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Unity Software Inc. (NYSE:U)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Nov 09, 2021, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Unknown speaker

And we're live.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

OK. Great. Well thank you everyone, and welcome to this call to discuss our third quarter earnings results and the acquisition of certain assets of Weta Digital. So with me today are John Riccitiello, president and chief executive officer and executive chairman; Luis Visoso, senior vice president and chief financial officer; and a new participant to our call is Marc Whitten, senior vice president of Creative Solutions.

So as you've seen from the press releases, we have a lot of good news today. And we will go through our updates and then straight into Q&A after that. But before we start, I'll run through our safe harbor statement. So I'd like to remind participants that during this conference call, we will be making forward-looking statements, including statements about goals, business outlook, industry trends, market opportunities, expectations for future financial performance and similar items, all of which are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions.

Now you can find more information about these risks and uncertainties in the Risk Factors section in our filings at sec.gov. And we remind everyone that our actual results may differ, and we undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements. And we will also be discussing non-GAAP financial measures today. Reconciliations between our GAAP and non-GAAP financial results and the discussion of the limitations of our non-GAAP financial measures can be found in our earnings press release, which was issued earlier today and is available on our website under the Investor Relations tab.

Now with that, let me turn the call over to John.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So thanks, Richard, and thank you all for [Inaudible]. We are really happy with our third quarter results, and we have great news to share. We reported another strong quarter with results well above our expectations. We delivered 43% revenue growth as revenue had a record $286 million in the quarter.

We continue to invest to drive future growth, resulting in a non-GAAP operating margin of a negative 4%, flat to the same quarter last year. Since we went public in September of last year, our revenue growth has averaged 45%. We're encouraged by the execution across all of our business lines and geographies. And as you'll hear later from Luis, we are raising our revenue guidance again this quarter.

We have even more exciting news. We've entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Weta Digital, specifically its award-winning engineering talent, artist pipeline, tools and technologies. Weta Digital will become part of Unity Create Solutions led by Marc Whitten and we'll focus on bringing dozens of artist tools inside of Weta to a much broader world of VFX artists across many companies to the gaming industry and the users across many industries. The Academy award-winning VFX teams of Weta Digital will continue as a stand-alone entity called WetaFX and is expected to become Unity's largest customer in the media and entertainment space.

We are thrilled to democratize Weta's industry-leading tools and bring the genius of Peter Jackson and Weta's amazing engineering talent to life for artists everywhere. By combining the power of Unity and Weta Digital, the tools and technologies that built characters and scenes from the world's most iconic films such as Avatar, Lord of The Rings, and Wonder Woman. We will be able to enable an entirely new generation of creators to build, transform and distribute stunning real-time 3D content. Now until now Weta's tools were used exclusively in-house at Weta VFX.

We plan to take these tools to artists and creators across the film industry, the gaming industry from indies to AAA games into other industries such as automotive, architecture and e-commerce. We plan to offer a cloud-based version of Weta for the millions of consumers who generate content every day on social and gaming platforms and on the web or to use the current vernacular, the metaverse. In addition, Weta has built thousands of digital assets, such as fully formed characters, skins, trees, houses, automobiles, fire trucks, many things. We plan to offer these objects as to content library where creators can import these digital assets into our editor and apply physics, biometric lighting and sound to them.

In summary, we plan to do what we do best, create and develop amazing technology and tools, making them easy to use and available to a wide spectrum of users from technical experts to consumer hobbyists. And you've heard me say this many times before. We believe the world is a better place with more creators in it. Now Luis and Marc will provide additional details.

Here, I'll provide a summary highlight picture. We expect the purchase price of $1.625 billion to be immediately accretive and we will be even more -- it will even be more so as we bring these tools to new customers. Our acquisition of Weta is expected to open new markets and accelerate our product [Inaudible] for artists by years. Based on internal models, we estimate that this transaction expands our total addressable market by over $10 billion, while meaningfully increasing the percentage of the addressable market that Unity can service.

I would like to welcome everyone at Weta Digital on behalf of everyone at Unity. I believe you'll feel at home at Unity. I also want to thank the Weta VFX team for the partnership to get this deal done. We at Unity will be honored to have WetaFX, Peter Jackson, Prem Akkaraju, Joe Letteri and the entire organization as a key customer.

We love your work. I look forward to many years of strong partnership. And with that, let me turn the call over to Luis.

Luis Visoso -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, John. Definitely an amazing quarter. I will start with our earnings results and then share additional perspective on the Weta acquisition. The Unity team delivered another strong quarter in which we exceeded guidance and Street expectations.

Here are some of the key financial highlights for the quarter. Total revenue of $286 million increased by 43% as compared to the third quarter of 2020. Operate delivered another very strong quarter with 54% year-over-year growth. Create accelerated in the third quarter and delivered 34% year-over-year growth.

We delivered another strong non-GAAP gross margin of 81%, up from 79% last year. We generated a non-GAAP operating loss of $12 million, compared to $8.4 million in the prior year. Free cash flow was $34 million for the quarter, bringing our year-to-date free cash flow to negative $100 million, which includes approximately $50 million in charges from a lease dispute, which we reported last quarter. We continue to expect to break even on a free cash flow basis within fiscal 2023.

