Shaffra tout Metaverse-as-a-service for SMEs
Shaffra, a metaverse-as-a-service platform, was at the recent Seamless Middle East where the startup was sharing its platform and the potential of the metaverse and how it can be integrated into business operations, enabling these businesses to remain competitive and tap into new streams of revenue.
Alharith Alatawi, Co-Founder & CEO at Shaffra, pointed out that while the adoption of the metaverse is still in early stages, platforms like theirs will make it easier (and more cost effective) to harness the power of the metaverse and the opportunities it offers.
According to PwC, the metaverse has the potential to contribute around $15 billion to GCC economies by 2030, with Dubai alone expected to generate $4 billion and create 40,000 new jobs within the next five years. This growth is driven by factors such as increasing internet penetration, rising demand for virtual events and conferences, and the growing popularity of gaming and social media.
Alatawi said, “I think we're heading there. What we're doing is focusing on how corporates, large entities like government agencies can benefit from using Metaverse technology today. I think the future is that everybody's going to have their own Metaverse or their own experience. I think today adoption is low because not everybody has a VR headset and the requisite tools to access a metaverse but with new technologies such as our platform will make it easy for people to access and Metaverse through web without any specific software without any specific hardware.”
He felt that as more people experience the metaverse is when the market is ready for SMEs to come and have a presence. “I think the metaverse is going to be an extremely important technology that will support them and enable them to do better business. And the reason is, every technology that's coming out today is disrupting the business of SMEs.”
While some of the newer technologies are enabling some SMEs, it's disrupting a lot of sectors.
Shaffra's API-first metaverse engine provides businesses full control over their data while integrating with their websites, apps, and systems. SMEs can also explore the platform's versatility and witness how avatars can interact in diverse activities beyond traditional social interactions. The Shaffra platform will allow businesses (especially the B2C businesses) customise the user experience and take online UX further. Alatawi expects that the users will be spending on an average of 6 hours in the metaverse once the user experience is improved and customised.
Chalhoub Group surveyed 1,600 consumers across the GCC in 2022 to measure the actual adoption rate of and future behaviour towards crypto, NFTs and the metaverse. Their comprehensive report, GCC State of the Metaverse and its Potential for Luxury Retail, showed that elevated levels of awareness were mainly amongst younger, high-income males predominantly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
So what would this cost an SME? Shaffra’s Alatawi is very clear that he wants to offer a future tech at affordable prices without a compromise on the quality of the experience.
Alatawi promised, “Shaffra is cost effective and highly customizable, because we built the engine from scratch. We do everything - 3D rendering software is all ours. And the final metaverse is embedded within our customers website and within their applications. So that means the users are on their site and the data is also with the business.”
The platform also integrates with various blockchain technologies and is chain-agnostic, allowing seamless integration with different blockchain platforms for added functionality. The company seeks to democratise access to the metaverse, enabling businesses and governments to harness its potential and transform the way people interact, work, and play in the digital world.