Metaverse studio Karta secures new investors after successful campaigns with clients including Republic Records, JYP Management, Unilever, Amazon Music, and Ronald McDonald House, with an investment seed round led by GameTech Ventures featuring Amy Thomson.
After a successful funding round, Karta, a metaverse studio focused on in-game experiential marketing, has secured investment from industry pioneers across the music, gaming, sports, and finance industries.
Launched as a startup in 2021 by music industry veteran Tony Barnes and Fnatic’s ex-Head of Events Erik Londré, Karta drives to make the metaverse accessible and practical for musicians, brands, and sports rightsholders. In two years, the studio has delivered several successful projects on Roblox, Fortnite, and Decentraland for clients like Amazon Music, Unilever’s Sunsilk, and, most recently, the K-pop girl group TWICE.
Collectively, these campaigns have reached over 100 million users through Karta’s approach to creating virtual experiences, earning the startup several industry awards and a recent shortlist in the Health & Wellness category at Cannes Lions Awards for its work with Ronald McDonald House. The new investment provides a springboard for Karta, enabling it to service the increasing demand for these virtual worlds.
The recent funding round was led by venture capital firm GameTech Ventures and included names from the music sector, including Amy Thomson, ex-Chief Catalog Officer to Hipgnosis. Thomson chose to invest after recognizing Karta’s unique offering of building experiences with a marketer’s mindset and its vision for brands and artists to harness the metaverse as a powerful marketing tool.
“It was obvious as we navigate the way people engage with music and everyday life now in the metaverse to back a company who are not only building the best spaces I’ve seen there but also planning innovation I think will evolve this into a place we can’t live without,” said Thomson.
“By adopting a partnership mindset with a long-term view and a focus on rich experiences and fun for communities of fans, they are pioneering a new medium of deep engagement with consumers,” added Lachlan Gowrie-Smith, Partner at GameTech Ventures. “With an experienced and talented team, we’re delighted to be joining their journey with this investment.”
Launching the hugely successful TWICE Square — a fan experience built for K-pop megastars TWICE through a partnership with Republic Records and JYP Management has demonstrated Karta’s prowess for creating long-term music metaverse activations for big-name artists. TWICE Square is the current No. 1 music experience in Roblox and the third most popular branded experience overall on the platform this year.
The recent funding round also drew support from a range of other high-profile investors across gaming, sports, entertainment, and financial sectors, including global entertainment company Toikido, CEO of Sports Loft Charlie Greenwood, Chairman of UK Finance Robert Wigley, Powster Founder and CEO Ste Thompson and venture studio Big Ideas Group.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the backing and support received so far from some of the most well-respected figures in the industries we work with,” says Karta CEO Erik Londré. “They, like us, know the metaverse is the real deal and is delivering the real-world results that matter. The investment raised is going to be crucial in helping us service the growing demand for metaverse experiences by investing in our team, platform, and regional expansions.”