We're encouraged by the strong continued customer success this quarter. Our dollar-based net expansion rate for the quarter was 142% and customers generating more than $100,000 annually expanded from 739 a year ago to 973. Here are some of the key highlights for the quarter. Operate's performance was very strong across monetization and multiplayer services, which includes hosting service, voice and community tools.

This quarter, Unity Ads supported partners like Warner Bros Games, Jam City and Miniclip and games such as CrazyLabs, Super Stylist, and Dream Games' Royal Match where we delivered outstanding results at scale while navigating the challenges from iOS 14. And in multiplayer, we supported the launch of some exciting new games such as Team17 Worms Rumble and Amazon's Game Studios New World. In addition, we announced some important additions to make our Operate platform even more compelling. We launched Unity Gaming Services or UGS this quarter, which saw more than 5,000 sign-ups in the first 10 days.

This is a new platform experience for developers that unifies Unity's existing operating solutions for games and introduces new tools and services that are designed to simplify developers' ability to launch cross-platform multiplayer games. We also launched Unity Mediation which includes waterfall and bidding within Unity Ads. These mediation offerings are designed to help developers build additional strong revenue streams by easily optimizing demand for their best-performing ad formats and network partners within the same editor and interface they built and manage their games experience. Create delivered 34% revenue growth for the quarter as we accelerated from the prior quarter.

Our games business continues to perform strongly with growth across geographies and customers as we build -- as we continue to add seats. We won several deals in the industry machinery space. A good example is a deal we closed with a manufacturer of commercial grade farming equipment, where our more immersive and interactive real-time 3D capabilities enabled us to win their product configurator business, and there is much more to come. We're working on several digital twin projects that range from large objects, think cities and buildings to small objects, think shoes, watches and other consumer goods.

We'll keep you posted as we make progress. And finally, we officially announced that we're going live with Metacast. This is Unity's first real-time 3D sports platform for creating and delivering interactive content directly to the consumer, launched in partnership with the UFC, the leading mixed martial arts organization. Together, Unity and UFC will collaborate on research and development of potential applications for Unity Metacast within UFC.

We are encouraged by this partnership and long-term potential. We do not expect meaningful revenue in the short-term from this partnership. Now on to guidance. We're entering the fourth quarter with very good momentum.

We are guiding revenue of $285 million to $290 million, which represents 29% to 32% year-on-year growth. For the full year, we're again raising our guidance this time to $1.08 billion to $1.085 billion or 40% year-over-year growth. This represents an increase of $25 million on the high side of the range from our previous guidance. We expect non-GAAP operating loss from operations of $20 million to $25 million for Q4 and $59 million to $64 million for the full year.

We're forecasting 329 million fully diluted shares. I will turn the call to Marc Whitten to go into the Weta acquisition in more detail. Marc runs Create Solutions at Unity. As you know, Create Solutions includes the Unity engine and editor, the tools and services we use to deliver digital twins for other industries and our worldwide sales and professional services.

Create is also our home for artist tools, including ArtEngine, Pixyz and SpeedTree. Now foundationally anchored by Weta Digital. Marc joined us nearly a year ago from Amazon, where he oversaw product execution and the delivery of entertainment to over 100 million active users on Fire TV, Fire tablet, Kindle, Luna in Amazon app store. Prior to that, Marc was one of the creators of Xbox and Xbox Live, ultimately serving as the Chief Product Officer for Xbox and leading Xbox Live for many years.

Marc, over to you.

Marc Whitten -- Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions

All right. Thanks, Luis, and thank you, everyone. It's a pleasure to be with -- on this call with you. Before I start, I want to welcome everyone that's listening from the Weta Digital team.

Welcome to the Unity family. And to everyone from WetaFX, it's an honor to partner with you. It's an exciting time for Unity, and it's even more so today with new markets that Weta opens for creators. I'll walk you through some of the things that make us the most excited about bringing on board the Weta team and the amazing technology they've built.

But as the saying goes, a picture or in this case, a brief video is worth a thousand words.[Commercial break]

All right. So the Unity Editor, which is the core of our Create business is historically focused on two broad categories of users, developers who code and artists who can code. One of our key strategies is to bring more artists to our platform by making our editor easier to use, integrating machine learning-based productivity tools like Artomatix and offering specialized artistry tools like SpeedTree. We're entering a period of what we believe will be unprecedented growth and demand for great 3D content.

This starts with movies, TV and short-form video. Thanks to the rise in streaming, we are in a golden age of content. And with content comes the need for deep VFX capabilities. Take Marvel and their growth from a couple of movies a year to the addition of dozens of hours of amazing quality television.

We see no end to this hunger for great content. In games, 3D has been the standard for years. But on every platform, the capabilities to deliver higher and higher quality content are only increasing. And of course, there's the need for 3D content in every industry, in AR and VR, in virtual world and much more.

Whatever the word metaverse means, it's going to be built by millions of content creators, and we're on a mission to give them the easy to use and high performance tools that will bring their visions to life. Weta Digital accelerates this mission by years, bringing an incredible team to join ours. This is an incredible cohesive pipeline powered by dozens of amazing tools. Each of these tools is impressive on its own, but as a consistent pipeline, they represent the most complete tool chain for 3D visualization ever created.

As we spent time working with Weta Digital, we were consistently blown away by these tools. Manuka is a revolutionary physically based render that delivers unsurpassed visual fidelity. Lumberjack and Totara enable building unprecedented environments that feel lived in all through intuitive artist controls. With Barbershop, artists can groom hair and fur with the ease of a hair stylist, all the while creating powerful hierarchies of guide hairs scaled out to hundreds of thousands of individual hairs, resulting in the most artist-directable grooms.

