Infinite Canvas' $2.8M Plan to Build a Creator Market in the Metaverse

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Infinite Canvas' $2.8M Plan to Build a Creator Market in the Metaverse

Gaming startup Infinite Canvas is banking big on the rise of the metaverse and the value of user-created content in video games as it launches its business with $2.8 million in pre-seed funding.

The metaverse is basically a more interactive version of the internet driven by user-generated content. It could become the main way we communicate and live online -- Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg recently told The Verge he wants Facebook to become a metaverse-focused company. Xbox boss Phil Spencer also said Microsoft is taking cues from social media like TikTok to determine what user-generated content to target in games.

Infinite Canvas was founded earlier this year by Tal Shachar — former chief digital officer at esports team Immortals Gaming Club — and President Sebastian Park, who was previously the vice president of esports for NBA team the Houston Rockets.

The pre-seed round was led by Los Angeles-based Lightshed Venture Partners. New investors, including San Francisco-based Bitkraft Ventures, Emerson Collective, Day One Ventures and Crossbeam, also participated.

Shachar told dot.LA the $2.8 million will allow Infinite Canvas to expand its staff from 10 people, pay its content creators, invest in more content and marketing, and explore the potential of the metaverse.

The term is credited to writer Neal Stephenson, who defined it as "a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space."

Infinite Canvas co-founders Tal Shachar (left) and Sebastian Park.

Video game publishers are beginning to invest more in platforms that let hardcore gamers use their content to create new in-game experiences. Studios will open their IP to players, who can then sell what they create (maps, items, skins, etc.) on the game's marketplace for the studio to take a cut. PC gaming titan Valve Corp. got in on this early with Steam Workshop, and Sony's been doing this since 2012.

"That's something that's increasingly happening where big games and big publishers are adding to that capability," Shachar said. "But there's also more publishers and studios launching games that from day one are built around users creating content."

Shachar wants Infinite Canvas to capitalize on a new, younger demographic of players and creators. The coronavirus pandemic caused a huge jump in people playing games. "Roblox" has 43 million daily active users and it's estimated that half of all U.S. kids have a Roblox account. "Fortnite" has over 350 million monthly players and generated $5.1 billion in revenue last year. These numbers are only expected to grow.

"We partner with these creators that are building experiences on various gaming platforms such as 'Roblox,' and we provide capital, technology optimization, expertise and guidance, in addition to marketing support, in exchange for effectively a stake in the revenue that is produced by these experiences," Shachar said.

On YouTube, it's pretty simple to get paid if you make videos and have a strong follower base -- sign up for a creator account, get monetized and then let the cash roll in along with the views. But for gamers who are creating immersive worlds and challenges inside a game, being paid isn't guaranteed -- unless the creator also makes a video or live stream.

"We are just at the beginning of seeing what the metaverse market opportunity can be," Lightshed Ventures partner Rich Greenfield said in a statement Monday. "While the path to monetization is clear on platforms like YouTube, in virtual worlds Infinite Canvas is pioneering a network that will unite creators, players, and content partners to enhance the earning power of the talent building new virtual empires."

Infinite Canvas wants to build a network of popular creators making in-game content and unite them with advertisers and brand partnerships. As creators become monetized for their in-game work, Infinite Canvas will take a cut of the revenue.

"Creators need support, infrastructure, tools and promotion to grow and connect with their community. At Infinite Canvas, we want to support those creators building the future," Shachar said. "We think creating an organization that combines all of these types of people, players and IP holders can help grow the community and take the metaverse to new horizons, while unlocking earning potential for everyone."

The startup has seven content creators signed on as partners so far, including Anthony "RussoPlays" Russo, who has 1.8 million YouTube subscribers and gaming duo Terabrite Games, which has roughly 1.4 million subscribers.

Infinite Canvas is planning on courting more influencers and celebrities to give it a boost, a move that's worked for other publishers. Last year, a Lil Nas X concert in "Roblox" racked up about 35 million viewers.

