Interested in investing in the metaverse but don’t know where to start? In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Jan. 12, Fool.com contributors Rachel Warren and Trevor Jennewine discuss one lesser-known stock operating in this exciting space that investors should consider buying right now.
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Rachel Warren: I saw this article on Yahoo! Finance, and I thought it brought up some interesting questions for long-term investors that we could discuss here for a bit.
According to the head of thematic strategy at BlackRock, Kate Moore, investors should “Find a few great investing themes, and invest around those for the next decade.”
Kate Moore, she’s quoted in the articles saying, “Three of my favorite themes are disrupting the consumer, the digital transformation, and really thinking about climate and ESG opportunities around the globe.” The article also noted that “Moore points to software companies as one way to bet on digital transformation well underway inside global businesses. Meanwhile, the electric vehicle supply chain looks to be a good bet on automakers moving to more climate-friendly autos.”
The article also noted “thinking longer-term as Moore implies, is a refreshing reminder early on and what is shaping up to be a volatile year for the markets”.
Here’s my question, and Trevor, I’ll let you take this one first. What is one of your top investing themes or trends that you see leading the market and that you want to invest in over the next decade? Then on that note, what is a stock or stocks within that theme?
Trevor Jennewine: Sure. I love this question. I was just going to go with artificial intelligence. Pretty much everybody is using artificial intelligence.
I think it’s going to be like the Internet to some extent a decade from now where, if you rewind 30 years or so, having a website was a big deal. But now, if you don’t have a website, you’re probably doing something wrong. I think a lot of companies are going to be using AI.
That being said, I thought maybe the metaverse was a little bit more topical. I read an article in Bloomberg the other day where they estimated, in the next couple of years, the metaverse will be an $800 billion industry.
But there are analysts that predict that it could reach $10 to $30 trillion a decade from now. Just massive tailwinds. There’s a lot of popular metaverse stocks out there.
I have one that I think it’s a little bit more under-the-radar. I’m going to put my slide up here. I’m going to be talking about Globant (NYSE:GLOB). Globant is an IT consulting and product engineering firm. Essentially provides advisory services. It helps clients come up with new solutions, design those new solutions, implement and optimize them, whatever it may be, whether it’s a new product interface, or a new game, or a new application, new software.
The company provides all of that expertise. Globant employs over 20,000 IT professionals with expertise in a lot of different trendy technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, etc. The company organizes its services into studios, which are basically just deep pockets of expertise. Globant recently launched the metaverse studio.
That’s going to blend its know-how in digitization, media, gaming, blockchain with the goal of giving clients the tools they need to compete in the industry and build these metaverse experiences. The metaverse, the definition is nebulous at this point, but most people agree that you’ll be able to do almost anything you can do in the real world.
Things like shopping, attending entertainment events, and seeing no retailers and entertainment venues might not have the expertise to create these experiences for themselves. But I think everybody is going to want to participate in the metaverse economy, and a company like Globant can help them do that. Some of the things that I like about the company in terms of its competitive edge, it has a founder-led management team.
There’s a strong workplace culture. If you look at Glassdoor, 93% would recommend working for Globant, 96% of employees approve of the CEO. I think that’s really important, especially for an IT consulting firm. I think you need to have a happy workforce because it’s so dependent on the relationships. Globant’s been recognized as one of the top five fastest-growing engineering services companies by Everest Group.
They’ve been recognized as a leader in customer experience improvement by the International Data Corporation. Beyond the metaverse, it plays into what you’re talking about, Rachel, with digital transformation. Globant helps companies accomplish their digital transformation initiatives and that’s a massive industry.
I believe between 2022 and 2024, the IDC says that Global enterprises will spend over $6.3 trillion on digital transformation initiatives, just an incredible amount of money being funneled into those, keeping pace with technology. In terms of financial performance, the company has been strong over the past year, revenues up 50% to $1.2 billion, $2.70 in earnings per share, that’s up 64%. They’re growing their customer base quickly.
They added 14% more customers up over 1,000 now. But they have 162 customers spending over $1 dollars per year, and that’s up 37%. I think they’re doing a good job of funneling, they’re getting more spend out of their customers.
Management puts the market opportunity at $154 billion by 2022. I think there’s a lot to like about Global, and I think that while it may not benefit from the metaverse as much as something a company like Unity, for example, I think that there still will be a tailwind for the business.
Rachel Warren: Really interesting company, not one I’m familiar with. Thanks for bringing that to the table.
Rachel Warren has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Trevor Jennewine has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Globant and Unity Software Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
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