Loki is a simulation engine par excellence, able to perform huge, stable, controllable and predictable simulations with outstanding complexity and results, whether you want to create intense explosions, turbulent oceans, flexing muscles or anything else that you can dream up. Koru is a super high-performance rigging evaluation engine that automatically optimized informations for faster artist feedback. For every type of content creation need, Weta Digital has created tools that help artist be productive quickly. Hair, Barbershop.

Feathers, Apteryx. Cities and environment, CityBuilder and Scenic Designer. Vegetation, Lumberyard and Totara on and on. Even when we looked at their production management tools, HighDef and [Inaudible] for instance, we found them to be filled with capabilities beyond other tools that were available.

This is an incredible collection of tools in which Weta's top engineers invested more than 500 person years of engineering time to develop. They're amazing, and they're unreplicable in any reasonable time frame. But again, each of these tools is part of an integrated pipeline, and that's the key for us as we work to productize the collection as a cloud service. By being deeply integrated, an artist can move from tool to tool and get consistent, coherent results.

More importantly, group of artists can collaborate together in different tools, all with one source of truth. These tools have been pressure tested by hundreds of productions and are able to produce great results predictably no matter the complexity. This is the approach that has powered Weta Digital success and why we're so excited to welcome the new Unity and enable millions of other creators through this pipeline. Going forward, we'll continue to provide these tools Peter's creative teams at WetaFX as a customer.

And at Unity, we will learn and benefit from the years of experience that these close to 300 Weta Digital engineers bring with them. We believe this deal is a massive win-win, because Unity will be able to bring to bear the expertise to package and bring these tools to artists around the world. And that means not just the VFX industry, but games in real-time 3D verticals and over time, consumer creators. We don't have enough time on this call to give you the full sense of the power, sophistication and forward thinking that Weta's engineers put into building this suite of schools.

But I want to double-click on just one tool, CityBuilder because it's a template for what we plan to do with several other Weta tools. Cities require scale, an immense amount of details yet humans have evolved to quickly sense patterns to create an interesting and believable cityscape, that means you can't just repeat the same object every fourth house. Real cities also have an organic life. They evolve.

They are how they are because of the unique circumstances, the geology, the time and much more that have driven their growth. That's where CityBuilder comes in. CityBuilder procedurally generates worlds and provides artist easy-to-use controls that let them shape the resulting cityscapes. An artist can drag a river through or along the city and immediately see how that river would impact the layout of markets or buildings and whole sections of the daily lives.

Any change an artist make changes how the rest of the city behaves. And this, in turn, makes environment artists, modelers, layout artists, much more productive in their work. Many of Weta Digital design tools, CityBuilder included, require cross-disciplinary models that span light, sound, heat and motion physics, but also embed advanced algorithms from computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and machine learning. That's a compelling value proposition for anyone creating this kind of content.

And whether you're a creator for the highest end massive world or an indie, who just wants to create a street or a room, our vision is the tools like CityBuilder delivered through the cloud help anyone get to the next level of productivity and creativity. Of course, Weta operates in an ecosystem of other tools and vendors. We're excited to continue to work with companies like Autodesk, Adobe and SideFX and more. We plan to launch a suite of our tools as plug-ins directly into the creation suites that artists use every day, making it easy for them to get the full power from these amazing tools.

And we'll also be populating our content library with some of the content created from the masters of WetaFX. So use the canvas, you already know and love, get access to incredibly powerful tools used in movies like Avatar and Avengers and get incredible content from our content library to fulfill your vision. Parallel with those efforts, we will work to make Weta Digital technology more applicable to a broad customer base. That means upgrading the user interface, the workflows and evolving Weta's tools into the Weta cloud and bringing them to real-time use cases like games, including leveraging Parsec's incredible streaming capabilities to drive low latency, high fidelity, rich input on any device anywhere.

We believe that these enhancements will open new markets for us, not just the thousands of artists, but we expand into the prosumer market, millions of creators. With the great teams already at Unity, the great teams from Parsec, SpeedTree and Artomatix and now with team Weta Digital, we plan to win with artists at scale, high and low VFX games, industrial use cases and more. Let me turn the call over to Luis, who will provide the financial details of the Weta transaction. But before I do, I can't help myself, here's one more quick video speaking to the power of Weta tools and how they enable the incredible VFX we have come to expect.

I'm thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented engineers, scientists and graphics experts of Weta Digital to Unity, and I'm honored to work closely with the amazing artists of WetaFX.[Commercial break]

Luis Visoso -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Wow, thank you, Marc. That was amazing. As you have heard, Weta is a very strategic acquisition for Unity, bringing artists to the Unity platform is fundamental to Unity's vision. We plan to provide professional users a collection of tools and link them deeply into the Unity platform and also bring to market a set of extremely easy-to-use tools for the growing prosumer audience.

By doing so, we estimate that we will expand our addressable market by over $10 billion. Specifically, with this transaction, Unity will acquire the technologies and tools and the 275 engineers that create and maintain those technologies and tools. The purchase price is $1.625 billion. WetaFX will operate independent from Unity and will continue to develop some of the world's best movies and shows.

