Ready Player Me, an animated avatar creation company, just announced it raised $56 million in a Series B funding round.
The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and investors focused on gaming and virtual reality (VR) in the metaverse. Some of the other investors included the co-founder of Roblox (David Baszucki), co-founders of King Games (Riccardo Zacconi and Sabastian Knutsson), co-founder of Twitch (Justin Kan), and co-founder of gaming NFT token marketplace Fractal (Robert Chan).
Ready Player Me’s platform gives developers access to tools for animating, building, and tooling avatars in virtual worlds. The company’s vision is to help metaverse systems break free from centralized systems dominated by a few potential big players and open the market to an interlinked system of interoperable virtual worlds. It believes the key to doing this is to enable users to take a persistent version of their avatars into any metaverse.
The company is known for its AI technology that can predict realistic face shapes from a single 2D photo and transform it into a 3D avatar. Its tech is built on a database of 20,000 realistic face scans captured from 3D scanners.
To date, over 3,000 apps have partnered with Ready Player Me to handle more than five million avatars. Some of those companies include Nike-owned RTFKT, Spatial, Somnium Space, and VRChat. Ready Player Me has also worked with New Balance, Adidas, Dior, and Pull&Bear to create virtual fashion and accessories to adorn avatars in the metaverse.
The funds will help Ready Player Me expand its 51-person team and continue to scale its avatar system by building out content creation tools for artists and brands and enhancing its avatar creator for developers. In the future, users and developers can expect more realistic faces, additional body types, stylization, and more.
Investments in Web3 Continue
Ready Player Me isn’t the only Web3 company to have a successful funding round recently. Despite the lows in the crypto and NFT markets, we’ve reported on several successful funding rounds from Web3 companies in recent weeks. Here are some of those stories.
Last week, the crypto investment firm Coinfund revealed it had inaugurated a $300 million venture capital fund. The funds will go to blockchain projects in their early stages of development that are working with gaming and asset management, NFTs, Web3 infrastructure, or Layer 1 blockchains.
Next, Animoca Brands, a venture capital and gaming software firm, raised $75 million in funding. The Hong Kong-based company will use its new funds to develop NFT games and continue its vision of an open metaverse.
And lastly, a few days ago, Blockdata revealed that Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has invested in four blockchain companies in funding rounds totaling $1.5 billion. The blockchain companies included Digital Currency Group, Voltage, Fireblocks, and Dapper Labs.
We’ll have to wait and see what Ready Player Me creates with its new infusion of funds. But considering its reputation and the names of its investors, we think there’s a good chance we’ll see some interesting innovations from the avatar creation company for years to come.