Indian fitness technology company GOQii has scored another $10 million in an extended Series C equity funding round from Hong Kong-based game software and venture capital firm Animoca Brands.
This time, the investment will support the development of its health metaverse, according to a press statement.
Founded in 2014, GOQii is a health tech company that offers a wearable fitness tracker and a companion mobile app. It also provides health coaching and insurance and operates a health marketplace.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The metaverse ecosystem that GOQii is building will be powered by a virtual token programme where users will be rewarded with a virtual token for their healthy behaviours and for completing gamified fitness activities.
These tokens, the company said, can be used to purchase products and services, buy non-fungible tokens or NFTs, and participate in special events and game modes. NFTs, in particular, can be converted into a blockchain-based cryptocurrency for transactions on platforms outside the GOQii ecosystem, a news report noted.
The tokens are also an extension of the company’s GOQii Cash. First introduced in 2018, the GOQii Cash can be redeemed at the GOQii Health Store, a health marketplace with over 200 brands and more than 6,000 products, such as healthy snacks, supplements, and fitness equipment.
The GOQii metaverse is targeted to be launched worldwide in the next 12-24 months.
WHY IT MATTERS
The upcoming GOQii metaverse adds to the many ways the Indian people can be actively involved in managing their health, which is one of the major objectives of the recently launched National Digital Health Mission. The Indian government intends to further the digitisation of its health system through the NDHM, which will build the foundations of the country’s digital health infrastructure.
“GOQii’s Metaverse is committed to driving innovation within the healthcare industry, as the company seeks to address the complex challenges of healthcare accessibility and affordability,” the company said.
THE LARGER TREND
It was only early this year that the hype around metaverse, a network of 3D virtual worlds, has come to the healthcare industry.
The Emirates Health Services in Dubai announced in January that it has started piloting what could be the world’s first healthcare metaverse platform. Called MetaHealth, the platform provides a virtual world for the health professionals in Dubai’s three major hospitals. Patients who are unable to physically visit a clinic or hospital can access this platform through a mobile device.
Last month, Singapore-based healthcare firm Meta Health said it will enter the metaverse ecosystem of Aimedis, a medtech company from the Netherlands that built the virtual Aimedis Medical City. Their partnership will see Meta Health’s telemedicine platform 5Digital embedded into Aimedis’ virtual medical city where consultation notes, as well as health data from IoT medical devices, will be stored on the blockchain.
Weeks ago, robotics startup NexStem began rolling out its brain-computer interface (BCI) headset and software across Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the US. The company said it is exploring the use of cases of BCI in virtual reality, mental health, and everyday applications to further make humans a part of the metaverse.
Meanwhile, GOQii’s latest investment from Animoca adds to the $50 million it raised in a financing round in February, which proceeds will be deployed to expand its insurance and digital therapeutics offerings.