WetaFX will be our first customer. WetaFX will license back the technologies and tools that we're acquiring from them. We have signed a four-year license agreement worth $50 million per year. We expect this relationship between both companies will last much longer than this initial term.

In addition, WetaFX will contract with Unity for commercial services that we will provide through the engineering organization that is joining Unity as a result of this transaction. The value from this contract is expected to exceed $20 million next year. We also expect this relationship between both companies will last much longer than this initial term. We expect this acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of 2020 as we work through customary closing conditions.

The business will be reported on the Create Solutions going forward. We do not expect any material revenue or operating impact in 2021. We will include this transaction in our 2022 guide which we will share with you with our fourth quarter earnings. For now, I will say that we expect the transaction to add over $70 million in revenue next year and have no material impact on our non-GAAP operating income in '22.

This transaction does not change our goal to break even on a non-GAAP operating income and free cash flow basis within fiscal 2023. We will fund the transaction with $1 billion in cash and $625 million in equity issued to Weta shareholders. As of September 30, we had $1.28 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities on our balance sheet, and we have ample access to capital markets. To close, let me reinforce our stand on M&A.

We do not see M&A as a strategy per se, but as a way to execute our business strategies. At Unity, we constantly evaluate build versus buy alternatives and make decisions based on the impact to creators and customers, the time to market and cost. While we expect our acquisitions to become significant contributors to our business, we have not acquired businesses with significant revenue at the time of closing. Instead, we have acquired technologies with great potential.

For perspective, in our third quarter, less than 0.5% of our revenue came from acquisitions completed over the last 12 months. With that, let me turn the call over to Richard, who will get us organized and take your questions.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

Great. Thanks very much, Luis. [Operator instructions] And we'll start with Kash. If you can pop in there.

We'd love to hear your questions.

Kash Rangan -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Sure. Thank you so much, Richard. John, Luis, and Marc, congratulations on a spectacular quarter and what an acquisition. So John, I'm curious to get your thoughts on the total available market that is available to Unity as a result of this transaction.

Can you talk a little bit more about the target market? What are the new opportunities that are afforded into it that you, subject to Unity that you cannot pursue before? And a follow-up for Luis. Luis, I know that you've not given guidance beyond the $50 million or $70 million obligated revenue. But can you give us some historical perspective on what was the revenue generation, I know that was a movie studio. But how should we expect the synergies in this transaction to materialize if John is going to give us the answer on how you expect to reach new target markets, I would assume that it's going to translate revenues above and beyond the contractually obligated $70 million.

So you can talk about that conceptually, that will be great. I'll wrap it up with that. Thank you so much.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

John, you're on mute. You're on mute, John.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Kash, and I appreciate a nine-part question. We'll do our best to navigate through that. And I'm going to ask Marc to bring up a couple of examples because I think examples are actually like a picture worth a thousand words. So we estimate that what Weta brings to us, Weta Digital brings to us is about $10 billion in incremental TAM, and increases a portion of our total TAM that's available to us in a more addressable and simply addressable form.

The reason for that sort of more instantly addressable form is that artists typically make up on most game teams, seven, eight, nine out of 10 people, if you follow me. So 60%, 70% of the teams, in film, it's even more and in many, many industries. They're dominated by artists. They need tools like this.

And so it's easier to draw them on to the Unity platform when we offer something that is essentially the hidden treasure of the artist world is what we have with Weta Digital. So I believe we can pick up a lot of users inside of the VFX industry beyond Weta or beyond WetaFX. Many others in that industry, it was a huge demand fulfillment these days. It's directly applicable today to the gaming industry, and it's also directly applicable to a number of our verticals outside of gaming.

And I'll let Marc pick up on that.

Marc Whitten -- Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions

Yeah. Thanks, John. So, Yeah. So imagine that you're building -- like this -- we'll start with movies.

So you're building a helicopter crashing in a snowy forest after it's been shot down by some armed monkeys. The complexity of the simulations is involved in making that happen are enormous. And it's what is enabled by these tools. So you could imagine Lumberjack and Totara can build the trees and simulate the biome.

Loki can stimulate the snow dress, covering everything ready to be knocked off. It's massively parallel finite element simulations like literally have you covered. It can even do the flowing water in the creek, the smoking flame that came down as part of the helicopter. Then you have to think about the characters, they're covered in wet hair, they're built from skeletons out.

You've got Koru from fast multicharacter performance. You've got tissue for the muscles. You've got Barbershop for the hair, again using the Loki for the simulation and how they work. And then you've got to composite that.

You've got to be able to sort of coordinate it. All of those come through a set of tools. But the interesting thing is that same scenario with that helicopter also you can imagine that being used in a game, the same tools being used to create both simulation, the effects and the ability to use it. Now in the past, what that's meant is two different pipelines, two different sets of tools targeting two different levels of detail and you'd actually rebuild the assets.

But through what we're going to be able to do with Weta Digital, we'll be able to build that into a consistent pipeline that allows you to output at the highest fidelity for both offline or print or movies, as well as sort of multiple levels of detail that let you target the highest end gaming rigs all the way into the highest scaled mobile devices, all with one set. But it goes much further than that. Imagine that you want to check whether the HVAC system that you're installing in the digital twin of a high-rise building is going to work. Well, it turns out that Loki is tailor-made to do that level of stimulation and tools like EDI can actually be used to visualize air flow and simulate it throughout that space.

