Features

A Brief History of the Metaverse

The metaverse conjures up thoughts of a fully immersive world of the future.However, what we know now as the rapidly evolving metaverse is not new. In fact, elements of the metaverse began emerging over two centuries ago. What developments led to what we now call the metaverse? Where is this technology heading?Virtual Reality in the 1800s?Today’s virtual reality (VR) headsetshadtheir roots in technology developed in 1838.[i] Binocular vision, where two images – one for each eye – are combined to create a 3-D image, led to the development of stereoscopes. This helped to create the impression of depth.Early Virtual and Augmented RealityThe mid to late 1900s saw continued advances in virtual and augmented reality (AR).In 1956, the Sensorama Machine was developed to provide a completely immersive experience. The machine simulated the riding of a motorcycle by combining 3-D images with audio, scents, and a vibrating chair.The first head-mounted display was created in 1960, which combined stereoscopic 3-D images with stereo sound.In the 1970s, MIT created the Aspen Movie Map. The technology used VR to allow users to take a computer-generated tour of Aspen, Colorado.Snow Crash – An InspirationThe idea for the metaverse solidified in the 1982 novel Snow Crash. The novel featured a virtual place (metaverse) where characters could go to escape a dreary reality.The 1990sGaming began making use of VR technology in the early 1990s, with SEGA’s VR-1 motion simulators showing up in many arcades.Then, in 1998, Sportsvision broadcasted the first NFL game with a yellow yard marker appearing on the screen. This spread to other sports broadcasts and accelerated the idea of AR, or overlaying graphics over real-world views.Advances in HeadsetsThe 2010s saw the advancement in VR headset development. In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus VR. The companies agreed to work together to build out the Oculus platform. Also in 2014, both Sony and Samsung announced plans to create their own VR headsets.Google created its Carboard device, a low-cost VR viewer for smartphones, and Google Glass AR.How Will That Look in My Living Room?In 2017, IKEA developed their Place app, which allowed individuals to see what furniture would look like in their house.Better Smartphone TechnologyIn 2020, Apple developed its Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) technology to create better AR capabilities on its smartphones and to pave the way for mixed-reality headsets in the future.Facebook Becomes MetaIn 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta to underscore its metaverse strategy.Meta developed a new version of smart glasses.Evolution Rather Than RevolutionThis is certainly not an exhaustive history of the metaverse, but it highlights that technology has evolved into what is now known as the metaverse.Technology will likely continue to evolve to create even more immersive experiences.As this technology continues to evolve, we believe that companies developing the next iteration of the metaverse present an attractive investment opportunity.The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please click here.[i] All data sourced from: Marr, Bernard, A Short History of the Metaverse, Forbes, 3/21/22

