Metaverse investor Angelica Saldaña sits down with Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how companies are buying up digital real estate in the metaverse, NFTs, and the various metaverses that are being developed.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Welcome back. Acura, Estee Lauder, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase are just some of the names buying virtual real estate in the Metaverse. Is it a fad, or are they ahead of the curve like when the internet first arrived? Well, for a closer look, I’m joined by Metaverse investor, Angelica Saldana. Thank you so much for joining me today. So first, I want to get a sense, in terms of that aha moment where investing in the Metaverse made sense to you, what happened for you there?
ANGELICA SALDANA: Oh, yeah, what happened was I actually missed Second Life and other Metaverses in the past. So then I realized that I can capitalize on this. And what it’s about is, I can own property in the Metaverse and own it, and then I can sell it and create a business. That was my aha moment. It was, this is the real– so what happened, think about the website. If you own a business, you have to have a website. In the future, what we’re going to have is the Metaverse, and then you go inside it. You can meet me with my business with coordinates, and automatically, you can see my products, and you can sell them. That was my aha moment.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: And that’s an interesting way of looking at it. Just as we have these placeholders with websites on the internet, as we know, that’s an interesting way to put it. Now, obviously, Metaverse real estate is really kicking off. Sales topped $ 501 million last year, according to Meta Metric Solutions. So why did you choose virtual real estate versus, say, any other asset that you could have picked in the Metaverse?
ANGELICA SALDANA: Part of me, like, I buy everything, like stocks, gold. I also bought all the– I bought at least 20 different virtual real estates in 20 different Metaverses.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, that’s incredible. A lot of us still really don’t know how it works. A lot of people still not sure how to get into it. What’s the best way to explain the interest in the Metaverse, and especially in virtual real estate, if you are a complete novice and you’re just trying to figure out a way into investing?
ANGELICA SALDANA: OK, so this is how it is. It’s like imagine a future company. You are the future company. So, OK, so when you buy a Metaverse property, you can build a home in it. And then you can meet people. Like, remember COVID? We got locked out, and then finally, you can see your family and friends at one place, and there’s no restriction. Another thing that’s amazing, it’s a TCG world. Some– a woman bought property in there for her children to pass on for the next generation.
Another thing you can do is, you can build your business. So I talked to the CEO, David Evans, of TCG World. And I own seven properties from there. And he told me not only can you build your property, you can design furniture. You can design a lamp. And you can sell that as an NFT and make money off of it. You could also create art if you’re an artist, and you can have a gallery and you can show it. And you can sell it in two ways. You can sell it through an NFT, a non-fungible token that’s a virtual replica, or you can sell it in real life. And they can buy it there.
What else you can do is– I thought about this. You can imagine you’re having a party. So my friend last month is from France. And he owned a loft in the Metaverse, and he invited me to it. And what I saw was in this loft, at the end, there was a stage with French rappers. So imagine, you hear the music, and you sell it as an NFT. Then when I walked to the back, I saw a table with poker chips. And he created a poker game with the tournament. And whoever won, won crypto. I mean, the sky’s the limit.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: Now I will say, obviously, there is a healthy amount of skepticism about the Metaverse. We saw that iPod creator and Google Nest co-founder Tony Fadell, he says he does believe in the potential technologies that are linked to the Metaverse, things like augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality. In his words, though, he said, F the Metaverse, in an interview with Wired. And we also heard from Facebook investor and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman who spoke to Yahoo Finance earlier today. I’m just going to play you what he said for your reaction.
ANGELICA SALDANA: OK.
REID HOFFMAN: I don’t see the signs yet that tell me that the Metaverse is [INAUDIBLE]. If you’re building the technology because you think the scale will go to market with three to five years from now, you have to be building really hard right now. That’s a good thing to do. The technology you’re building, if it’s not five years from now, maybe seven, then it’s technology you shouldn’t be building four years from now, because there will be new [INAUDIBLE]
BRIAN SOZZI: [INAUDIBLE]
REID HOFFMAN: They might be.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: So when you think of that, perhaps, that five to 10-year horizon, that you said people will start, at some point, interacting in the Metaverse every day. In terms of the usefulness of it and how people should really be viewing it right now, what do they need to be aware of?
ANGELICA SALDANA: What do they need to be aware of is, this is the future. Like, for example, in the past, people thought– they thought the internet was crazy. And then now it’s all over. Now it’s the same thing with the Metaverse. That’s– it’s the new way to live out our new life and exist and have fun and entertain, even when– yeah, like, to entertain and meet people and sell. It’s– we’re thinking too small. That’s the problem.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: It really does seem to be the sort of next level social media universe. So thank you for giving us your insights on it. Great having you on, Metaverse investor Angelica Saldana. Thank you so much.