So it's -- even when we think about artists and content creators, it's actually a very, very broad set of people who have never had access to these tools. They've been in the domain of experts or in very special sort of tool suites. Suddenly, we're going to make those accessible to across all of those different types of industries.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Luis?

Luis Visoso -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Kash, to the other side of your question, it's a little bit difficult to give you historical revenues because they are not as relevant. So let me just repeat a little bit of what I said. We're going to have -- we're going to operate as two independent companies, right? And WetaFX, as you know, is a private company. They are the best in the market.

They're actually having an amazing year with new films, but we're not disclosing their historical revenues. The revenue that we will get comes from two parts, right? One is we license the tools back to them for, as I mentioned, $50 million per year for these four years, which we expect that will continue after that. And then we will provide them engineering support worth $20 million per year, which again, we expect to continue to expand. So how should you model this $70 million? I would expect that that number will continue to grow.

Now as Marc mentioned, we see huge opportunities for us in media and entertainment, in games, adding more seats in -- with artists. We believe there is an opportunity in architecture. We believe there is opportunities in automotive. So many, many different industries we will continue to see growth, but the historical revenue growth of Weta is less relevant to answer that question.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And just one additional thing, one additional thought to toss into the mix. For those of you that have been listening to me from before we went public or if you're listening to our road show, one of the points I made was we believe that we can increase potentially our revenue inside of gaming by on the order of magnitude of 10 times. How was that possible when half the world's games or 70% of the world's mobile games are already built in Unity? And the answer to that question has always been, in large part, the fact that we don't have all the artists on our platform. And this is one of the answers to how we access that marketplace.

The artist is the largest audience of creators in the world. And as 3D becomes the norm for consumer creators, it's going to be a staggeringly large marketplace for users. Now we don't count all that on our new TAM because we have to bring those consumer creators into the world, but that is happening now. And this is the first really important step in that direction.

Now SpeedTree helped us, Artomatix helps us, Parsec helps us. This is another step in that direction.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

Bhavan/Dillon, are you available?

Bhavan Suri

Thanks for taking the question. I guess first, I guess -- and I think you kind of touched on it maybe John, too. But thinking about this kind of more holistically, there's obviously been a lot of talk about what the metaverse could look like, and this really seems like kind of a key enabling technology, at least of kind of the development of those kind of type of environments. Maybe can you, if guys kind of expand upon the thought process and kind of investment around that opportunity?

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So I'll start with that. My colleagues can add if they have any perspective. But first off, I want to point back that I read Snow Crash when it came out.

I guess some of you can see the gray hair, but fascinated about metaverse for a very long time. But the point I would want to make here is that it's only been about nine months or so, the people have been memeing about the metaverse. Go back and read our S-1, what we said was a relatively small percentage of content in the world is truly real time, truly 3D, it truly interactive. And what we have said is the majority of content by the end of this decade will be.

And my definition of the metaverse is pretty straightforward. We've gone from Web 1 to Web 2, Web 1 tech stuff, I had mosaic in a box, Web 2 enables an Uber, if you will, satellite data, cell data, tracking information, map on your phone, it's magic, the car shows up. Web 3 is as these experiences become real time, they become 3D, they become interactive and often spatially aware. At Facebook, they call that presence, the sense that you're there or what's there is in your living room.

We've been showing lately to folks how we can put up through Metacast we can put a sports event on your dining room table. It's breathtaking. And the answer to your question is essentially this. Unity expects to be as industry after industry after industry wants to move into the metaverse or become real-time 3D interactive with their presentation, whether it's a car configurator or a shopping experience.

We want to make sure that 60%, 70%, 80% of the time, that content built by all of those industries and all of those customers is built in Unity. And then the second thing we want to do is ensure that more often than not, it's operating in Unity around analytics, monetization, hosting, voice, toxicity issues, what we offer on the Operate side. And what we've said, and I'd say there's -- if there's been a weakness in our armor, Bhavan, is the lion's share of the people creating the metaverse are going to be artists. And while you could use Unity to do a lot of things, it's not the best tool to make a mustache or get somebody's hair right or get the environment right.

There are other tools for that. And the very most important collection of tools on this planet was in my industry, a little bit like that treasure that we fantasize about that would follow a map to all the way in New Zealand inside of a private company used just for their purposes. I'm frankly stunned. We were able to come to an agreement around something as complex as severing a company in two and acquiring the tools.

But we were able to do that. We welcome them to us. And it's that that's going to really help us extract and help build the metaverse around the notion that the world is a better place for creators in it. And now the very many millions of creators in the world that think of themselves as artists, they're welcome on our platform.

And we got some that's going to delight them. So this really puts under our platform, something that is, at least from an artist perspective, truly magic. And they're the largest tappable audience we have in our universe.

Marc Whitten -- Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions

I'll just add one just a quick point on top of that. The magic, that the power that they go after is getting you to far toward the vision that's in your head before you have to pick up a paint brush. So it's not about -- when you think about the millions of people who are going to have these amazing visions of what they want to create in the metaverse, it's about starting not from a blank canvas, but from something that sort of they can express the type of intent that they want. I want the city.

It has a river. I can see it in my head. And then watch that grow and evolve. And then they already have where they're trying to go and they can go further.

