The Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange, Gemini, will allocate capital from its $400-million funding round into building a “Gemini experience in different Metaverses.”
Gemini announced that it had closed a $400-million equity growth funding round at a valuation of $7.1 billion on Thursday, marking the first time the firm had sought outside financing. Morgan Creek Digital led the round with participation from 10T, ParaFi, Newflow Partners and Marcy Venture Partners to name a few.
Notably, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which also partnered with Gemini to launch the first crypto trading services offered by a big four Australian bank, also backed the round.
“With this round of financing, Gemini will continue to bring simple, innovative, and secure products to market, and advance its geographic expansion,” the announcement read.
During an interview with Forbes published on Thursday, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss outlined their plans to expand Gemini’s reach into the metaverse.
Tyler noted that instead of building numerous “branches in meatspace” — a reference to the popular meme-based description of physical reality — the company is aiming to spread itself across multiple metaverses:
“We’re gonna build a Gemini experience in different Metaverses, where you can go into Gemini and trade, but it would be immersive instead of on your phone.”
According to Forbes, the twins will retain 75% of ownership over Gemini, with Morgan Creek general partner Sachin Jaitly joining the board of directors as part of his firm’s $75-million investment into the crypto platform.
The move will once again bring the duo into competition with Mark Zuckerberg, whom they famously battled in court over the ownership of Facebook more than a decade ago. The twins sued Zuckerberg in 2004, alleging that he stole their intellectual property to create Facebook, and went on to settle in court in 2011 for $65 million.
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Cameron emphasized to Forbes that unlike the centralized roadmap for the metaverse from firms “like Facebook or Fortnite,” Gemini is aiming for the decentralized route due to the belief that it offers greater upside for the user:
“But there is another path, which is the decentralized Metaverse and that’s the Metaverse where we believe there’s greater choice, independence and opportunity, and there is technology that protects the rights and dignity of individuals.”
“Decentralization is a spectrum,” Cameron added, noting that “we want to continue to move down the spectrum toward empowerment.”
The twins snapped up plots of land in The Sandbox metaverse at the start of April, with Tyler noting at the time that the plan was to set up Gemini’s crypto exchange and nonfungible token marketplace Nifty Gateway in the play-to-earn focused virtual world.