Tim Merel, Managing Director of Digi-Capital, blew me away the first time I heard him talk at ARiA in Boston in January, 2017 when he said “it’s all about what the guys at the top of the pyramid do.” Meaning the platform companies, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Alibaba and to a certain extent Amazon and Facebook, determine the fortunes of all levels of massive ecosystems beneath them. He was also quick to point out that it’s not an entirely a one-way street. “The giants are themselves dependent on the ecosystems that support their platforms,” Merel says.
No one understands this dynamic better than Merel. He comes by his vast knowledge due to his incredible pedigree as a software engineer, investment banker, lawyer and founder and earned a reputation as one of the most connected people in XR, with decades of experience in the US, Europe, and Asia. Everyone quotes Merel and courts his presence at conferences. The guy’s a truth teller. And he’s hilarious.
Digi-Capital's Analytics Platform, reports and thought leadership are pivotal for AR/VR/XR - they're the reference point for the entire industry.
Tim reached out to me last week to share Digi-Capital’s new AR/VR/XR Analytics Platform, which he hopes will become the new XR industry dashboard for startups, corporates and VCs. The platform helps its users to know everything in the AR/VR/XR market, with 500,000+ data points across hardware, software, revenue (both actual and forecast), platforms, installed bases, products/services, business models, categories, countries and regions, encompassing everything from bootstrapped startups to established publicly traded companies. The Digi-Capital Analytics Platform also covers the leading XR startups, founders, corporates, VCs, valuations, dealflow and relationships by category, investment stage, deal size, country and region.
The platform was soft-launched at a private event (Digi-Capital’s twice-yearly Reality Network) at Google in late May, after which ex-Piper Jaffray Apple Analyst (now Loup Ventures Managing Partner) Gene Munster commented: “Digi-Capital’s Analytics Platform is Bloomberg for AR/VR/XR — it’s beyond comprehensive.” According to Merel, subscriptions from the soft-launch alone took the platform into profit even before it launched in July. “The data/analytics to support the industry have largely come from industry reports so far (including our own), but tools equivalent to Bloomberg, AppAnnie or Pitchbook hadn’t emerged. So we made Digi-Capital’s Analytics Platform for AR/VR/XR professionals to answer the question in minutes that would take them weeks, without the cost of doing it themselves.”
CEOs need to know who their competitors are, and what they’re doing, where the underserved markets are, what products/services on their roadmap will make money (and which won’t), which developing XR platforms have momentum, which investors are active in their vertical, and how to get to them and the ultimate question, what’s my business worth, who will pay it, and how can I reach them. Merel showed me how an entrepreneur, corporate or investor could use the Platform to instantly asses their specific addressable market size, competitors and investors by platform, category, country and year at the most granular level. The Platform provides all the data and tools, so investors, entrepreneurs, and corporates can spend their time making the magic.
When queried by email, it appears just about everyone I know is, directly or indirectly, a user of data and insights from Digi-Capital. “Digi-Capital’s Analytics Platform, reports and thought leadership are pivotal for AR/VR/XR — they’re the reference point for the entire industry,” said Matt Miesnieks, CEO 6D.ai, Partner Super Ventures. Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO of 8th Wall, which provides a cross-platform development environment for AR app developers said “It’s like being able to look into the future, and the granularity of data and analysis is unique in AR/VR/XR. Nothing else comes close”
Tim Merel, Managing Director, Digi-Capital.
“Unfair advantages in the AR/VR/XR industry are rare,” observed Martin Herdina, CEO of Wikitude. “Digi-Capital’s Analytics Platform is a big one.”
Merel was like a big kid when he did his demo for me. He was positively giddy. I’ve seen blue-chip consultants [names withheld to protect the author] charge corporations six figures for far less, but Digi-Capital structures things so their platform is within reach for startups, corporates and VCs alike.