And so that accessibility that brings that power, that procedural artificial intelligence power to a broad set of people will drive up an extraordinary amount of creativity. I have a strong belief that the metaverse is just going to be made from lots of creative people sort of imagining the future forward. And these tools are going to be foundational for that.

Bhavan Suri

Great. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

Stephen Ju.

Stephen Ju -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

All right. Great. Thank you so much. So you talked about the build versus buy decision for Unity, but do you think the buy versus build decision that Weta presents to creators in the movie industry will be fairly similar to what the video game industry faces or are there other nuances that we should be aware of? Do you think also that this acquisition will help to skew the decision toward Unity for the games industry, particularly for those who might have made the decision against you? And I guess more of a product integration question.

And John, maybe this question is maybe it's too early, but there is an explicit link between Create and Operate for the mobile games industry. But what do you think that link between what Weta brings to the table and Operate could be outside the games industry, if there is one, do you think it can help creators monetize their content? Thanks.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So first off, Stephen, thanks for the question. And you've now -- it sounds like you've had a microphone in the room where Luis and Marc and I have been talking to the last nine months because it's the nexus of what you're getting out there is what we're getting out. So first off, I think not only will we bring the artists onto our platform, this is going to serve as a way to, if you will, build our net expansion rate because when the artists come to our platform, they're going to bring their friends, and they're going to start using the rest of the Unity pipeline, rest of the Unity platform, including our tools for analytics and monetization and hosting and the rest of it. So we've always been really explicit.

So I think it was on the last call that I explained that we build NetCode and the NetCode is free. But it's a check box to multiplayer for hosting your game and that can be a multimillion dollar proposition that goes multimillion per quarter literally forever if it's the right title. And so we do a lot of things that are sort of long-term greedy and short-term generous with our user base. And I don't think there's anything that's better in that regard then investing $1.6 billion to bring these tools to a hungry collection of millions of artists on the platform that want to be part of building in the metaverse.

And the tools were trapped inside of one amazing company. Now Weta is by far the leading light in the world of video effects. They've got great artists and incredible audits. They have great vision.

They've got Joe Letteri, who's one of the greatest visual effect editors in the history of time and the most decorated as with time. But they've also done something that I find almost stunning. They've invested well north of 500 person years in building a tool set to do that. I mean in any other world that would have been considered completely crazy, but Peter could afford to do it because he had such a resounding historic precedent setting success with Lord of The Rings that allowed him to build what he thought was the right way to do it.

No one to my knowledge is ever tried to do something as gargantuan is putting together dozens of tools with a common data back infrastructure with common workflows that resolve to the same scene in the same image. It's -- I mean, when our team looked at it, I mean all the expressions in emojis were mind blown, but mine blown. And then we were able to negotiate this transaction. Thanks to Luis and the team and Marc, I'm just thrilled.

And for them, interestingly enough they've made this incredible collection of tools, a jewel in the entirely world of artists. And I think they want it to be seen. It's like -- this is like one of those 10 lifetime achievement outcomes. And it's hidden in a small town in New Zealand.

The output from it is there. So there's a lot of win-win here. Now honestly, we're very -- I don't think we would have been the world's best company to be a video effects special digital demand competitor, etc. They're great at that.

So they're going to keep that. We're going to do a good at what we do best, which is to build on these tools, bring them into the cloud, integrate them deeply with Unity. They don't always have to use or be creating a real-time 3D game to use these. As Marc had mentioned, it's going to be used for visual twins or digital twins, it's going to be used in the game industry.

It's going to be used in the movie industry. It will be used in many, many different ways. Sometimes on both the Unity engine probably most times, but not all. Marc, do you want to add to that?

Marc Whitten -- Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions

No, I think that -- the key there, I think, is we're going to make artist superheroes by supercharging their productivity. They'll use those in a lot of different ways, sometimes with the Unity engine and sometimes without. But at the same time, we'll be also integrating this more deeply into the Unity engines or providing really cross -- deep cross services. So I do believe we're going to make Unity itself just a more and more attractive opportunity for people to build great art, whether that's a game or something to doing digital twins and certainly in movies and entertainment.

So I do believe that that adds to expansion as well.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And there's wonderful financial math behind it. You are right. There are so many explicit linkages between our Create and Operate tool set. And there are going to be very many explicit connections between miss collection of tools, the core Unity engine, what we have in SpeedTree, what we have in Parsec, what we have.

And so what we've been trying to build is a platform and it's largely there now where we can hook them with Parsec kind of communication service points like that. We can hook them with Vivox when they need voice. We can hook them on multi-play when they're running a game. We can hook them on the engine when they're trying to develop a game.

We can hook them at the artist level when they're just building out their first visual representation of what they want to do. We can hook them lots of different ways. And at Unity, it almost always seems the same. They start as some sort of a experimental customer doing not a lot.

And then we get inside and they do a lot more and then they do a lot more, then they write bigger contracts, they start moving more of our services. I mean it sounds -- I would hate to say this from our customers although we know it, land and expand is like endemic to Unity. It's exactly what we're doing. And there's so much efficiency here around common data formats.

And that may not sound like a big deal. It's a gigantic deal to our customers.

Stephen Ju -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Thank you.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

OK. Yeah, we will go to Matt Cost.

