These are the top metaverse stocks to buy in 2022.
Depending on your perspective, the metaverse can be a lot of things. Is it an ephemeral, here-today-gone-tomorrow buzzword and tech industry fad or the dawn of a new age of all-encompassing technology? Is it a world of new opportunities that will improve the way we live and interact or the next dramatic step society takes toward screens and pixels and away from people and nature? You’d be forgiven for wanting to see more traction before investing in the metaverse, but if you think it has the potential some industry watchers espouse — McKinsey sees it creating up to $5 trillion in value by 2030 — then we’re in the first inning of a game-changing economic movement. For those looking for exposure to this speculative new technology, here are seven of the best metaverse stocks to buy in 2022.
Meta Platforms Inc. (ticker: META)
First and foremost among the best metaverse stocks to buy is of course Meta Platforms — the company that first truly popularized the term in 2021 and signaled its utter devotion to the concept by changing its name the same year. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long believed in the idea, acquiring virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR in 2014 for $2 billion. Zuckerberg’s 2014 Facebook post on the acquisition was exuberant: “After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.” If Meta earns even a small slice of all the commerce conducted via the metaverse as envisioned, long-term investors should be amply compensated. Those returns will simply require faith and delayed gratification, as the company’s metaverse-focused Reality Labs segment lost $10.2 billion in 2021 and $5.8 billion in the first half of 2022.
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)
Of course, you don’t have to seek out companies literally renaming themselves after the nascent technology to gain exposure to the metaverse. Nvidia, an innovative $440 billion chipmaker that overtook the likes of Intel Corp. (INTC) and Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) to become the most valuable semiconductor company in the world, also stands to benefit. Nvidia, which is already a go-to provider of top-of-the-line chips in areas like artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency mining and gaming, is positioning itself to benefit from the surge in processing power the metaverse will undoubtedly demand. CEO Jensen Huang sees profound business-to-business opportunities that Nvidia could enable, including the simulation of factories and large-scale infrastructure projects. Even if Nvidia’s own 3D design collaboration platform, Nvidia Omniverse, isn’t a goldmine, its market leadership in graphics processing units gives NVDA stock another obvious metaverse-related growth catalyst.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
Meta Platforms and Nvidia aren’t the only two Big Tech companies jockeying for a piece of the metaverse — and Meta’s Oculus line of headsets isn’t the only name in the game. Microsoft’s HoloLens headset line is priced dramatically higher (between $3,500 and $5,199) than the $399 Meta Quest 2, and its mixed-reality headsets are also built for enterprise rather than the consumer. In 2021, Microsoft inked a $22 billion contract with the U.S. Army to provide modified versions of the headset. But the $2 trillion Microsoft is covering all its bases, with opportunities to bring metaverse tech to the consumer gaming and professional segments as well. An announced $69 billion deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) would offer instant access to 361 million monthly active users and a world of immersive social and gaming possibilities. On top of that, Microsoft is advancing its metaverse efforts in the virtual workplace, where it sees avatars living inside of its Teams collaboration software and fostering professional relationships, a sense of community, employee retention and boosted productivity.
While the three prior metaverse companies all provide some exposure to metaverse hardware, Unity is a way to play the software side of the equation, where the real magic happens. Unity’s widely used 3D video game engine, which allows developers to create the bread-and-butter rules that govern digital worlds, enjoys dominant market share across mobile, PC and console platforms. The company’s 2021 Gaming Report boasts 5 billion monthly downloads of apps built in Unity, and it aims to seize a sizable portion of the metaverse market as well. Unity offers free training sessions for professionals on augmented reality, immersive digital worlds and how to build in VR, hoping to onboard the next generation of developers to its popular technology. Analysts expect 20% revenue growth in 2022 and 30% top-line growth in 2023.
Matterport Inc. (MTTR)
The next company heavily involved in the rapid intersection of the physical and digital worlds is Matterport, which at about $1.3 billion is also the smallest company among the best metaverse stocks to buy. Describing itself as devoted to the “digitization and datafication of the built world,” Matterport’s early niche has been real estate, where its 3D capture hardware and software technology allows for digital mapping of properties. Many of the increasingly ubiquitous 3D tours you might see while hunting for a house online are enabled by Matterport, and the company just partnered with North Carolina Regional MLS in an industry first that allows real estate agents to host virtual tours and open houses. A shift in business strategy from the hardware side of things to subscription-based software and data storage plans should give MTTR stock more long-term upside potential.
Roblox Corp. (RBLX)
Next up is Roblox, an online entertainment platform and popular video game that allows users to develop games of their own. Arguably one of the earliest pure plays on the metaverse, Roblox already has its own digital ecosystem that boasts Robux, its very own digital currency, with about 50 million daily active users. A huge percentage of Roblox users are kids, giving it either staying power or a faddish element, depending on your perspective. What’s undeniable is that there are few companies with the ecosystem that Roblox has, which includes 3D experiences like virtual concerts that emerged in the early months of the pandemic. While COVID-19 fueled rapid and unsustainable growth that couldn’t be maintained, revenue growth is expected to re-accelerate in 2023 to roughly 15%.
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK)
Last up is $46 billion Autodesk, which has conveniently built a business perfectly suited for commercial uses of the metaverse. Autodesk makes modeling software that enables professionals like engineers and architects to design buildings, structures and other goods. Autodesk recognizes the metaverse’s growing popularity and believes it will soon go from a nascent industry to “business as usual”; it has a suite of products devoted to 3D building in virtual and augmented reality. Even if the metaverse doesn’t take off like a rocket ship, Autodesk’s underlying business is healthy as is, with Wall Street expecting 14% top-line growth in both 2022 and 2023.
The 7 best metaverse stocks to buy now:
— Meta Platforms Inc. (META)
— Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)
— Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
— Unity Software Inc. (U)
— Autodesk Inc. (ADSK)
— Matterport Inc. (MTTR)
— Roblox Corp. (RBLX)
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Update 08/24/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.