A new digital reality is on the horizon and it is going to be a huge opportunity for forward-looking companies, traders, and investors, says Jon Markman, growth-stock specialist and editor of Strategic Advantage.

Facebook recently announced its rebrand as Meta Platforms (MVRS) and begin investing billions of dollars in the metaverse, an alternate digital reality. It is going to change the way businesses connect with customers.

People should consider buying Shopify (SHOP), Unity Software (U), and Globant (GLOB) to take advantage.

In the Founder’s Letter released last week, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer wrote that Facebook is committed to the metaverse and may lose billions of dollars for several years as it lays the foundation for this brave new world. However, within the next decade he expects the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce, and support jobs for millions.

To the naysayers, this may seem far-fetched, even dystopian. Replacing face-to-face human interaction with online avatars and made-up places could become cold and distant.

On the other hand, versions of the metaverse currently exist. Fortnite, a wildly popular online game platform has 350 million active users. Since 2018 the platform has been generating about $4.5 billion annually in sales, according to research from the Business of Apps. Inside the virtual world members can buy real-world items online, attend concerts, socialize, and collectively play games.

Zuckerberg wants to use the scale of Facebook to build an even bigger digital world.

He sees the metaverse as the heart of the new economy where people can work remotely, families separated by geography can connect, and businesses can reach customers for both real-world products as well as items that exist only in the metaverse.

This new market could reach $800 billion by 2026, according to research from Bloomberg Intelligence.

It is a big opportunity for businesses to stake a claim in this alternative digital landscape. They are going to need the right infrastructure tools.

Unity Software operates a cross-platform video rendering engine. Its software allows developers to rapidly build two-and three-dimensional games using menus, as opposed to coding everything from scratch. Over 50% of the top 1,000 mobile games were developed using Unity software, according to an August filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shopify is like Unity Software, but for eCommerce. The Ottawa, Canada-based software developer has become the partner of choice for large platforms looking to quickly bring small businesses online. Shopify has a full plug-and-play suite of tools to help individuals get a professional online storefront up and running quickly. Shopify even offers accounting, supply chain management and shipping software tools.

Facebook and Shopify announced in May 2020 that the companies would work together on Facebook Shops, a free software platform for merchants to build storefronts across Instagram and Facebook. 

Globant is a different kind of digital infrastructure play. Its primary business is digital branding. From American Express (AXP) to Coca Cola (KO), Dell Technologies (DELL) and Unilever (UL), some of the largest companies in the world have chosen Globant to build integrated online strategies.

I first recommended Globant back in December, 2015 in a Forbes column, and the stock is up 785% since. I still like the story a lot. The Buenos Aires, Argentina-based company now has 19,400 employees in 18 countries. Sales reached $814 million in 2020, up 23.5% year-over-year.

The metaverse is the next big challenge. In the same way the mobile internet raised the bar from desktop, the build out of the metaverse will start a gold rush of new investment and opportunity.

Zuckerberg knows this. It’s the reason Facebook is being rebranded as Meta.

Between Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, the social media giant serves 3.1 billion monthly active users. Zuckerberg hopes to leverage that scale to develop services revenue from future eCommerce and application hosting inside the metaverse.

This is the beginning of something really big.

Learn more about Jon Markman here…