Matt Cost -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Great. Thanks everyone for taking the questions. I guess just thinking about Weta's tools, like what is the level of investment in time and in R&D that's necessary to get the tools ready to license out and also to kind of work on real-time and interactive applications, since those are so core to kind of what Unity brings to the table? And then just on the Operate side, obviously, kind of a tumultuous time in the ad markets. Just anything you can add about puts and takes and what drove kind of the slight uptick in growth sequentially in 3Q? Thanks.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Marc, why don't you hit the first part of that question and I'll take the second.

Marc Whitten -- Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions

Well, so there's two things there. So first off, obviously, it's intent to acquire. We're getting through closing, getting the teams together and doing a lot of planning. So we'll have a lot more to talk about on our future road map upcoming.

But one of the most fundamental because we have talked a lot about the strategy internally around the future of art and art creation. Is this fact that it's a pipeline? And so there's a lot of different things that are needed. Artist is a very overloaded work because there are different types of artists. There are different -- whether in terms of their sophistication or their type of specialty or the domain that they're going after.

And so individual tools, if they don't work together, if they don't have one common data model, can be very complicated and sort of not really support getting to the right end result. And so the big win that we get from starting with something like the foundational technology that Weta Digital has is, all of these tools already are well integrated with a common data model, this data river of all the content flowing through, which makes it tailor-made to move toward the cloud, and we spent a lot of time of understanding what it takes to move that to the cloud. And then also to think about how do you move some of those tools toward real time. Some of them are already there, by the way.

Real-time is used quite a lot in pre-visualization and sort of the ability to sort of imagine shots before they're pushed forward. And then also, we're very clear on the work that needs to happen to ensure the right level of details, management and decimation and some of the other technical ways that drive the same assets to be able to go toward something that's going to be used on a mobile phone or pre-rendered over time. So more to come in the future as we talk about our plans, but an incredible foundation to start with a consistent pipeline that's been built for such a long period of time.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So on the Operate side and particularly monetization, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that outside of monetization, the rest of our Operate stack is working extremely well. So it's across the board right, inside of our Operate portfolio. So we're gaining scale everywhere. So we feel really good about our business there.

. But specifically to Operate, I think topical right now and challenging for investors is you see a lot of quarterly results and some companies pop up as a winner and some companies haven't popped up as a winner post the roll-through of the IDFA changes introduced by Apple. Something I've been saying for a very long time is that Unity benefits from a very unique data set, driven by over 3 billion people, MAUs in our analytics platform and hundreds of millions on our IAP platform. So I'm going to introduce something that I think probably most of you think is pretty obvious, but I'm going to emphasize it again. Most ad networks, their business is based on the identity, the specific identity of the user interacting with the application.

Ours is not, ours is based on understanding contextually where they are and what they're doing and what they've done before and what they're going to do next using predictive models based on AI on the 50 billion-plus data events we adjust per day. And as we intimated in the call nearly a year ago when we were talking about the early innings of IDFA, we felt that that would lead to a relative competitive advantage for us, as one advantage for the alternative way of driving modernization became weaker, relatively weaker. And that's exactly what's happened. So I would argue that the puts and takes, it comes down to a really simple thesis.

Ours is a better way to monetize even absent the changes that were introduced by Apple with IDFA and choice around privacy. And on a relative basis, we gained advantage to all those who use identity, individual identity, they know you and your brother and whose birthday it is that became relatively weaker, and we became relatively stronger, and we have the single largest, largest data insight based on the largest MAU count for anybody in our world. And more or less, it played out to a script almost exactly as we'd hoped, but better than we were willing to forecast given how cloudy it was a year ago.

Matt Cost -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Great. Thank you.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

We have a few more minutes left out. Brent Bracelin.

Brent Bracelin -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

I guess, John, I wanted to go back to the discussion we've had in the past a little bit around the technical product and thinking about addressing a larger consumer opportunity, a prosumer opportunity. I guess my question here is SpeedTree, Parsec, now Weta get you closer to the artist and directly get you closer to kind of the consumer. And so maybe, is there an opportunity to democratize some of the Weta functionality into kind of the consumer space? Or should we think of Weta more really has that more technical upmarket solution?

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So other people have had microphones in the private room we've been talking. Yours is on my headboard, what I'm muttering at night when I go to sleep. So yes, you've spoken to my, my inner secret mind there with that question. So thank you for that, and I'll do my best to answer it straight away.

Yes, there's a massive opportunity there. And while we're not going to disclose everything we have planned today, we have a lot of plans this year. And so we are a giant believer that there's a future for Unity with 100 times more users than we have today. And we are working step by step, inch by inch to getting ourselves ready.

And think about for a minute, what Unity Reflect is or Unity Forma is? One is a construction application -- or construction application and the others for shopping and for configurators and such. If you want to make a car configurator with Unity, you needed to find a team of people that spent several years learning Unity, our pull-down menus on our nested, nested inside of another nest, inside of another nest complexity, which is a level of fidelity that is absolutely brilliant if you went to Carnegie Mellon and studied this stuff. And we really do a good job of owning that market. If you think about it, I mean, 90% market share for -- on some of the AR/VR platforms and 70% of mobile games, I mean that's insane.

They make that choice for us for that reason, that level of fidelity. These, what we call runtime applications have five buttons. And with five buttons, you got most of what you would otherwise get if you were that high fidelity programmer. And our future is in taming the perfect balance of simplicity and performance.

Thinking about simplicity and performance. That's my fortune cookie, that's what's written on the other side of my pillow. That's what we're focused on. We are going to continue to drive that relentlessly.

