Mozilla has acquired Vancouver-based Active Replica, a startup developing a “web-based metaverse.” According to corporate senior vice president Imo Udom, Active Replica will provide support for Mozilla’s ongoing work with Hubs, its VR chat room service, and its open source project. He sees the Active Replica team working on customized subscription levels, improving the onboarding experience, and introducing new interaction capabilities in Hubs.
In a blog post, Imo Udom writes, “Together, we see this as a key opportunity to bring more innovation and creativity to Hubs than we can alone. We will benefit from their unique expertise and ability to create amazing experiences that help organizations use virtual spaces to make an impact. They will benefit from our scale.” And our talents and ability to help bring their innovation to market faster.”
Active Replica was founded by Jacob Ervin and Valerian Denis in 2020. Jacob Ervin is a software engineer and has held roles at AR/VR startups such as Metaio, Occipital, and LEMAL. Valerian Denis has a history of managing projects by working for VR companies like BackLight. Active Replica’s idea was to build a platform for virtual events and meetings on top of Mozilla’s Hubs project. Active Replica sold virtual event packages that included venue design, event planning, live entertainment, and technical support.
Prior to the acquisition, the startup had not publicly announced outside financing. Over the past several weeks, the founders of Active Replica have taken on new roles at Mozilla with Jacob Ervin taking on the role of Chief Engineering Officer and Valerian Denis as Chief Product Officer.
In a statement, both founders said: “Mozilla has long championed a healthier Internet and has inspired us in its dedication and contributions to the open web. By joining forces with the Mozilla Hubs team, we can expand our mission further and inspire a new generation of creators, connectors, and builders. The edition will continue Rel is active in working with our existing customers, partners and our community.”
Mozilla Hubs launched in 2018. It provides the development tools and infrastructure needed to allow users to visit the portal via any browser and collaborate with others in a VR environment. Sticking to web standards, Hubs support all the usual headsets and glasses (such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) while remaining open to those without specialized VR hardware on desktops and smartphones.
Mozilla’s Hubs recently expanded by launching a $20-per-month service with new account management tools, privacy, and security features. The company plans to roll out additional tiers and reintroduce a free version in the future. It will also offer custom spaces, avatars, identity options and integration with existing collaboration tools.
Source: TechBooky Business
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