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi

The State of NFTs in 2022

NFTs became one of the most popular buzzwords in recent years and won headlines around the world. Between 2020 and 2021, the volume of transactions in the NFT market went from 82 million dollars to 17 billion dollars, a growth of more than 21,000%. In almost one year, NFTs have gone from being a tool used by just a few tech experts to an increasingly popular technology among both companies and individual users.But how much of it is sustainable in the long term? How much of this market really makes sense? Are we experiencing a bubble in the NFT market?In 2022, the NFT market remains heated, with the number of transactions, users, and volume growing rapidly. This is not to say that the market does not have its ups and downs. In fact, 2022 has been marked by the drop in the prices of various collections and, at certain weeks, the drop in the number of transactions.How does the market now differ from the market in 2021, and what can we expect in the next few years? We can analyze these questions in three major spheres: collections and utility, technology, and mass adoption.Collections and UtilityStarting with collections and utility, we are still living the hype of collections focused on profile pictures, and this is a trend that is expected to continue for some time. These collections create NFTs that represent an image that can be used as a profile picture in a social network profile.This type of collection has grown so much because it bridges Web 2.0 (social media, cloud, and platforms) and Web 3.0 (blockchain, smart contracts, and tokens). When someone decides to use an NFT as a profile picture on social media, they are sending a message to their audience that they are a person who is aware of new technologies and a person who is part of this new world. An NFT as a profile picture can also help to send a general message about oneself, just like how clothing, followed pages, and liked posts can act as a means of self-expression. Although people believe that the profile picture hype is wearing off, I believe it is still far from over.Despite large volumes, NFTs have yet to reach mass adoption. Social media is a showcase for users to show who they are and NFTs, in the end, are a powerful form of storytelling. NFT profile pictures are a way for users to tell stories within the online environment, and a lot of people still don’t understand its importance.There is another important point: an NFT simply as a profile picture is probably not enough going forward. In 2021 we saw collections making millions in volume with no real use for their owners. Without utility or great storytelling, 99% of collections will go to zero. From now on, collections should convey the utility they will bring to their owners. For this, it is necessary for the makers of the collection to understand the audience they are attracting, so that the uses make sense to those who purchase the NFTs. This utility of NFTs can be exclusive access to content, new collections, online and offline events, and more.TechnologyThe second point, technology, is one of the hottest trends at the moment. Last year brought a very powerful inflection point for the NFT market and it is seldom seen or discussed. The growth in transaction volumes has attracted not only creators and buyers, but also companies developing adjacent technologies, rarity analysis tools, data aggregators, management tools for NFT communities, and others.This movement is just beginning. This year already shows that there are thousands of talented entrepreneurs building tools for this market. Every new innovation brings the potential for other innovations to emerge and that is exactly what we are witnessing right now. In the coming years, we should expect to see more and more tools emerging to solve the problems and challenges of the NFT market.Mass AdoptionFinally, despite high volumes, the NFT market is still far from mass adoption. This is due to both technical and market education issues. There are many barriers to entry in this market right now and these points need to be addressed: better UX and UI, growth of sidechains, cheaper layer 1 transaction fees, layer 2 with more users, etc. In addition, it is necessary to work on raising awareness so that the general public views this market differently. A majority of people still link the NFT market to environmental issues, speculation, money laundering, get-rich-quick schemes and so on. The entry of new players can also help with mass adoption. Some of the biggest business platforms in the world, such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Amazon, have already started to incorporate or have already announced that they are studying the incorporation of NFTs in their products. Despite the discussions about centralization and decentralization, there is no denying that this will contribute greatly to the mass adoption of NFTs.

READ MORE by Tiago Amaral

Three Factors for Determining Successful NFT Drops

Web3 is quickly becoming the new social media, and many brands are jumping in and experimenting with blockchain technology. However, this must be done correctly to protect the brand’s image and support its mission. There are three key factors that determine the success and feasibility of implementing an enterprise level NFT program: clearly defining brand objectives, intellectual property identification & utility implementation, and marketing.First, a brand must match brand objectives to their NFT Program. A classic saying in business is that “a product must not search for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist”. In this ilk, a brand must only leverage Web3 solutions as a natural progression and extension of their brand; in other words, brands should use NFTs only if it makes sense to the brand. NFTs are not for every company (at least for now; many argue that NFTs will become as ubiquitous as data records in the upcoming years due to the blockchain’s sheer technological power of recording accounts securely). NFTs are currently a great tool to increase consumer engagement, advertise a new product launch, bolster consumer loyalty programs, engage with a younger audience, elevate brand perception as being ‘innovative’, increase consumer lifetime value, and stimulate cross selling.Second, a brand must identify key, usable intellectual property (IP) and implement utility linked to brand objectives via NFTs. IP is at the center of many profitable businesses and requires due diligence if vended. A brand must define its IP through a legal lens to determine ownership, liabilities, and correct artist attributions. Due to the royalty technology enabled by smart contracts on the blockchain, artists are now able to receive continuous payouts after each subsequent resale. In addition to IP, a brand must incorporate utility, or value, into its NFTs. The most successful NFT programs have not only captivating art, but they also contain value that is unlocked with the NFT sale. For example, some NFTs unlock utility such as exclusive club membership, access to in real life (IRL) and virtual experiences, and whitelisting (early access to product launches, events, and drops). Utility is how brands can be tremendously creative and develop consumer-brand engagement unlike anything before.Third, marketing is crucial to unlocking a brand’s potential in Web3. NFT marketing strategy is typically broken into targeting three main cohorts: brand super fans who know nothing about NFTs, NFT enthusiasts who are extremely familiar with blockchain technology, and brand fans who are mildly knowledgeable but receptive to learning about NFTs. Regardless of which group the brand’s target demo falls into, education is key: WHY the brand is leveraging web3, WHAT the brand is doing with NFTs, and HOW the brand will engage consumers (typically through utility). This education messaging is key to engaging with all three groups and doing so by supplementing current marketing strategies. Twitter is a key platform for this messaging.In all, there are a few strategies that are critical for an enterprise brand taking the leap into Web3; the brand must protect its image and perception while cautiously experimenting with this new technology. It’s not easy, but for those brands that successfully tap into the world of NFTs, the payoff is significant.

