Mozilla Acquires Active Replica to Further Its Metaverse Vision

Mozilla Acquires Active Replica to Further Its Metaverse Vision

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The creator of one of the world’s most prominent web browsers, Mozilla, has acquired a Vancouver-based startup called Active Replica, creating a ‘web-based metaverse.’

Mozilla SVP Imo Udom claims that Active Replica will aid the company’s ongoing collaboration with Hubs, a virtual reality chatroom service, and open source project. He observes the Active Replica team working particularly on customized subscription tiers, improving the onboarding procedure, and adding new interaction features in Hubs.

“Together, we see this as a key opportunity to bring even more innovation and creativity to Hubs than we could alone,” said Udom. “We will benefit from their unique experience and ability to create amazing experiences that help organizations use virtual spaces to drive impact. They will benefit from our scale, our talent, and our ability to help bring their innovations to the market faster.”

In 2020, Jacob Ervin and Valerian Denis set up Active Replica. Ervin has worked at the AR/VR startups Metaio, Liminal AR, and Occipital. He is a software engineer by trade. Denis has experience managing projects and has worked for VR companies such as BackLight, which specialize in location-based and highly interactive VR experiences for brands.

Ervin and Denis set out to create a platform for online events and meetings based on Mozilla’s Hubs project with Active Replica. Active Replica’s virtual event packages for sale comprised event planning, venue design, live entertainment, and tech support.

Before completing the acquisition, Active Replica still had to announce outside funding publicly. During the last few weeks, Ervin and Denis have been assigned new positions at Mozilla, serving as a senior engineering manager and product lead.

Mozilla introduced hubs in 2018 as an experiment in immersive social experiences. Thanks to its development tools and infrastructure, users can access the portal through a browser and collaborate with others in a VR setting. Hubs, which adheres to web standards, is accessible to those using desktops and smartphones without specialized VR hardware while supporting all standard headsets and goggles (such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive).

Hubs recently expanded by introducing a $20 monthly service that eliminated the free service but added account management tools, privacy, and security features.

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