Holding virtual concerts inside "Fortnite" was a new move for Epic Games at the beginning of the pandemic but it drove hundreds of millions of people into in-game events after signing pop hitmakers like Travis Scott and Ariana Grande to do virtual concerts. Scott's concert in April attracted over 12 million viewers, and since then Epic's made the in-game shows a regular series.

Shachar said Infinite Canvas would consider using its platform to host in-game events in addition to other content. "We see hosting events inside of experience as one form of entertainment that's possible on the platform," Shachar said. He added Infinite Canvas will also host "more traditional gameplay (that) could be people just hanging out and having a good time or folks having concerts inside of these experiences."
🚁 One Step Closer to Air Taxis in LA
Image Source: Joby Aviation

🔦 Spotlight

Joby Aviation, a pioneering electric air taxi company, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully flying a hydrogen-electric aircraft demonstrator for 523 miles with only water as a byproduct. This groundbreaking flight showcases the potential for emissions-free regional travel using vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, eliminating the need for traditional runways. The company's innovative approach combines its existing battery-electric air taxi technology with hydrogen fuel cells, paving the way for longer-range, environmentally friendly air travel.

For LA residents, this development holds exciting implications for future transportation options. Joby's technology could potentially enable direct flights from LA to destinations like San Francisco or San Diego without the need to visit conventional airports, offering a cleaner and more convenient alternative to current travel methods. The company's progress in both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric aircraft positions it at the forefront of next-generation aviation, promising to revolutionize urban and regional mobility.

Notably, Joby Aviation has already made strides in Southern California by securing an agreement with John Wayne Airport earlier this year to install the region's first electric air taxi charger. This strategic move sets the stage for LA to be among the initial markets where Joby will launch its electric air taxi service. With plans to commence commercial operations as early as 2025 using its battery-electric air taxi, LA residents may soon have access to a fast, quiet, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that could significantly reduce travel times and traffic congestion in the region. In the not too distant future, LA might find itself in an identity crisis without traffic and excess smog 🤞🤞.

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Fuel Innovation: 7 Unforgettable Team Building Experiences in LA
Image Source: Discover LA

In today's competitive business landscape, team building activities have emerged as a crucial tool for fostering a positive work environment, enhancing productivity, and crucially, improving employee retention. Studies have shown that such activities help employees feel valued, with one report indicating that 93% of those who felt appreciated were more motivated at work. Importantly, team building events may improve retention rates, as employees who feel connected to their colleagues and company culture are more likely to stay long-term. With these benefits in mind, let's explore some of the most engaging and effective team building activities available in Los Angeles.


Image Source: Modern Luxury Angelino

Pickleball is a fantastic team bonding activity because of the easy-to-grasp rules and gentle pace make it perfect for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. The game thrives on communication and teamwork, as players must collaborate and strategize to outplay their opponents, boosting team cohesion. Plus, the lively, fast-paced action sparks friendly competition and laughter, creating a fun and spirited atmosphere that brings everyone closer together. Los Angeles boasts numerous pickleball courts that are easy to rent if you have your own equipment. If you need additional assistance organizing your pickleball outing, there are plenty of full-service companies ready to handle every detail for you.

Resources: Pickle Pop, Corporate Pickle

Escape Room

Image Source: The Escape Game

Escape rooms are a great way to build camaraderie. They require participants to work together, combining their problem-solving skills and creativity to overcome challenges and puzzles. The immersive and time-sensitive nature of escape rooms fosters collaboration and communication. Additionally, the shared experience of tackling complex tasks and reaching a common goal helps build trust and foster positive emotions among colleagues.