READ MORE by Christine Mansour

Posts

23-Jun-2022

MTVR Metaverse Report

Industry updates from the Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR).Clickhere to access the full list of holdings.Metaverse Standards ForumMeta Platforms, Unity Software Inc., and other tech giants joined together to form The Metaverse Standards Forum in order to foster the development of open standards for the metaverse. Hosted by the Khronos Group, the Forum welcomes any company, standards organization, or university at no charge through a click-through Participant Agreement.“The metaverse will bring together diverse technologies, requiring a constellation of interoperability standards, created and maintained by many standards organizations,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president. “The Metaverse Standards Forum is a unique venue for coordination between standards organizations and industry, with a mission to foster the pragmatic and timely standardization that will be essential to an open and inclusive metaverse.”The activities of the Forum will follow the needs and interests of the members which may involve diverse technology domains such as 3D assets and rendering, human interface and interaction paradigms such as AR and VR, user created content, avatars, identity management, privacy, and financial transactions. Forum meetings are scheduled to begin in July 2022. [1](The Metaverse Standards Forum)Meta Unveils Prototypes of VR HeadsetsMark Zuckerberg revealed several of Meta Platform’s unfinished headset prototypes to show off the progress made in Reality Labs, a business of Meta Platforms that produces virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) hardware and software. During his demonstration Zuckerberg said that Meta aimed to provide a realistic enough experience for users to feel like they’re in the same room with other virtual people. The protypes he demonstrated were:- Butterscotch: Butterscotch has a new lens developed by Meta that limits the headset’s field of view, making it possible to present fine text and display increased realism. However, the product was deemed “nowhere near shippable” because of its weight and bulkiness.-Half Dome 3: The resolution and image quality of Half Dome’s technology could improve enough for users to create giant computer monitors inside a headset. Half Dome 3 replaces mechanical parts with liquid crystal lenses.- Holocake 2: Holocake 2 is the thinnest and lightest headset that Meta has made. It uses a flat, holographic lens to reduce bulk, in addition to lasers. However, it requires specialized lasers that are too expensive for consumers to purchase and require additional safety precautions.- Starburst: Starburst focuses on high-dynamic range displays which are brighter and show a wider range of colors.- Mirror Lake: Mirror Lake, a ski-goggle style headset, combines all the different Meta headset technologies into a single, next-generation display. Mirror Lake is currently only a concept from Meta with no fully functional headset built.[2](Meta)Roblox on the RiseRoblox released its key metrics for May 2022 including [3]:- 50.4 million daily active users- 3.6 billion hours engaged- Between $196 million and $199 million estimated bookings- Between $194 million and $197 million in estimated revenueSeveral brands are collaborating with Roblox to enter the metaverse. Givenchy Beauty has opened The Givenchy Beauty House on Roblox where users can earn up to five exclusive Givenchy inspired digital items. [4] American food company Chobani is also hosting a “Cosmic Race” in Roblox. Participants can race through a virtual galaxy in order to win custom merchandise. [5](Centennial Beauty)Snap Inc. x Vogue: Redefining the BodySnap Inc. and Vogue have joined forces to open an exhibition at Centre d’art La Malmaison in Cannes using cutting-edge augmented reality. Designers from Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Kenneth Ize, Richard Quinn, Stella McCartney, and Versace showcased their designs, and Snapchatters were able to digitally try on the one-of-a-kind pieces using Snapchat’s revolutionary scan technology.Exhibition goers and Snapchatters were also able to bring the rooms of the exhibition to life using Snapchat’s AR experiences. With a simple scan, visitors could open other-worldly portals or watch exciting animation displays within the brands’ individual rooms. [6](Vogue)Learn how to invest in your future experiences with Fount ETFsThe Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please clickhere.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.For a list of SUBS holdings, please clickhere.1) “Leading Standards Organizations and Companies Unite to Drive Open Metaverse Interoperability,” Metaverse Standards Forum, June 21, 2022;https://metaverse-standards.org/news/press-releases/leading-standards-organizations-and-companies-unite-to-drive-open-metaverse-interoperability/2) Leswing, Kif., “Mark Zuckerberg showed these prototype headsets to build support for his $10 billion metaverse bet,” CNBC, June 21, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/21/mark-zuckerberg-shows-early-metaverse-headsets-mirror-lake-holocake.html3) “ROBLOX REPORTS MAY 2022 KEY METRICS,” Roblox, June 15, 2022;https://ir.roblox.com/news/news-details/2022/Roblox-Reports-May-2022-Key-Metrics/default.aspx4) “GIVENCHY BEAUTY ENTERS THE METAVERSE WITH ROBLOX COLLABORATION,” Centennial Beauty, June 22, 2022;https://centennialbeauty.com/givenchy-beauty-metaverse-roblox-collaboration/5) Dominguez, Liz., “Chobani Races Into Metaverse Experiment With Roblox Event,” Consumer Goods Technology, June 17, 2022;https://consumergoods.com/chobani-races-metaverse-experiment-roblox-event6) “Vogue and Snapchat Break Fashion‘s Boundaries With Augmented Reality,” Vogue, June 19, 2022; https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/bc/snapchat-redefining-the-body

