MTN Group invests in the metaverse, buys 144 plots of virtual land

MTN Group has bought 144 plots in Ubuntuland, a South African virtual land for an undisclosed sum.

MTN Group invests in the metaverse, buys 144 plots of virtual land

MTN Group has bought 144 plots in Ubuntuland, a South African virtual land for an undisclosed sum.

Ubuntuland is being developed by Africarare and Mann Made Media and will be open to public land sales later this year. Ubuntuland will showcase some of the best of African art, fashion, entertainment, sport, tech and creativity and will provide a platform for artists from across the continent to showcase their work.

Africarare which made its debut in South Africa in October 2021, is the first African Virtual Reality metaverse featuring digital land. It sold out it’s debut Non-fungible token (NFT) art collection last year for about $50,000.

This purchase will see MTN owning 144 plots of virtual land with an overall area of 12x12m. “This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumer’s digital experiences and engagement.’’ Bernice Samuels, MTN’s Group Executive for Marketing said.

Bernice added that MTN have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers.

What is a virtual land?

Virtual land is essentially just an NFT that confers ownership of a given digital space. For more information on NFTs as a whole and how they are built, visit our explainer, but suffice it to say that virtual land is created by platform developers who parcel off land from a large map of potential properties for users to buy using cryptocurrency.

Proof of ownership is then assured by the blockchain technology on which the NFT exists, a ledger secured by the efforts of a network of computers solving complex mathematical problems in order to verify and record transactions without resorting to one central authority.

Virtual land can be used for anything that the owner wishes, be that socializing, gaming or any other experience that is supported by the digital world in which the space is situated. The landowner might wish to host a brand experience of the sort pioneered by Nike with its NIKELAND game within Roblox. Competitor Adidas has duly bought a plot of land within The Sandbox to produce its own experiences.

What you need to know about MTN's rebrand

Recently, the MTN Group unveiled its evolved visual identity, articulating the context behind the logo many have seen since 16 February 2022. It is just the second brand overhaul since the Group was founded in 1994.

In 2004, the changes made to the brand resulted in MTN taking ownership of the colour yellow that is now synonymous with MTN. Importantly it also helped to elevate the brand to where it is today, recognised as the most valuable in Africa.

“The brand is an extension and visual representation of the Group’s refreshed strategy, dubbed Ambition 2025 and premised on Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.’’ the Group stated.

Through the delivery of this strategy, MTN aims to accelerate growth by building the largest and most valuable platform businesses and driving its industry leading connectivity operations.