What triggered you to start your metaverse company?
Many corporate accounts reevaluated how they used their workplaces to conduct meetings after the COVID-19 pandemic started. My colleagues and I noticed that video conferencing lacked interactivity and engagement. This sparked the idea of Party.Space, a platform that would gamify online meetings and offer virtual social experiences. I, Arthur Ostapenko, and Dmitry Zvada (co-founders of Party.Space) wanted to make a video chat platform that’s both fun and easy to use. We identified the painful areas of traditional video conferencing platforms. And we understood that we needed to create something that would solve these problems with an intuitive interface and a simple setup.
What’s the story behind your company?
Our team initially developed a 2D version of Party.Space without a thought about the metaverse. But we closed our first major contract with a leading music streaming company three months after our launch. We hosted a successful event for 5,000 attendees who spent over 132 minutes on our platform. This client challenged us to transform Party.Space into a 3D model – which we did. This experience solidified our commitment to elevating the gamification of video conferencing to new heights.
The realization that customers are interested in virtual events hosted on our platforms would lead us to formulate a new strategy. We also understood that our events could help strengthen companies’ corporate culture. Most HRs and business owners didn’t know how to maintain their team spirit when the need for remote work hit. However, Party.Space offered a place where they could gather, have fun, and engage in true virtual experiences (not Zoom “parties” with turned-off cameras). The platform lets you move around the virtual space, use video conferencing tools and spatial audio to talk with your colleagues, perform on stage, play games, or even host a quiz. Interestingly, just as we were working towards executing this plan, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is now Meta.
This unexpected boost worked in our favor as Party.Space started being referred to as a metaverse platform. This is because our platform is a shared space where users can interact with each other and the environment in real-time. Likewise, it’s one that can be accessed through multiple platforms including desktop computers and mobile devices. And it’s a system that can handle a large number of users and virtual assets without compromising on performance or the user experience.
We would go on to develop our pilot virtual office product. This was accomplished by working together with the architectural bureau MONO Architects so that companies can rent it long-term and use it on a daily basis. And we recently launched a new brand powered by Party.Space called Townhall Space. It specializes in hosting corporate events in the metaverse. Party.Space focuses on entertainment such as virtual parties and informal gatherings. But we’re also working on an innovative new project – a virtual meeting room with integrated Generative AI mechanics. There are plenty of meeting room analogs in the market, but none which combine the metaverse and AI like this. Users can control the tone of the meeting and change the skybox with AI-generated images.
What does your company solve?
We bridge the gap between the Zoom of today and the Metaverse of the future. Party.Space and its products combine the best of these technologies to create an immersive and interactive experience. Think 3D worlds instead of Zoom layouts, interactive tables instead of breakout rooms, and gamification instead of boredom. We want to show people that the metaverse isn’t rocket science. On the contrary, it’s a great digital tool that’s easy to use and work with.
John Radoff describes the value chain of the metaverse with 7 layers. In which layer(s) does your company operate? Can you give an example?
Party.Space belongs to the experience layer. We focus on transforming the lonely online experience our clients would have had in Zoom into an interactive and social one. We help to erase geographical borders so that remote teams can immerse themselves into a virtual environment and interact with colleagues. As a result, our metaverse events help to increase employee engagement and strengthen relationships between colleagues in remote teams. Apart from the corporate gatherings we also host non-formal parties, quizzes, and more. Party.Space aims to deliver the best experience our guests can possibly have at an online event.
Who were the people who have been the most helpful in getting you to where you are today? How did they impact your life and your success?
My first nanny was also the first significant figure to nourish my character and personality. She was an elderly, very wise, Jewish woman. I am grateful to her to this day as she showed me how to be a good person. Later, when I started to work as an employee, I always felt lucky to meet great professional mentors. Michael Kharenko has been the most important among them. He’s a successful dealmaker and partner at Sayenko Kharenko.
Michael has been attracting investments to Ukraine for over 20 years by organizing large international deals worth over USD 40 billion. His deals are considered some of the most innovative and complex in Ukraine’s history. Michael Kharenko was also the first angel investor of Party.Space. It’s overwhelming when your mentor believes in and supports your business idea.
What do you hope the metaverse will look like in 10 years?
It’s hard to precisely predict what will happen with the metaverse as the sphere is still actively transforming. We can expect the metaverse to become an essential part of our usual way of life. It’s safe to assume that in the future the metaverse format will be one of the standard options for things like going to a concert or shopping.
And thanks to emerging technologies like VR, AR, AI, and Neuralink, we don’t have to wait for technology enablers – we’re becoming one. I don’t think the virtual world will replace our offline lives, and it definitely shouldn’t. But, hopefully, the metaverse will be more accessible and become a great tool for people and businesses globally.
How do you envision your company’s role within the metaverse in 10 years?
Our goal is to become an essential engine for businesses, organizations, communities, and anyone who wants an immersive metaverse experience. Whether we’re talking about virtual events or regular workflow in virtual environments. We envision a future where the metaverse will provide endless opportunities for collaboration, learning, entertainment, and socializing. And all of that within a seamless digital space. We aim to create a user-friendly and accessible space that can help businesses and individuals achieve their goals in a virtual world through Party.Space as a metaverse platform.