Resources: The Escape Game, 60Out

Day Trip to Catalina Island

Image Source: Love Catalina

Catalina Island is a perfect day trip for a team because it provides a break from the usual work environment, allowing team members to relax and connect in a new setting. Shared experiences during the trip, such as exploring new places and participating in fun activities, help build stronger relationships and foster a sense of camaraderie. There are numerous team-building activities such as an arboreal obstacle course, an island tour, scavenger hunts and more.

Resources: Catalina Island Group Activities

Top Golf

Image Source: Topgolf

Topgolf is an excellent team building event because it provides an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere that accommodates players of all skill levels, fostering personal connections and improving team morale. The unique blend of competition and entertainment creates an ideal setting for building trust, enhancing communication, and revealing hidden skills among team members. Additionally, Topgolf offers structured team building packages with guided activities, discussion prompts, and lessons on culture, change, collaboration, and strategy, making it a versatile and effective platform for strengthening relationships and boosting overall team performance.

Resources: Topgolf El Segundo

SoFi Stadium Tour

Image Source: Discover LA

A SoFi Stadium tour offers a unique, behind-the-scenes experience of one of the world's most advanced sports venues, allowing team members to explore exclusive areas like premium suites, team locker rooms, and the player tunnel together. The tour provides a shared, memorable experience that can foster camaraderie and spark conversations among team members, regardless of their interest in sports. Additionally, the stadium's state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture can inspire creativity and innovation, while the group setting encourages interaction and collaboration, making it an engaging and enjoyable activity for teams of various sizes and backgrounds

Resources: SoFi Stadium Group Tours

Corporate Volunteering

Image Source: L.A. Works

Volunteer work serves as an excellent team building activity by uniting employees around a shared, meaningful cause, fostering a sense of purpose and collective accomplishment. It provides opportunities for team members to collaborate in new ways, often revealing hidden strengths and leadership qualities that may not be apparent in the regular work environment. Additionally, engaging in community service can boost morale, enhance the company's reputation, and instill a sense of pride among employees, leading to improved workplace relationships and increased job satisfaction.

Resources: Habitat for Humanity, L.A. Works, VolunteerMatch

Corporate Improv Sessions

Image Source: Improv for the People

A corporate improv class encourages spontaneity, creativity, and quick thinking, skills that are valuable in the workplace. It promotes active listening and collaboration, as participants must work together to create scenes and respond to unexpected situations, fostering better communication and trust among team members. Additionally, the playful and often humorous nature of improv helps break down barriers, reduces stress, and creates a shared positive experience that can improve team morale and cohesion long after the event.

Resources: Improv-LA, Groundlings, Improv for the People

🎬 Paramount and Skydance Are Back On
Image Source: Paramount

Happy Friday Los Angeles! Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth!!

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Paramount and Skydance Media have rekindled talks to merge after negotiations abruptly halted in June. The proposed deal, contingent on approval from Paramount’s board, aims to combine Paramount’s extensive media holdings—including CBS, MTV, and Nickelodeon—with Skydance’s film expertise showcased in hits like "Top Gun: Maverick." This merger signals a potential transformation in the media landscape, positioning the new entity to compete more effectively amid challenges from streaming services and the decline of traditional cable TV.

Led by Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder via National Amusements, the deal represents a pivot towards revitalizing Paramount’s strategic direction amidst financial struggles and shareholder concerns. The involvement of major investors like RedBird Capital Partners and David Ellison underscores the financial backing aimed at stabilizing Paramount’s operations and addressing its $14 billion debt burden. Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to protect National Amusements from potential legal challenges, addressing previous hurdles that stalled earlier negotiations.

The deal also includes a 45-day period for Paramount to explore alternative offers, highlighting continued interest from other potential buyers like Barry Diller’s IAC and media executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. This flurry of activity underscores the significant stakeholders’ interest in Paramount’s future and its potential as a key player in a rapidly evolving media industry.

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  • Sidecar Health, a startup that offers personalized health insurance plans to businesses that allow members to see any doctor and pay directly at the time of service, raised a $165M Series D led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. - learn more

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