September 26, 2023

Improbable’s refocus on the metaverse sees big reduction in losses

Sports are becoming a key focus for the company as it builds out its metaverse platform for international brands

Tim Smith

2 min read

Improbable CEO and cofounder Herman Narula

London-based virtual world maker Improbable today announced that it has decreased losses as it’s doubled down on building technology for the metaverse.

According to its latest financial results, the company reduced losses from £150m in 2021 to £19m in 2022, increasing revenues 2.6x in the same period to £78m. Improbable previously said it was targeting profitability in 2022.

Announcing the news on a video call today, CEO Herman Narula said that the company has “never been more swamped with demand for ‘metaversal’ experiences”. It recently partnered with Major League Baseball in the US to broadcast an all-stars game inside a virtual stadium.


“Something very interesting is happening in sports — an industry that historically has relied on broadcasts and in-person attendance is waking up to the possibilities of massive virtual experiences,” he said.

“Sports are fiendishly under-monetised. A club like Real Madrid will make less money per fan than Candy Crush.”

Peter Lipka, Improbable’s chief operating officer, argues that big players in the sports sector are beginning to see the potential in hosting virtual experiences “where reach is not limited” by in-person attendance, and trying to increase “per-user monetisation” of fans.

Earlier this year, the company sold off an arm of its business that was focused on battlefield simulations for the defence sector, as it turned its efforts towards the metaverse.

Narula also said that this year’s growth of generative AI tools will allow brands and users to more easily build their own metaverse creations, increasing engagement with the medium. 

That includes “brands, companies, sports leagues and others, who are now seeking to solve real business problems using this type of technology,” he said.

Tim Smith

Tim Smith is news editor at Sifted. He covers deeptech and AI, and produces Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast . Follow him on X and LinkedIn