South Korea is investing 27.7 billion Korean won (US$21 million) into local services looking to utilize the metaverse, the ministry of science announced Wednesday, following Tuesday’s news that it would establish a US$30 million metaverse fund to help startups expand their businesses.

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Fast facts

  • The US$21 million investment will support 13 new projects in sectors including healthcare, education and tourism that will innovate services using the metaverse to improve services for the public, according to the press release.
  • South Korea’s 40 billion won (US$30 million) fund announced Tuesday will encourage smaller enterprises in the metaverse sector to actively seek mergers and acquisitions to expand operations to the global market.
  • In February 2022, South Korea invested about US$185 million to develop the country’s metaverse ecosystem. Since then, a slew of metaverse projects have emerged from both the private and public sectors, namely capital city Seoul’s launch of its metaverse replica
  • Meta Platforms’ Reality Labs, one of world’s leading metaverse developers, reportedly lost US$13 billion last year as its virtual platform Horizon Worlds failed to attract a significant number of returning users. 
  • According to Google Trends, netizens have been gradually losing interest in metaverse as a search term over the last year, with its popularity decreasing 76% compared to its yearly peak in March 2022.

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