Entain launches Ennovate hub to investigate NFTs, VR and AR

Sports betting and gaming entertainment operator Entain has announced the launch of its Ennovate innovation hub, funded with a £100 million investment.

The company said Ennovate’s mission is to develop and showcase disruptive technologies and consumer products for the sports and entertainment metaverse.

According to the report, up to £100m will be invested within innovation projects, start-up investments and collaborations with UK, European and global partners, and £40m specifically will be earmarked for innovation investment in the UK.

To underscore its ambition to become “a global leader in innovative entertainment”, the FTSE100 gaming group has also outlined plans for investigation of the non-fungible token (NFT), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) sectors.

Ennovate also intends to showcase new consumer products and experiences in order to lead immersive entertainment such as NFTs launched by Partypoker and powered by Theta Labs.

Also, some immersive experiences in VR and AR will also be shown and developed at the hub, and will include a pioneering VR multi-sports club experience, which the group plans to launch as well.

The lab will feature an ‘Experience Zone’ enabling customers, investors, partners and employees to test developed immersive experiences, whilst also coordinating work on products for the metaverse.

Additional features of the institution are accelerator and incubator programmes, with the former investing £5m on individual innovative initiatives, whilst the operator has also underscored that startups specialising in immersive experience, interactive entertainment and the metaverse will be invited to participate.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Chief Executive of Entain said the company wants “to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use our cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse”.

“We also want to use our position as a global technology leader to help drive innovation more widely,” Nygaard-Andersen continued.

“Working with partners around the globe, Ennovate will demonstrate how Entain’s industry-leading technology can both revolutionise experiences for consumers and deliver real benefits to society.”

Sandeep Tiku, Entain’s COO, added the main goal is to bring the most exciting experiences in immersive sport, gaming and interactive entertainment to life as the metaverse takes shape.

“Working with partners we believe we can achieve great things faster, both for customers and to apply these technologies and skills to benefit wider society,” he commented.

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