We’re at a tipping point,” he argues, noting that VR headsets were one of the most gifted items over the Christmas period last year. “We’re one to two years away from its iPhone moment, where enough people are using them frequently and it becomes a lot less weird.” The pandemic-induced lockdowns also accelerated this trend, in his estimation.
Second, the infrastructure for metaverses has grown exponentially. Everything is easier now, whether it’s launching a DAO, setting up a crypto-based system for in-game commerce, or deploying metaverse-adjacent NFTs.
According to Hartmann, it’s within the realm of possibility that within the next three years we could be attending virtual concerts and meeting colleagues in immersive digital environments. Once you experience a high-quality virtual world, Hartmann says that “you realize that we’re actually not that far away from it.”
When it comes to Meta’s movement into the metaverse, Hartmann is not impressed. “Imagine if the world is owned by Facebook [Meta],” he said. “That’s something that we should never have in the world.” he contrasted the decentralized perspective of his investment targets to Meta’s goal of maximizing revenue from users.
Hartmann has made a name for himself by approaching the crypto investment space with an active investor mentality. A German immigrant, he first landed in South Florida from his native Germany to study at American Heritage in Boca Raton. He has been in the US since his family won the green card lottery, first spending some time in Los Angeles before making Miami home in March 2021. Hartmann’s team includes Emily Rhen, JP Minetos, Kris Chapoteau, and Daniel Derzic.
Are you interested in investing in the metaverse? Hartmann says that you should first invest some money in a good VR system and 20 hours of exploring what’s out there. Metaverse enthusiasts can also check out the analysis the Hartmann team of experts puts out on their website’s thought leadership page.