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Matterport Acquisition of VHT Studios: 9 Reasons This is a Bad Strategy17091

WGAN
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Video: Matterport's Sweet Spot is Spatial Data for Enterprise at Scale | Video courtesy of www.WGAN-TV.com YouTube Channel | 24 March 2022

WGAN Forum Podcast | Episode #80

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Video: 117. Matterport Acquisition of VHT Studios: 9 Reasons This is a (Very) Bad Strategy | Video courtesy of www.WGAN-TV.com

WGAN Forum Podcast | Episode #117

Matterport Acquisition of VHT Studios: 9 Reasons This is a (Very) Bad Strategy

Commentary and Analysis by

Dan Smigrod
Founder and Managing Editor
We Get Around Network Forum
WGAN-TV Live at 5
WGAN-TV Training U (in Matterport)

The Matterport acquisition of VHT Studios announced Thursday (7 July 2022), will have many in the We Get Around Network Forum community scratching their heads wondering what to make of this news.

While there are at least two reasons that the Matterport acquisition of VHT Studios is a big, bold and brilliant move by Matterport (in the short term), unfortunately, there are nine reasons that this is a (very) bad strategy (in the long term).

I could imagine that there are two reasons that Matterport decided to buy one of the largest residential real estate photography agencies in the United States:

1. VHT Studios will not offer any of the 170+ other 3D/360 virtual tour platforms and software that compete with Matterport
2. Matterport Capture Services On Demand to add all VHT Studios services

While most Wall Street financial analysts that cover Matterport will likely reward Matterport for these two short-term sales growth strategies, in the long-term, investors will cringe for the following reasons:

1. Matterport’s Sweet Spot is Spatial Data for Enterprise at Scale – The sweet spot for Matterport is spatial data for enterprise at scale. This is the single greatest use case for Matterport. The acquisition of VHT Studios by Matterport is off strategy.

2. Matterport Continues to Compete with Its Real Estate Photographer Customers – When Matterport announced its plans for Matterport Capture Services On Demand, I wrote a 6-part series in the We Get Around Network Forum about why this was a bad idea (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6).

I went into great detail about how and why Matterport Capture Services On Demand competes with its Matterport Service Providers (which is a significant marketing channel for Matterport).

By offering Matterport exclusively via VHT Studios – and adding VHT Studio services to Matterport Capture Services On Demand, Matterport is competing with real estate photographers – customers of its Matterport Pro2 3D Camera and Matterport Cloud subscriptions.

While Matterport will likely spin the story as more demand for real estate photographers to add Matterport, the reality is that VHT Studios and Matterport Capture Services On Demand will be low paying opportunities for real estate photographers that offer Matterport.

3. Other Photography Agencies Will Discontinue Offering Matterport – Of the 40+ large photography agencies that offer Matterport, I could imagine most or all will switch to one of 170+ 3D/360 virtual tour platforms and software.

4. Real Estate Photographers Will Switch to a Different 3D/360 Virtual Tour Platform and Camera – Of the 170+ 3D/360 virtual tour platforms and software and 50+ 3D/360 cameras, there are plenty of cameras and platforms that offer either a better quality solution or a “good enough” solution (quality of virtual tour experience; faster to shoot to offer at a lower cost; pay per tour pricing; no platform branding, don't compete with its clients) for real estate photographers to offer.

5. Matterport is Not a Service Company – If you were to do a content analysis of the 90,300 We Get Around Network Forum posts among 15,500 topics since August 2014 – it would be obvious that Matterport is not known as a service company, yet it continues to move into services. Matterport will face competition from individual photographers – and photography agencies – that are obsessed with servicing clients (and will now switch to offer a competing virtual tour platform shot with a non-Matterport camera).

6. Matterport Axis is Not a Professional Solution – I could imagine that Matterport will stress that the Matterport Axis motorized smartphone rotator is a low-cost solution for real estate photographers to offer Matterport via VHT Studios. While the Matterport Axis enables quality Matterport tours, first impressions by the WGAN Community include: can cause an iPhone to overheat, slower to shoot a tour than a one-click 360 camera, not a solution for professional real estate photographers and trust issues containing the user’s $1,000 smartphone.

7. Residential Real Estate is Not the Best Use Case for Matterport – In many ways, Matterport is overkill for creating a virtual tour for residential real estate.

