Metaverse startup TerraZero seeks TSX-V listing through reverse takeover

A Miller Lite storefront in the metaverse. Courtesy of TerraZero.
TerraZero is owned by the parent company of crypto trader Netcoins.

A portfolio company of Netcoins parent company Bigg Digital Assets is preparing to go public on the TSX-V through a reverse takeover.

TerraZero Technologies, a metaverse development group, has signed a letter of intent with Whatcom Capital II Corp. that would see TerraZero become publicly traded following a reverse takeover.

TerraZero wants to develop, acquire, and finance what it described as the metaverse’s “most promising companies, entrepreneurs, and developers.” The startup also said it owns digital real estate, and provides offices and services within the metaverse.

Bigg, which invests in crypto products and companies, owns 30 percent of TerraZero.
Whatcom is a capital pool company that completed its initial public offering (IPO) on the TSX-V in 2021, going public with gross proceeds of $755,000.

Founded in 2021, TerraZero has 28 employees and consultants, and claims its clients include CBC, Salesforce, and PwC, among others.

While metaverse companies aren’t common on the TSX-V, TerraZero would not be the first. At least a couple of firms trade in exchange-traded funds on the TSX-V, with investments in a number of markets, including some in the development of the metaverse.

TerraZero founder and CEO Dan Reitzik called the company well-capitalized and revenue-producing. “I see the metaverse as simply the next version of the internet as we know it today, but instead of a 2D environment, it is a 3D environment providing greater engagement between brands and consumers, and between people themselves,” Reitzik said.

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“There will soon be significant consolidation and opportunities in the metaverse and Web 3 space, and TerraZero will be positioned to capitalize on these as needed,” he added.

Besides TerraZero, Bigg includes the Blockchain Intelligence Group, Netcoins, and Luxxfolio as portfolio companies. Blockchain Intelligence Group monitors risk from crypto transactions, while Luxxfolio operates an industrial-scale cryptocurrency mining facility in the United States.

Netcoins is a crypto trading platform registered as a restricted dealer in Canada with the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC). Netcoins experienced a security breach in April that allegedly allowed a customer to fraudulently withdraw an estimated $1.58 million CAD.

Bigg announced in early September that it would launch an American subsidiary, Netcoins USA, based in Wyoming. The US subsidiary is scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2022 in four states: California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Virginia. Netcoins plans to launch additional states in Q1 2023 pending approvals.

Other Canadian startups are eyeing the metaverse, although not with aspirations of listing publicly. Montréal-based software startup Lighthouse Labs plans to build what it describes as “the open metaverse navigation engine” for blockchain-based virtual worlds after securing $9.1 million in seed funding in May.

The biggest player in the metaverse, Meta, announced in March that it plans to hire up to 2,500 employees across Canada over the next five years as part of a new Canadian engineering hub. The company noted that the Toronto hub will play an important role in the creation of Meta’s metaverse. However, since that announcement, Meta said it would have to slow down the rate of hiring, and has been making layoffs.

And as the biggest player in the metaverse, Meta hasn’t been doing terrifically well. A story in Quartz noted: “Ever since Facebook became Meta, things have not looked up. As Facebook user growth stalls and ad revenue slows, the metaverse’s sluggish pickup with clunky hardware isn’t making up for it. Meta’s stock has halved from a year ago.”

Mark Binns, Bigg’s CEO, remarked: “Bigg invested in TerraZero as an early stage private company knowing that our support, coupled with their leadership and vision, could create a true leader in the emerging Web 3 and metaverse space.”

Feature image courtesy TerraZero.

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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