Matterless raises $1.25m to build social AR companions
On a mission to generate the sense of companionship through augmented reality, Matterless has raised 1.25m USD of venture capital funding to build a virtual world conducive to real connection.
We live in an age of social paradoxes. We spend more time online than ever before, more time using products made to connect us, yet we feel increasingly isolated and lonely. This is worrying because a lack of companionship and social stimulation leads to adverse health outcomes, depression, and suicidality.
It feels almost trite to point out how Coronvirus has further exacerbated the loneliness epidemic, but it seems that we’re caught in a whirlpool of downwardly spiraling mental health and alienation. More and more people live alone, and when combined with a move towards working from home it is not hard to see how we suddenly find ourselves lonelier than ever.
One of the most striking measurements of how the prospect of isolation has impacted our psyche is how the price and demand for pets exploded at the start of the pandemic.
The global pet care market is already over 240bn USD worldwide, and it is hard to speculate just how much it will grow over the coming decade as new generations of pet owners dote on their companions in ways that previous generations found unimaginable. Did you know, as many 1/3 of pet-owning Americans admit to buying birthday gifts for their pets?
Love is a verb. Love is a doing word.
The 1998 song “Teardrop” by Massive Attack opens with the beautiful line “Love is a doing word”. Perhaps it is worth meditating on, considering the astronomical rise of parasocial relationships. Platforms like Twitch and OnlyFans have carved out huge niches for various kinds of parasocial interaction, where the social engagement is almost entirely one-sided. Giving your attention and love to someone is pleasurable, especially when you’re lonely.
Matterless is making AR animal companions to give people something to love and channel their social energy towards. Built on a massive breakthrough in AR technology that allows for moments in augmented reality to be effortlessly shared, the soon-to-be-released Matterless app allows users to adopt virtual companions with unique personalities, traits, and quirks.
The animal companions’ personalities and appearance will be secured using NFTs, to ensure that each companion is a unique and tamper-proof individual.
The round included investors like Outlier Ventures, Cadenza, Kenetic Capital, NGC Ventures, and Arkstream Capital. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for their visionary support of our audacious mission to reduce loneliness.
-Nils Pihl, CEO of Matterless Studios
About Matterless Studios
Digital life. Real connections. True Affection.
Matterless Studios is an augmented reality studio building the future of digital relationships, creating outlets for human love, nurture, and creativity. For more information visit www.matterless.com, join the Discord, or follow us on Twitter or here on Medium.