The Korea Herald


Proptech startup Zigbang to launch global metaverse office

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : May 19, 2022 - 16:44

    • Link copied

Zigbang employees participate in a team meeting taking place in metaverse platform Soma. (Zigbang) Zigbang employees participate in a team meeting taking place in metaverse platform Soma. (Zigbang)

Zigbang, a South Korean proptech startup, said Thursday it will launch a global metaverse office platform that allows closer virtual interaction among staffers working for companies in the world.

Soma is named after the ‘South of Market’ neighborhood in San Francisco, the home ground of Twitter and Airbnb. Zigbang has high hopes to build a business complex in the metaverse for innovative global startups, according to a company official.

The new platform is an upgraded version of Metapolis, Zigbang’s metaverse office service for local companies.

“Soma provides additional spaces including focus zones where an individual can work without any disruptions and social zones, areas for casual encounters,” the official said.

The platform offers more avatar options in terms of skin color and other features, and a wide range of office decor choices as well.

Citing Soma’s slogan, “Change where you work, not how you work,” the platform’s core objective is to allow collaborative work and active communication among staff in the virtual office space, while still maintaining the work-from-home lifestyle.

“As endemic nears, the ‘future of work’ has become a hot potato topic. Many are foregoing working from home. However, this is showing some problems, like disconnected communication or lack of networking among peers, which often leads to poor productivity,” the company said.

In order to provide the merits of both offline work and working online from home, Soma allows workers to engage in face-to-face conversation. If an avatar approaches a co-worker’s avatar, it automatically turns on their computer webcams so that they can have a decent conversation as if they were facing each other.

This is unlike some other metaverse apps, which only provide an online chatting service and thus blocks human interaction, the official added.

Currently, Soma has a thirty-floor office building called Proptech Tower and 42 Convention Center, which has 500 seats and six halls where companies can hold events. Each company can decorate their office space in the tower building, and only authorized personnel can enter the office. Zigbang plans to construct more metaverse buildings in the next months.

With Soma, Zigbang looks to become a global metaverse hub that enables feasible recruitment of talented candidates overseas. Also, all workers in the metaverse office can interact with each other regardless of their location and nationality.

Starting from Friday, the company will release the Android, iOS and PC versions of the Soma app. It will be available in 12 languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Korean.
Some 20 South Korean companies which are currently using the Metapolis app will gradually move their operations to Soma.

Soma Development Co., Zigbang’s US branch, was launched in April 26, and will take charge of its global business.