Virtual chat has been around for years. This startup is trying to bring together the first virtual world.
⚾ The Elevator Pitch:
Remember Warner Bros' Ready Player One in 2018? It was a Sci-Fi film where characters could escape to an immersive, fantasy world called The OASIS. Varty's vision is to build a fully virtual world and tear down the barriers of our physical world so we can socialize infinitely. Lofty vision? Yup. So Varty is starting simple:
Varty.io brings real-world events into virtual parties with a spatialized video chat. First, communities sign up to make a Varty space online - whether it be a church lobby, bar, or concert hall. Second, users walk around the venue, chatting with those in close proximity. Finally, Varty users befriend one another so they can socialize again in the future.
👇 The Drop Down
School: UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Harvard
Tech trend: Social Networking, Virtual Reality
Traction: Paying customers signed on, thousands of users, strong retention metrics
Team - Top engineers and data scientists from Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Uber
Adam Young - Founder & CEO
Kevin Fang - CTO
Eli Stewart - Lead Engineer
🔍 Our analysis
- 🔨 MVP Focused Virtual Reality doesn't need a headset to be effective. The reality is social platforms are powerful not because of their technology, but because of their network. The barrier of adoption for VR tech is still too high, so Varty is focused on building the social elements that make a virtual world powerful: faces, scenes, and interactions. When the future comes, whether it holds holograms or headsets, Varty will be ready to go fully immersive.
- 💸 Lucrative Target Markets You might not believe it, but there's a LOT of money in the church-giving industry ($50B/yr). Varty is focused on nailing the experience of a virtual world with the "church lobby" experience initially since they've got asymmetric access to a private network of church administrators nationwide. Varty is starting partnerships in matchmaking companies and enterprise networking events as well. We're keen to see how their customer acquisition strategy both deepens and scales to more domains.
- 🌊 Rising Tide of Market Opportunity. It's no surprise that video chat is being reinvented. Everyone from Goliaths like Microsoft Teams & Zoom, to viral platforms like Gather.town is trying to create the future of virtual. Varty's vision is a powerful one, but it'll be a challenge to set up competitive moats to keep the competition out as they scale.
🎤 Founders Corner
🤝 Get involved with Varty.io
- Make a Varty space!
- Varty is hiring! They’re looking for a Software Engineer, UI Designer, and Sales Representative