READ MORE by Inhee Lee
09-Jun-2022

Are Payments the Key to Subscription Success?

Research from subscription consulting company Zuora indicates that companies that offer subscription-based pricing plans experienced faster sales growth than those thatdo not. Zuora also found that companies that offer more payment options, specifically those preferred by their customers, were among the most successful companies in terms of revenue growth.Stronger Revenue GrowthZuora created the Subscription Economy Index (SEI) to measure the performance of companies that offer subscription-based products and services.As of the end of 2020, sales for companies in the SEI grew at a seven-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2% versus 3.6% for the overall S&P 500 and 3.7% for retail companies within the S&P 500.What part do payments have in the growth of companies offering subscription-based products and services?More Payment Options, Faster GrowthZuora found that companies that offered more payment options, experienced the fastest revenue growth. For example:Companies that offered five or more different payment options experienced the fastest revenue growth over the seven-year period.Payment options worldwide, e.g., bank debit cards, digital wallets, and credit cards, varied, and companies that offered the preferred payment type in their countries experienced the fastest growth.Businesses that accepted more payment methods reduced churn, or the number of individuals canceling their subscriptions.Companies that accepted more payment options had more effective payment collection, i.e., they collected a higher percentage of the total amount invoiced to customers.Companies that accepted more payment methods grew their customer base faster.Businesses that accepted more currencies grew both their revenue and customer base faster.Customization Is KeyWhile companies offering subscription-based payment options grew their revenue and customer base faster than those who didn’t, businesses that offered more flexible payment options performed the best on those metrics. The key takeaway is that having the flexibility to customize products and services to a customer’s preferences is a factor that may allow companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors and grow their businesses faster.The subscription-based pricing model may allow companies to offer this flexibility as there are often more points of contact between the customer and companies that offer subscriptions.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before feesand expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount SubscriptionEconomy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may offer an attractive vehicle for individuals looking to invest in companies offering subscription-based pricing models.

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi
25-May-2022

Can the Metaverse Help Solve Supply Chain Problems?

If you have recently ordered anything online, or tried to purchase appliances, furniture, automobiles, and electronic products, you are undoubtedly aware of supply chain issues that have limited the availability of these products or delayed their arrival.Can the metaverse help companies solve supply chain issues? Food and beverage company Kraft Heinz thinks so. The company is using the capabilities of the metaverse in an effort to secure its supply chain and get its products on store shelves quicker. How is Kraft using the metaverse? Can it help other companies solve their supply chain problems?Creating a Digital TwinKraft is creating a digital twin of its manufacturing process in the metaverse that may allow it to problem-solve virtually, according to a CNN article.[1] A digital twin is a virtual representation of real-world physical assets or systems.Virtual Factory FloorThe digital twin gives Kraft a capability that it did not previously have, namely, to have a working virtual map of the entire factory floor. Digitally mapping out these facilities may help Kraft better understand the design flaws and help to increase efficiencies.The digital twin may also allow Kraft to catch errors ahead of time by allowing it to simulate production. It can create alternatives, and then test them digitally before enacting them on the factory or warehouse floor. Previously, the company would not know if an idea worked until they implemented it. Virtual testing can help speed up the process.Other Companies Following SuitWhile explicitly using it for supply chain issues, Kraft is not the only company using the metaverse to design and improve its manufacturing processes. A recent Citi report[2] highlighted the use of the metaverse for the field of smart manufacturing. It explained that by utilizing simulations in the metaverse, manufacturers could significantly cut down on project costs, time, and wasted resources.It also noted several companies are already using the metaverse in smart manufacturing.Some of these include:Boeing is exploring digital twin technology to build airplanes.Siemens Energy developed a digital twin to offer predictive maintenance of power plants.Ericsson is building city-scale digital twins to help study the interplay of 5G cells and the environment for maximum performance and coverage.SummaryThe ability to create digital twins and perform real-time simulations highlights the potential power of the metaverse to help companies solve manufacturing and logistical problems. It can help make companies and entire economies more efficient and productive.The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please click here.[1] Weiner-Bronner, Danielle, Kraft Heinz Wants to Solve Its Supply Chain Problems, In the Metaverse, CNN Business, 5/6/22[2] Metaverse and Money: Decrypting the Future, Citi GPS, March 2022