While capturing scan data is a nice to have feature, it’s not an essential feature for residential real estate virtual tours. It takes longer to shoot a Matterport virtual tour to capture scan data with a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera versus other 3D/360 cameras and 3D/360 virtual tour platforms and software.

Even switching to a one-click 360 camera to shoot a Matterport tour can take longer to shoot than other “good enough” virtual tour platforms.

Faster virtual tour shooting and no cloud subscriptions are just two reasons to expect real estate photographers to compete with Matterport. Keep in mind that the customer of the virtual tour is not the buyer of real estate: it’s the real estate agent that needs a “good enough” virtual tour solution to win more and bigger premium listings more often.

8. Matterport Partners – Around half of the 150+ Matterport Partners that license the Matterport API/SDK offer public solutions for the Matterport ecosystem.

My impression from interviewing founders of many of these Matterport Partners on WGAN-TV Podcast have awesome solutions for adding value to Matterport digital twins, but many of the companies are start-ups and/or are thinly capitalized.

Matterport should invest in and/or acquire Matterport Partners: particularly solutions that impact Matterport spatial data at scale for the enterprise.

9. Matterport Leadership/Operations Distraction – acquiring VHT Studios – and seamlessly integrating into Matterport operations will be a distraction to Matterport leadership and the rest of the organization.

It’s not worth the integration time and energy in this Matterport use case. Matterport leadership should be obsessed with opportunities for Matterport spatial data at scale for enterprises such as its acquisition of Enview in January 2022. Enview's artificial intelligence (AI) meets analysis of 3D spatial data at scale is a perfect, sweet-spot example.

While the acquisition of VHT Studios by Matterport is a big, bold and brilliant move in the short term, it, unfortunately, appears to be a (very) bad strategy in the long term.

The We Get Around Network Community has already started sharing their thoughts in the WGAN Forum.

Los Angeles-based Home3D.us Founder Kevin Dole (@Home3D) writes that the Matterport acquisition of VHT Studios is a "Race to the Bottom" for revenue for real estate photographers that offer Matterport virtual tours.

Bon Secour, Alabama-based ID360 Media Founder Keith Foster (@Chemistrydoc) writes that he wishes Matterport would "stick to their core competency and quit trying to vertically integrate their product/service."

North Idaho and Eastern Washington State-based CaptureNW Owner Jeff Nitschke (@lilnitsch) writes that the Matterport acquisition of VHT Studios is "another step to push out some of the independent shooters."

San Francisco area-based Hopscotch Interactive Emily Olman (@Hopscotch) posted a video with her commentary on this topic.

What do you think? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about how Matterport acquiring VHT Studios affects your company?

Best,

Dan
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3D Renderings
AEC Elevation Drawings
Montreal, Québec
ArchimedStudio private msg quote post Address this user
Dan, I wonder why you're not a consultant hired and highly paid by Matterport after all these years!

Great insights and truly on point.

Time will tell if this VHT acquisition was the right move, or if it's another nail in the Matterport coffin.

Matt
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Gerhard private msg quote post Address this user
@ArchimedStudio start using PIVO for rEal Estate, a lot of new things on the horizon, pay once, free hosting, dollhouse view. Matterport is the race to the bottom.

There are so many new scanning tech on the market, amazing hardware, Matterport = Blackberry, they have nothing industry-changing revolution or new that has been a game-changer in this space for years now.

You need to use 4 - 10 matterport 3rd party solution providers to offer features that Matterport could not develop by themselves for years now. So you have to give your clients sometimes three different models, just to give them the best user experience. If you don't understand this you don't understand how virtual tours are supposed to work. But the problem is the MSP's only know matterport and the only way they can sell it is with a dollhouse view, and then they still sell the tours ay size for $99.00, so it's making it easier to sell competitive solutions against these cheap ass virtual tour providers in my region.
Post 3 IP   flag post
WGAN
Forum
Founder
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchimedStudio
Dan, I wonder why you're not a consultant hired and highly paid by Matterport after all these years!

Great insights and truly on point.

Time will tell if this VHT acquisition was the right move, or if it's another nail in the Matterport coffin.

Matt


Thanks @ArchimedStudio

Great idea!

Matterport, please mail large your monthly checks to:

Dan Smigrod
We Get Around Network
3423 Piedmont Road, Suite 204
Atlanta, Georgia 30305

Best,

Dan
Post 4 IP   flag post
WGAN
Forum
Founder
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

A WGAN Forum related discussion started by: @ittam

=> It may not be easy to compete with VHT & Matterport

Dan
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