Founder Stories: Jawad Ashraf — Virtua
We’ve got some brilliant projects within our portfolio and want to tell you more about the founders and teams behind them. On a regular basis, you will have the opportunity to learn more about specific projects through our interviews and post any questions you may have further down in the comments section.
In today’s interview, we have Jawad Ashraf, Co-Founder of Virtua. Let’s go!
Hi Jawad, how are you? To begin the session, could you share a bit about yourself?
I’m Jawad Ashraf, CEO, and co-founder of Virtua — a gamified metaverse that provides immersive and interactive experiences, in Web3 Gaming and digital collectibles. I’ve worked in emerging technology for decades and enjoy operating at the forefront of innovation in industry and enterprise. Alongside my team, I am leading the way into the metaverse.
Could you give us a quick intro of Virtua and its mission?
Founded in 2017 by myself and Chairman Gary Bracey, Virtua is a sustainable metaverse platform that provides immersive social, gaming, digital collectible and interactive experiences, across Mobile, Web, and AR. The Virtua metaverse is soon to launch and within months, the doors will open to welcome users into a brand-new dimension, a high-fidelity environment that feels real and enables entirely new experiences. The Virtua metaverse will be completely gamified and plots of land will have varying values and resources available. The Virtua metaverse began with the deed sale for Cardano Island, a space where community members will be able to interact with one another, store their digital collectibles and personalize their own virtual environments. Virtua has many ambitions for its metaverse, and once the space is established, Virtua will launch other islands and even planets dedicated to areas such as sports, entertainment and gaming. The Virtua metaverse will be a safe, functional, and fully operational environment, open to everyone and offering a wealth of opportunities to developers, publishers, and third parties.
In the last couple of years, you have partnered up with big names, such as Paramount, Dynamite Entertainment and the Hero ISL to name some. Can you tell us more about these collaborations?
We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some huge brands and IPs in the space. We really paved the way for partnerships in the NFT industry. We’ve worked with the Godfather, King Kong, and even Elvis, to create industry-leading digital assets. We’re now looking to the next stage for names like these in the metaverse, by preparing for the metaverse since we began in 2017, we’ll be able to take all our assets into the space. We’re also working on our own IPs and recent partnerships such as Kevin Hart, Williams Racing and Yorkshire County Cricket Club, will create even more exciting opportunities.
4) Your project has recently gone through an important rebranding. Can you share the reason behind this move?
The rebrand was very much a metamorphosis moment for us. Dropping Terra and becoming Virtua comes at a time when we have transitioned our focus back to launching our virtual universe. The metaverse has always been our objective and it’s why we focused on developing premium assets and environments ready for virtual worlds. Everything we have developed is metaverse ready, from our film collaborations to our sports integrations, it will be possible to take it all into the metaverse. We’ve been working on our metaverse for five years and we are incredibly excited that we can now begin to show our vision to the world.
5) What are Virtua Prime and Cardano Island?
Cardano Island will be located on the Virtua ecosystem’s first habitable planet, Virtua Prime, our homeworld in the metaverse. Where the Cardano community have access to 9,999 plots of various size and value. In addition, there will be three Cardano Towers where apartments are available. The island will be divided into districts and zones, which will provide Cardano community members with the ability to create a truly immersive experience and an interactive world where they will be able to learn, play, build, showcase, and socialize with a range of exciting projects. Cardano Island is part of an ongoing relationship between the Cardano community and Virtua, which began at the Cardano Summit in 2021 and continued with the project’s announcement at the Cardano booth at Consensus 2022.
6) Can you talk about the $TVK token and its use?
$TVK is our native token and will be used in the Virtua metaverse. There are many functions TVK will serve.
7) You have founded numerous web2 businesses before. What has been your biggest lesson building a web3 crypto startup so far? Any specific differences or advice you want to share?
Listen to your audience and be prepared to adapt. We’ve constantly flipped our focus at Virtua to ensure we deliver what our community wants.
8) Anything else you would like to tell us?
Watch this space, the Virtua deed sale will take place in the coming months and we hope to launch Virtua Prime this year. Thank you!
Thanks a lot for your time Jawad and good luck with your project!
If you have any questions for Jawad, please use the comment section below.
The Morningstar Ventures Team
About Morningstar Ventures
Morningstar Ventures is an investment firm backing ambitious ideas by early-stage founders. Based in Dubai, Morningstar Ventures focuses primarily on the blockchain and digital assets space and is led by CEO Danilo S. Carlucci. The firm is active in token and equity investments and has a particularly strong focus on the MultiversX ecosystem.
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