- Gambling major Entain said today it aims to launch an innovation hub focusing on developing metaverse offerings.
- The company plans to invest around £100 million into NFTs, VR/AR focused startups to develop immersive sports and entertainment-related experiences.
- Entain had recently increased its FY 2021 EBITDA guidance to a range of £875 million and £885 million in its Q4 trading update.
The UK based sports betting and gambling company Entain PLC (LON: ENT) said today that it would launch a brand-new global innovation hub called Ennovate.
Entain’s foray into the metaverse
Entain’s hub will be used to develop products in the metaverse. These offerings will be focused on immersive sports and entertainment-related experiences.
The company stated it would invest around £100 million around into startups and help in the development of applications relating to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), virtual reality (VR), and more. About £40 million of the amount will be used for innovative investments in the UK.
The first Ennovate lab, which is anticipated to be launched in March 2022, will be located in the Farringdon area in London. The company has partnered with several other big firms, including US-based telecom giant Verizon, UK-based telecom major BT, and Blockchain-related video delivery network company Theta Labs.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual reality space wherein the people using the technology can interact in a digital universe. Metaverse uses a combination of several technical elements such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) etc.
Entain’s Q4 trading update
The company’s FY 2021 net gaming revenue (NGR) rose by 7 per cent on an annual basis. And its growth rate was 3 per cent for 2-year CAGR NGR.
The company’s growth was driven by the online business segment, with its total online NGR growing by 12 per cent year on year, and it rose by 19 per cent for 2-year CAGR NGR.
The company expects its FY 2021 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be between £875 million and £885 million. This new guidance is higher than its earlier expectations.
Entain PLC (LON: ENT) share price performance
Entain’s shares were trading at GBX 1,570.50, down by 0.10 per cent or 1.50 points on 31 January 2022 at 09:15 AM BST. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 index was at 7,488.81, up by 0.31 per cent or 22.74 points.
The company has a market cap of £9,220.61 million and has given its shareholders a return of 26.55 per cent on a one-year basis, as of 31 January.
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