Now the gap in our portfolio, one we knew a long time ago, we didn't have an answer for it. We looked at everything, we just didn't find anything, it was artists. We now have that answer. The other one was the world changed.

And the end of February 2020, we've gone through the biggest change in how we work literally since the 1950s. And we all went home. Looking all of you with your beds behind you. We went home.

The world changed in terms of how work is going to get done in the future. And what Parsec brings us is the extreme high fidelity capability to allow people to work literally from everywhere and achieve what they need to from everywhere with the simplicity of a tool that was designed for the consumer to begin with. And so watch this space, Unity, power, simplicity and a much larger user base, stitching together that platform that drives NER on the basis of an incredibly large number of on-ramps and the land and expand behind it. I could rewrite our S-1 around that.

It might be simple the one we sent you way back one, but that's what we're doing.

Brent Bracelin -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Sorry to you John get on going there. Rich, it's just obviously an interesting kind of idea. And obviously, it sounds like you have some stuff here to talk about us in the future. But great to hear that what is part of that consumerization opportunity as well longer term.

Thank you.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

We probably have time for one more. Tom?

Tom Roderick -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

OK. Well, perfect. Happy to have the last question. Thank you for taking it.

I guess I'll give you all a gold medal in controlling the narrative. It took 51 minutes to even talk about IDFA. So I applaud the big picture here. But I think that also sort of speaks to the interest in the big picture from investors and from everybody on this call, right? It's not about what happens next quarter, even 2022.

It's really what's happening beyond that. So John, if I kind of take a step back and think of some of the big -- the big statements you've made that only 2% of the world's content is made in real-time 3D today. That 50% of all of that's built on your platform, that 2% can go to a 50% number within 10 years, in terms of content. I'd love to hear your big picture thoughts for what creates that accelerator.

It doesn't seem like it's just a linear function. And maybe Weta is a big part of that by compiling more tools in your platform. But perhaps it's the form function item forcing function with VR/AR next iteration of what those tools look like or perhaps it's really just consolidating more tools on your platform than Create this adoption factor that suddenly takes things vertical. Can you give us your sense, just when do we get to this point of critical mass? And what's the big picture forcing function?

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So the more tools on our platform doesn't change their trajectory of 2% or 3% becoming 50%. What that does is it changes Unity's take rate. So without them -- without we doubled our revenue in 24 months. We haven't doubled our market share in 24 months.

So we're increasing our take rate as we go along. So -- and that's going to go for a very long time because there's so much take rate in front of us, it's crazy. And I can walk you through that another time, maybe with a post call, we can address that. But to your question of what's going to be the catalyst for moving us from that 2% or 3% to 50%.

And while I tend to roll my eyes with the crazy sometimes fantastical definitions of the metaverse and think that like can somebody not say that for at least an hour and give me a little bit of relief. On the other hand, I think the reality is it took two things and we got them both now. The first thing it's going to take to get there was the hardware infrastructure on this planet. The available compute, the available transport was it needed to be in the arena of 5G, and it needed to have people like Jensen in NVIDIA to be successful.

We needed to see that planet rise. I mean, I am so happy with the power behind the new M1 chipset at Apple as an example. So it needed that because absence that, you can't really power high-fidelity real-time 3D at scale. And the hardware requirement to do it now between cloud compute, transport, CPUs and GPUs, networks, it's all there.

The precondition for success in this space was already there. Interestingly enough, only a year ago, we were like the only who is hyping this notion of the world becoming real-time 3D interactive, etc. Now I mean who doesn't talk about the metaverse? And who isn't allocating $10 billion a year to it, if you're a mega cap? So the second thing we needed is like the movie we powered, Lion King, we need all those wildebeest to run down the Canyon and do so in this magnificent herd, and guess what, somehow in the last two to three or four or five months, it's become a herd. And it's become a herd of companies, you've just listened to announcements in the last week and a half of companies that have $10 trillion in market cap talking about this.

Not bad. It's our parade, I couldn't be more thrilled they're all going to join us. And as we have always been, they are building vertical stovepipes and we build horizontal to cross cut them. The taller they go, they take us with.

And I think we've managed to wedge ourselves. I've never had more fun at work. I've never been more excited about the prospects for anything I've ever worked on, because it keeps -- it seems to me like the tailwinds are coming faster than I'd anticipated them to be. So thank you for the question.

It's a fun one to answer. And if you see the world from my vantage point, the wins coming from back there, our sales are up and we're picking up the things to both drive increased take rate out of a rising sea that we can lead in. It doesn't get better than that.

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

Well, thank you, everyone, very much. Sorry, we couldn't get to everyone. I think we're calling all of you all back later on tonight. So you'll be able to chat with us directly, but we tried to get through many, but we had so much good news to talk about, it used up a lot of time, but we'll see you on our next earnings call.

And thank you very much, and have a good rest of your week and next few months. Thanks.

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks all.

Duration: 63 minutes

Call participants:

Unknown speaker

Richard Davis -- Vice President, Investor and Strategy

John Riccitiello -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Luis Visoso -- Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Marc Whitten -- Senior Vice President, Creative Solutions

Kash Rangan -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Bhavan Suri

Stephen Ju -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Matt Cost -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Brent Bracelin -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Tom Roderick -- Stifel Financial Corp. -- Analyst

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