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi
25-May-2022

Tired of Bank Fees? Try a Banking Subscription

If you are unhappy with seeing a list of bank fees on your monthly statement, you might want to consider a banking subscription. Some neobanks – banks that operate primarily online – are replacing monthly fees, including overdraft fees, with a subscription-based pricing model.How does this work? Why may banking subscriptions be attractive to both individuals and financial institutions?Recasting Fees as SubscriptionsMounting fees are a source of dissatisfaction for banking customers.Banks’ efforts to reduce costs are not making a dent in reducing customer dissatisfaction, according to consumer research firm J.D. Power.[1]To combat customer dissatisfaction, some neobanks are recasting fees as subscriptionsand are marketing memberships as time and worry-saving features. Neobanks may offer different subscription pricing tiers that may include services such as free ATM withdrawals, no overdraft fees, foreign currency exchange, and higher interest rates.Consumers may prefer the subscription model because it has a predictable cost instead of surprise charges that may disrupt a customer’s financial plans. It may also allow customers to have more control over what to pay for and when.Why Banks Might Want to Offer SubscriptionsCreating customer satisfaction is one of the main reasons why banks may want to offer subscriptions. This is particularly true among younger customers. J.D. Power noted that younger customers are more attracted tothe neobanks subscription model.[2]From a marketing perspective, a subscription model may enable banks to market their products as having no fees. This can serve as a potentially attractive point of differentiation from traditional banking firms. It may also allow banks to offer a simplified product, which often is preferable to customers than a long list of customized options, according to The Financial Brand.[3]Financially, subscriptions may prove to be more lucrative than fees. According to The Financial Brand,people generally overestimate their usage of a product. Think of your gym membership. Banks may be able to entice individuals to consolidate their banking relationships under one institution and charge them a monthly subscription fee that will likely exceed the value of the services offered.Not Just BanksIt’s not just banks transitioning to a subscription model. Some wealth management firms are also adopting subscription platforms. For example, Charles Schwab has an automated investment platform that, for $30 per month, builds and manages client portfolios. Wells Fargo offers a hybrid robo-advisor for a subscription fee of 0.35%.[4]SummaryBanks and financial services companies are not immune from the subscription economy trend. The subscription model may allow banks to increase customer satisfaction while potentially appealing to a new demographic segment.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before feesand expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount SubscriptionEconomy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.For a list of fund holdings, please click here.[1] Choo, Lindsey, Banks Need to Start Cashing In On the Subscription Economy, Protocol, 4/28/22[2] Protocol[3] How Innovative Bundled Banking Subscription Models Make More Money, The Financial Brand, 2022[4] Mansard, Michael, Why Subscriptions Are Key to the Future of the Financial Services Sector, Financial Derivative, 4/14/21

