Tilia spins out, gets minority investment from JP Morgan to make metaverse payments

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Tilia, Second Life’s all-in-one payment platform, emerged from Linden Lab and raised a minority investment from JP Morgan Payments.

The plan is to enable metaverse payments for all businesses that need financial services for their virtual economies. Tilia will now become her own company, independent of Linden Lab, the owner of Second Life, the virtual world that debuted in 2003.

“They have invested in us and cemented a really great partnership,” said Brad Oberwager, executive chairman of Tilia. ‘We are like the point of the spear for the metaverse. They are a good partner with a lot of credibility.”

Oberwager will be a featured speaker at our GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event October 25-26 in San Francisco. (You can use Dean50 for a 50% discount on tickets).

The San Francisco-based Tilia payment solution has regulatory approval and is built for game, virtual world and mobile application developers. It handles payment processing, in-game transactions, as well as payouts to creators by converting in-world tokens into fiat currency, including US dollars, which are the backbone of any functioning virtual economy.

“We believe that contextualized commerce – such as virtual economies within games and virtual worlds – is an area perfectly positioned for innovative payment solutions to play a critical role in the coming years,” said Drew Soinski, director of JP Morgan Payments. a statement. “We are excited to invest in Tilia LLC, a leading provider of software gaming payment tools, to develop solutions for these new and exciting marketplaces.”

Oberwager sees his company as crucial to the metaverse.

“Tilia is money in the metaverse. It’s money that’s moved into the metaverse and money that’s gone out of the metaverse,” Oberwager said. “And why this is so important is because you can’t have this concept of the metaverse without a social economy. It’s both the social and the financial aspect. Those two things have to work in harmony. To make money, you have a virtual token needed for money to work.

He added: “Money has to be rock solid. That’s JP Morgan. That’s the partnership. What’s the value of Tilia? You can’t build a metaverse without user-generated content. You can’t build a metaverse without social interaction. You can Can’t build a metaverse without some sort of financial token that people can use to build a world.”

The company will use the money to expand its business and enter new markets.

“We’re moving money into the metaverse,” Oberwager said. “It is real. that’s where the investment goes. We have a client list and people come to us.”

Tilia is fueling the trade in Second Life, which has brought in $86 million in payments in the past 12 months. Nearly 20 years after its founding, the Second Life economy is still valued at $650 million. Tilia has approximately 48 employees.

Oberwager said the deal with JP Morgan Payments took about a year to complete. During that time, Tilia made sure it could be interoperable with JP Morgan.

“We are now onboarding customers,” he said. “It’s really a coming out party for you.”

Brad Oberwager is executive chairman of Linden Lab.
Brad Oberwager is executive chairman of Tilia.

Tilia’s virtual payment system converts in-game tokens and currency into fiat currency easily and securely. Built from the ground up to power Second Life and its creator-based economy, Tilia has evolved over several years to build its unique capabilities. Some of its capabilities were painstakingly acquired over the years as the company secured key money-transmitting licenses in the US

To move money, Tilia had to get money transfer licenses in every state in the US to support payouts, enabling secure transactions at scale. Tilia provides developers with the tools to enable thriving, profitable global economies that empower their players and users to buy and sell virtual goods and services and enable robust play-to-earn programs.

“Virtual economies represent a huge financial opportunity, especially for game, app and virtual world developers,” Oberwager says. “JP Morgan Payments, a global leader and recognized payments innovator, is the right partner as we continue to expand our capabilities in line with these fast-growing creator-based economies.”

In addition to the investment, Tilia is also working with JP Morgan Payments to enhance current capabilities within the processing platform, including offering more payment and withdrawal methods, expanding payout currencies and support services.

Tilia spins out of Linden Lab.

Tilia LLC is a US money service company and licensed money transmitter that powers virtual economies and provides secure transactions at scale. Tilia works with several virtual worlds and metaverses, online games and NFT marketplaces, including Second Life, Upland and Avatus.

Oberwager said the top earner in Second Life earns $2.5 million a year.

“This is a good thing if creators can make money,” he said. “There are people all over the world who make a living building things in Second Life. And 80% of the entrepreneurs in Second Life are women. It’s a great equalizer if it’s your avatar and no one knows the color of your skin. Nobody knows where you studied. Nobody knows what state you were born in. That’s a fairly level playing field.”

“This is why I think it’s so important,” Oberwager said. “These universes are social economies. If you don’t allow people to make money, if you don’t let this economy happen, if you don’t support creators, you’re going to have to rely on an advertising model to make your world work. That’s a disaster. That would be the worst thing that could affect our society – an ad-based metaverse.”

Oberwager believes such a metaverse would be invasive, as companies would track your movements so they can better target ads at you.

“That’s not a world we want to live in,” he said.

Second Life has a $650 million economy.

“These metaverses in games are getting bigger and bigger,” Oberwager said. “We already spend a lot of time online.”

While Tilia is trying to figure out how to make crypto payments, it is difficult to use crypto for payments when the value of the cryptocurrency continues to fluctuate. If it fluctuates too far in one direction, no one will accept it. And if it swings too far in the other direction, then everyone is holding onto it as a great investment.

“It’s going to be very interesting where this is all going,” Oberwager said.

With Upland, Tilia powers payments that take place within the blockchain game, with players paying each other in fiat currency.

“When these companies turn on Tilia, they start to grow,” said Oberwager. “Until they do, they can’t pay for their user-generated content and that’s holding them back. There are some pretty big universes that haven’t gotten on the financial track yet. I think the world is changing.”

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