Microsoft Leads a Huge Investment in a Rising NFT Studio

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a top trend in this year's crypto market, and several companies have joined the industry hoping to capitalize.

Microsoft Leads a Huge Investment in a Rising NFT Studio

Microsoft recently made a big splash on NFTs, backing the crypto and NFT startup Palm NFT Studio.

NFTs for Everyone

This month, Palm NFT Studio announced it had raised $27 million in its Series B funding round. The company, aiming to make building NFT marketplaces easier, confirmed that Microsoft's venture fund M12 backed the funding round. Other funding partners include Warner Brothers Inc., Griffin Gaming Partners, and SK Inc.

Palm NFT Studio plans to offer technical services developers need to build and operate NFT marketplaces. Palm aims to use the funds to scale its technology platform and onboard more third-party players seeking to deploy NFT projects.

The project was created in part by Joseph Lubin - a co-founder of Ethereum. So far, it has built the Palm Network - an Ethereum sidechain allowing users to create NFTs. All tokens minted on the Palm Network or Ethereum mainnet can be seamlessly bridged, and vice versa.

Palm NFT Studio plans to collaborate with movie makers, game developers, and artists who want to join the NFT space. The company has committed to ensuring regulatory compliance and developing environmentally sustainable NFTs.

Expansion Plans for Palm

Dan Heyman, Palm's founder and chief executive, shared his belief that NFTs will be more democratically available within three to five years.

"We envision programs that mint millions of NFTs with utility; social objects that connect communities, drive engagement, and reward true fans. We're grateful that incredible partners like M12 share that vision."

Palm Studio hopes to build on some of its successful collaborations. In October, the company partnered with DC Comics for an NFT giveaway as part of the latter's DC FanDome convention. The partnership included the release of tokenized comic book covers depicting some of DC's iconic names - including Batman, Superman, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman.

All users who registered for the free virtual event could get the NFTs, with tokens having different rarity levels based on their characters.

Now that Palm NFT Studio is bringing in new partners, the company is looking to expand into larger markets. M12 signed on as a board member, explaining in a statement:

"The company and third parties have run tests that show the Palm Network requires magnitudes less computation and subsequent energy to execute transactions than proof-of-work chains. The Palm Network also has a carbon tax built into its bridge configuration, enforcing payment when mainnet resources are used."

Microsoft Scoring Early-Mover Points

M12's investment in Palm NFT Studio represents Microsoft's latest foray into trending aspects of the tech space. In November, the company announced updates to the Teams video conferencing service allowing it to incorporate the metaverse for meetings and more.

In an announcement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained that the company had updated its Teams software to add a new feature called "Mesh." Expected to roll out in 2022, Mesh will allow users to create personalized digital avatars and build engaging spaces where they can meet in the metaverse.

Nadella explained that Mesh is accessible from any device, and users won't need additional equipment. The CEO said the metaverse would help Microsoft embed computing into the real world and vice versa. By bridging real presences into the digital space, Microsoft hopes to improve how users experience both real and digital worlds.

Later down the line, Microsoft will allow organizations to build custom spaces to support different events - including team meetings, retreats and offsites, even mixers. All of these will be available using Mesh.

Microsoft recently launched the Dynamics 365 Connected Spaces, which will allow organizations to combine artificial intelligence technology and the metaverse with their operations. This way, Connected Spaces will enable users to harness observational data from cameras.

Microsoft is known for moving quickly towards emerging technologies. With its play for NFTs and the metaverse, it's in an excellent position to pioneer the age of Web3.

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