Web 3 start-up Lighthouse has raised a $7 million seed round to build out “the search engine of the open metaverse.”
The round was led by co-led by Accel, BlockTower and Animoca Brands and included participation from White Star Capital, Sparkle Ventures and Gemini Frontier Fund, among others.
Founded by Jonathan Brun and Justine Massicotte, Lighthouse seeks to simplify discovery and mobility across the spatial web. Its platform, which will launch this summer, will enable users to search for places, events, creators, experiences, and even friends across and within virtual worlds.
Beyond search, Lighthouse will offer a portal where users will be able to see trending activities, build groups of friends to explore the metaverse, see where their NFTs are usable and follow the work of specific brands and creators.
Prior to launching Lighthouse, Jonathan Brun was Entrepreneur in Residence in White Star Capital’s Digital Asset Fund while Justine Massicotte was in charge of the Query Suggest engine at Coveo, a publicly-traded enterprise search company with global operations.
Lighthouse allows users to search through a database of all the active events going on in metaverse games like Decentraland and The Sandbox, while also being able to search for where users themselves are in these virtual worlds.
“If you are curious about the metaverse and don’t know where to start, Lighthouse will be the place to go,“ says Jonathan Brun, co-founder and CEO of Lighthouse.
“Right now, discovery in the metaverse feels more like gaming, where you need to jump from one game to the next to find things, than the internet, where you can access everything from a single entry point. By building Lighthouse, we take the view that siloed worlds will eventually merge to become closer to the web.
We’ve all seen how much standards and principles of openness propelled our digital lives with the internet. We are confident that Web3 virtual worlds will unite behind our vision of making the open metaverse a searchable place.”
Because much of the data for these ecosystems isn’t publicly available on-chain, the platforms themselves have to partner with Lighthouse to be searchable in its database.
Lighthouse says it’s unsure if every closed metaverse will open itself up to its search engine, but backing by firms like Animoca Brands suggests some projects are already on board.
“Lighthouse has the exciting opportunity to build a part of the unifying infrastructure for the metaverse,” said Andrei Brasoveanu, Partner at Accel.
“The power of the metaverse lies in making it discoverable to a broad range of users, creators, and brands. Jonathan and Justine have thought hard about the opportunity ahead and what it takes to enable everyone to immerse themselves in this increasingly fragmented virtual world. We’re looking forward to partnering with the Lighthouse team on this journey!”