Mimi Keshani is Hadean’s COO, driving its pioneering work in defense and the metaverse. With a strong background in technological sciences, Mimi was instrumental in early iterations of Hadean’s technology, namely simulations of protein-protein interactions and COVID-19 pandemic modelling, as well as its applications to gaming. Since then, she has been central in guiding the company’s technology towards its current industry focuses in the metaverse and defense.
In this exclusive interview, COO Mimi Keshani shares the story of the metaverse startup, Hadean, which is a double winner of the European Metaverse Awards, and recently raised $30M to power the metaverse. Don’t miss this!
Tell us about the Hadean story. How did the company get started and what was the inspiration?
Hadean was founded to make building distributed applications easier. We saw the rise of web3 and metaverse and realized that the next iteration of the internet will be 3D, interactive, persistent and hugely computationally intensive. With this in mind, we built a number of spatial computing applications on top of our distributed computing platform that support the building of high-performance virtual worlds at massive scale. We cut our teeth in gaming, hosting a record-breaking space skirmish with over 14,000 concurrent players in a single sharded world as part of the EVE: Aether Wars series. This led to a multi year deal with Minecraft and other commercial metaverse applications like blockchain games, virtual events, conferences, concerts, workplaces and more with partners like Epic Games, Sony, Pixelynx. We then realized that the technology that underlies the commercial and entertainment metaverse is a powerful solution for meeting the requirements for synthetic training environments in Defense, and we have secured partnerships with the likes of CAE, BAE Systems, Microsoft, Thales and Plexsys in this area. Today, Hadean has successfully raised over $50 million to power the metaverse and has 100 people in the UK, Germany, and USA.
Perceptions of the metaverse are mixed. Why are you passionate about it? Why is it worth betting on?
Perceptions about the metaverse today draws parallels to perceptions about the internet in its infancy. Now, we view the metaverse as the next internet. We truly believe that the metaverse will not be created or owned by a single entity or be exclusive in any way, shape or form. We see the unique value that virtual worlds can deliver for entertainment, work, training and education if the potential of distributed cloud computing is properly harnessed to make them scalable, interoperable and secure for users. This is the future of collaboration that is not owned by one entity but built, run and monetized by creators in an open ecosystem. This is a vision that makes it worth pursuing – the opportunity to put the next version of the internet back into the hands of users and encourage creativity and individualism.
Please provide a brief overview of Hadean and its current initiatives. What problem/s is Hadean trying to solve?
Hadean’s technology is led by the vision of an open, composable and accessible metaverse, where creators have the tools to build and expand virtual worlds that provide users with new social experiences and ways of engaging with their own audiences. True to this philosophy, the Hadean Platform is reimagining distributed, spatial, and scalable computing for Web 3.0 and the metaverse by unlocking the ability for designers and developers to create immersive 3D environments without worrying about current server limitations, such as maximum concurrent players. With our tools and architectures, creators can leverage more CCUs on the cloud, optimize costs, and provide a better player experience overall.
Can you dive into the aforementioned from an engineering perspective, for our technical readers?
Hadean implements a unique process model that allows distributed applications to scale to an almost infinite level. Our Hadean Platform operates on a distributed process model that allows developers to code once and deploy anywhere, harnessing the resources of various cloud environments at once by running them as clusters. This model ensures new machines are spun up or down dynamically so that each application/simulation is optimally resourced. Our product libraries then handle tasks around scaling and networking for applications built on the platform. Hadean takes care of the complexities of distributed infrastructures and allows the engineer to focus on the creative and imaginative aspect of design and development.
In what ways is Hadean excelling where no other companies are?
Hadean is a fully cloud-native organization, and we have built out a tech stack that is tailor-made for powering and connecting ecosystems of virtual worlds in Web 3.0 and the metaverse. In line with this, Hadean’s record-breaking technology is able to handle more users, complexities and realism than anything else. Tech-agnosticism and attention to ensuring that older programs, that businesses have invested in, avoid obsoletion is not seen amongst many other technology companies. Our approach embraces new computational paradigms that promote the evolution of open ecosystems in Web 3.0, as opposed to being an extension of Web 2.0 technology stacks with closed structures and inherent limitations.
What does/will the impact look like? Real-world use-cases?
While obvious examples stemming from multiplayer gaming experiences, applications for cloud computing solutions where power is needed to build, run and distribute digital systems can be found in supply chain management, enterprise, virtual work spaces and defense. Nowadays, we are deploying large digital twins and even large persistent real-life simulations of metro areas such as Greater London, with more than 10 million civilians and complex traffic simulations, with first class performance, security, and interoperability in mind. If you get the core tech right, there’s no limit to the ways in which it can be used to generate value. This includes opportunities for contingency planning and cost-effective training which can enable data-driven decision making for business and government leaders.
Would you like to say more about your work with militaries to provide bespoke simulation environments and scenarios?
Modern militaries face an operating environment that is constantly changing, forcing them to quickly adapt to new circumstances and calling them to collaborate more closely across all domains: air, sea, land, cyber and space. We are helping partners in defense harness the power of Hadean’s metaverse infrastructure to power scalable and immersive simulations that enable troops to train together, more often and faster. Equipped with cutting-edge cloud-based solutions, physically remote forces can coordinate their training and work on maintaining their competitive advantage over adversaries through scenarios that faithfully reflect real-life situations. Our work with the British Army, for example, is about accelerating the digital transformation of the service and enabling soldiers to train collectively.
How do you hope to evolve the company in the next 6 months, year and 5 years?
Our recent $30m Series A funding round, announced in September 2022, will enable us to scale the organization, develop new relationships and accelerate our ability to break boundaries with our tech. In 2022 we’re focused on building out our integrations with the ecosystem of world class tools in this space from games engines to clouds, data providers and more, and are delighted to work more closely with industry leaders like our latest investors Epic Games to better serve the market together. In the longer term, Hadean aims to continue playing a critical role in making the metaverse a reality and driving new social, training, entertainment and work experiences. Hadean’s is an enabling tech that will allow creatives to realize their vision, so it’s hard to put a cap on what can be achieved. We’ll keep working to remove technical barriers to ensure that the sky’s the limit for creators.