Metaverse company XONE joins Abbey Road Red tech incubator, whose startups have raised over $70m so far

Abbey Road Red, the music tech incubator of London’s Abbey Road Studios, is now its sixth year of operation, and in that time has incubated 16 startups.

Between them, says Abbey Road Red, the businesses have raised over $70 million in funding, and have a collective post-money valuation of more than $330 million.

The latest startup to join the incubator has been named as Metaverse company XONE, which follows in the footsteps of companies such as Lifescore, a music platform co-founded by Siri co-founder Tom Gruber.

XONE is a tech startup operating between music and Web3, and merges social features, mobile-first AR technology, and blockchain mechanics to give iOS and Android users the ability to design and build 3D virtual spaces called ‘XONEs’.

XONE says that it aims to “onboard the next generation of creators, fans, and artists into the metaverse by creating a familiar and accessible social media interface for showcasing and sharing digital identity”.

XONE says that it is currently integrating its technology into Nreal’s consumer Augmented Reality glasses product line.

Nreal recently raised $60 million in funding from Chinese c-commerce giant Alibaba. Abbey Road Red says that Nreal will promote XONE and its featured app into its bricks and mortar store roll out, in the UK and beyond, later this year.

Abbey Road Red says that XONE will work within its startup incubator to “mature its music ambitions, bringing the team closer to the industry and giving it development support in everything from technical design elements, understanding and catering to the needs of artists and the structures and strategies behind them, and building their first music activations and partnerships”.

“Our industry value chain has transitioned into digital and online while retaining the best parts of offline.”

Isabel Garvey, Abbey Road Studios

Isabel Garvey, Managing Director, Abbey Road Studios, said: “Abbey Road Studios took its first steps into spatial audio and 3D studio experiences five years ago.

“Our industry value chain has transitioned into digital and online while retaining the best parts of offline.

“The next online evolution, whether making music, interacting with it in digital realms or enjoying it with friends is the metaverse, which we began exploring before our ‘Metaverse and Beyond’ Red Talk in 2020. With

“XONE we’re looking forward to taking this development to the next level, sharing what we’ve learned with them along the way and helping them build a bridge into a new plane of music creation and experience.”

“We’re delighted to welcome XONE to the incubation programme.”

Karim Fanous, Abbey Road Red

Karim Fanous, Innovation Manager, Abbey Road Red, added: “We’re delighted to welcome XONE to the incubation programme.

“The founders are well balanced between technical chops and design finesse and have ambition.

“They breathe the world they are building from being music fans to digital culture natives.

“They already know what it means to succeed with a project in the music business.

“The premise is sweet, who doesn’t like their old bedroom walls, but reimagined for an accessible mobile AR world.

“For these reasons and more, we can’t wait for our first exploration of metaverse and blockchain technology with XONE at Red.”

“The original concept for XONE began with this idea that everyone has a place in the world where they can show off who they are.”

James Shannon, XONE

James Shannon, founder of XONE explains his ambitions: “The original concept for XONE began with this idea that everyone has a place in the world where they can show off who they are.

“For many of us that was our bedrooms or, later, our web2 social media profiles.

“But for the next generation of people coming online that place will be metaversal and deeply integrated into web3.

“XONE is a place for them, combining the best of web2 social with new technologies like augmented reality and blockchain.”

“XONE has the potential to revolutionise the way people connect and communicate.”

Alica Molito, XONE

Alica Molito, founder of XONE, said: “XONE has the potential to revolutionise the way people connect and communicate.

“When imagining the future of social media, augmented reality tech becomes a true game changer, with the potential to replace the smartphone as the primary communication device.

“Compared to current social media, users will have the ability to chat in an increasingly natural way – with avatars and holograms immersed in their home environment, enabling more meaningful digital connection and enhanced creative expression.”


Abbey Road, which celebrated its 90th anniversary in November, recently partnered with NQ, a Manchester, UK-based talent publishing and record company, as part of an artist residency program.

Abbey Road said at the time that the partnership signalled a “new era” for the studio via the birth of a resident creative community based in a suite of writing and production rooms at Abbey Road, London.

The partnership is designed to offer greater opportunities to music makers from Manchester and the North West.

NQ House, a suite of recording and podcast studios based in Manchester, was founded in 2021 by CEO Michael Adex and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.Music Business Worldwide


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