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi
13-May-2022

Subscriptions and the Business-to-Business Operating Model

The subscription model is one that is familiar to consumers; people have been subscribing to newspapers for decades. In recent years, the subscription model has expanded to just about every good and service that individuals consume, including streaming entertainment and news, groceries, and even travel.It is no surprise that the subscription model is infiltrating the model in which businesses sell their goods and services to other businesses (B2B). What is driving this shift? What advantages does the subscription model offer in the B2B world?Origins of the B2B Subscription ModelSalesforce is credited with launching the B2B subscription model in 2000 with its “the end of software” marketing campaign, according to subscription consulting company Zuora.[1] Salesforce, through its software-as-a-service (SaaS) to companies, provided a standard, distributed solution at a lower cost of entry so its customers wouldn’t need to worry about costly installation and maintenance.Potential AdvantagesTechnology advances quickly. What is cutting-edge today may soon become obsolete. Subscription models provide access to the latest software capabilities and innovations, with customers receiving automatic upgrades when available.Without a hefty, up-front purchase price, it may also allow companies to test new products and services. It also releases companies from the difficulty, expense, and skills required to manage on-premise technology.ConvenienceSubscription services are also geared toward providing convenience. Software subscriptions usually allow for a nearly instant set-up, simple scalability, and easy cancellation.Potential Cost SavingsBuying technology usually requires a significant up-front investment which may be beyond the ability of some companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Subscription services may remove this up-front fee, making it easier to implement the improvement and innovation offered by new technology. Therefore, subscription-based models may help level the playing field for SMBs by lowering the cost of access to digital and automated technologies, allowing them to compete with larger companies.Potential Benefits for Companies Offering B2B SubscriptionsB2B subscription models may provide companies with a more predictable stream of revenue and cash flow. They may provide an additional source of revenue as companies, that could not afford an outright purchase of a good or service, may opt to subscribe.Additionally, companies offering B2B subscriptions may benefit from increased information and contact with the business customer and the ability to provide more customized products and services.Not Just for ConsumersSubscriptions are not only for consumers. The subscription-based model may also have the potential to disrupt the way companies buy or sell services to other companies.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.For a list of fund holdings, please click here.[1] The Subscription Economy is Transforming B2B Operating Models, Subscribed, Zuora Website, Retrieved 5/1/22

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi
13-May-2022

Why Is Meta Opening a Physical Store?

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, announced that it planned to open its first physical store on May 9. What is behind Meta’s move? Is this at odds with its goal of transforming into a metaverse company? Is this potentially a good thing for the metaverse?Complimentary and Potentially Enhancing to its Metaverse AmbitionsMeta announced in its blog that it planned to open its first physical retail space at its campus in Burlingame, California.[1] The store will allow customers to get hands-on experience with all of Meta’s hardware products.Meta’s physical store will enable customers to experience the metaverse experiencefirsthand. Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg noted, “The best way to understand virtual reality (VR) is to experience it.”[2] VR is one component of the metaverse.According to its blog, the Meta store will showcase the company’s Quest 2 VR headset, the Portal video calling device, and the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses.Visitors can demo popular apps on Quest 2 and project their experience on a large, curved LED screen in the store for others to see.The company is also working on producing additional hardware products such as a smartwatch and more high-tech augmented reality glasses.Meta’s decision to open the store on its corporate grounds is deliberate. According to Martin Gilliard, Head of Meta Store, “having the store in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development.”[3] Meta intends to learn from customer experience in its stores and help define its future retail strategy.Following Other Tech Company’s LeadMeta is not the first tech company to open a physical store. In May 2021, Google announced that it was opening its first physical retail store – the Google Store – near its offices in Chelsea in New York City.[4] The store showcases some of Google’s physical devices, such as Pixel phones, Nest products, Fitbit devices, and Pixelbooks. The store employs staff to help customers troubleshoot issues or help with installations.Although it closed most of its 83 physical stores, Microsoft left a handful open, including its London, New York, Sydney, and Redmond, WA locations. These stores were reimagined as “experience centers.”The locations showcase some of Microsoft’s products, such as its Surface PCs, Xbox, and its Windows and Office products.[5]And, of course, we have Apple, who, in 2001, opened its first of what would become many retail stores.Using Physical Space to Showcase TechnologyThere is a precedent for using physical locations to showcase a tech company’s technology: getting potential customers acclimated to new products and to engage in market research.As such, we believe that Meta’s opening of its first physical store is positive as it may allow consumers to experience the metaverse firsthand.The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please click here.[1] Introducing Meta Store: A Hands-On Experience with Our Hardware, Meta Website, 4/25/22[2] Isaac, Mike, Meta Plans to Open Its First Retail Stores as It Highlights Metaverse-Related Products, The New York Times, 4/25/22[3] Introducing Meta Store: A Hands-On Experience with Our Hardware, Meta Website, 4/25/22[4] Kelly, Samantha Murphy, Google to Open its First Retail Store to Sell Devices, CNN, 5/20/21[5] Liao, Shannon, Microsoft is Closing All of Its Stores, CNN, 6/26/20

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus or summary prospectus with this and other information about the Fund, please call 855-425-7426 or visit our website at www.fountetfs.com. Read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC. serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. The Funds are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co., (SIDCO) 1 Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456. SIDCO is not affiliated with Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC. or Fount Investment Co. Ltd.

Risk Disclosure:

 

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee the Funds will achieve their stated objectives. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from social, economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. The Funds’ concentration in an industry or sector can increase the impact of, and potential losses associated with, the risks from investing in those industries/sectors. The Funds are non-diversified. The Funds are new and have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate. New and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility.