Emirates NBD, in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive and Microsoft, is to run an accelerator programme for metaverse startups.
Marking Emirates NBD’s first play in the metaverse, the accelerator programme aligns with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy aimed at supporting more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030 and adding $4 billion to country's economy in five years.
Emirates NBD is scouting for leading fintech’s, digital experience start-ups and emerging technology players operating across the metaverse landscape to enhance its immersion in the virtual world across three key areas: building the technology stack to facilitate the shift to 3D, creating virtual worlds to augment the customer experience in the metaverse and enabling a decentralised payment infrastructure for customers to create, monetise, buy and sell digital assets and services.
Over a ten-week acceleration programme, the DIFC Fintech Hive will evaluate and match Emirates NBD with start-ups offering propositions on the value creation, experience and technology stack required for the metaverse. This will culminate in a demo day where the shortlisted participants will pitch their ideas to the bank.
Miguel Rio Tinto, group CIO at Emirates NBD comments: “As a Bank that has always been at the forefront of adopting emerging technologies, we see unique opportunity areas to reimagine financial services including virtualising interactions with customers and providing financial services to the creator economy by enabling new products and marketplaces. With the support of the DIFC FinTech Hive and Microsoft, Emirates NBD is looking forward to becoming a launchpad of innovative financial services in the metaverse, playing an active role in co-creating new experiences for our customers with innovative start-ups from around the world.”
The Emirates NBD initiative follows that of Italian banking group Sella, which in June launched an acceleration programme dedicated to startups focused on finance in the virtual economy.