MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Inworld AI, offering a platform to create AI-powered characters for virtual worlds, including VR/AR, games and metaverse applications, today announced a $10 million strategic funding led by BITKRAFT Ventures, with participation from The Venture Reality Fund. This round was joined by existing investors including Kleiner Perkins and CRV.
Prominent angel investors include Twitch Co-Founder, Kevin Lin; Oculus Co-Founder, Nate Mitchell; Animoca Brands Co-Founder, Yat Siu; The Sandbox Co-Founder, Sebastien Borget and NaHCO3, the family office of Riot Games Co-Founder, Marc Merrill. Additionally, John Gaeta, Academy Award-winning designer best known for his work on the original Matrix trilogy, joined as advisor. The investment will be used to scale the team as the company strategically expands into metaverse applications and gaming.
Inworld AI is founded by experts who have successfully pioneered conversational AI platforms at Google and DeepMind, including the core development team behind API.AI (renamed to Dialogflow following its acquisition by Google). The company is on a mission to enable developers and creators to build virtual characters that support natural multimodal interactions with users. Virtual characters created using Inworld AI’s platform mimic the cognitive abilities of humans by leveraging a combination of AI technologies including natural language understanding and generation, computer vision, and reinforcement learning. These interactive characters could serve a wide variety of roles such as native inhabitants of the metaverse, intelligent AI-driven NPCs for games, or brand representatives in immersive worlds.
The company plans to release the beta version of its creator platform in Q2 of this year. It will support integrations for popular game engines, VR worlds, and games.
“Similar to how Unity and Unreal allow developers to create visually compelling environments, the Inworld AI platform is designed to help build virtual characters with high configurability to create a more engaging and memorable user experience. With the backing of the most high-profile investors in the space, we will be able to enable developers and creators to leverage our platform to build and deploy virtual characters that enhance immersive and interactive virtual worlds,” commented Ilya Gelfenbeyn, co-founder and CEO of Inworld AI.
“Over the next decade, we expect to see the creation of virtual environments of unprecedented scale and connectedness. But these worlds will feel empty without the right content, and bringing them to life with meaningful social interactions is challenging—unless developers can rely on the benefits of AI and procedural generation to create the engaging characters that populate them,” said Moritz Baier-Lentz, partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. “Getting this right is a daunting task, and we had been looking for the right team to take on this important challenge for a long time. Inworld’s experience, skills, and pace of execution are second to none, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner up.”
For more information about Inworld AI, please visit https://www.inworld.ai/
About Inworld AI
Inworld AI provides a developer platform for creating AI-powered virtual human agents to populate immersive realities including the metaverse, VR/AR, games, and virtual worlds. Inworld AI is funded by investors including BITKRAFT, Kleiner Perkins, CRV and Meta. The company comes from the team that pioneered conversational AI technologies at API.AI (acquired by Google and now known as Dialogflow), used by millions of developers.
About BITKRAFT Ventures
BITKRAFT Ventures is a leading investment platform for gaming and Web3 globally, and has been the most active gaming venture capital firm and lead investor in 2020 and 2021, according to research from InvestGame and Drake Star Partners. Founded by industry pioneer Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT serves a worldwide network that spans many of the industry’s forward-thinking startups and founders—including former executives from the likes of Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Epic Games, Google, and Apple who are working to build and operate the virtual worlds and economies of the future. BITKRAFT operates five venture funds with a total of over $570M in assets under management and has over 80 companies in its global portfolio as of February 2022.
BITKRAFT’s experienced international team works closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to create significant value through early candid partnerships, unique domain experience, entrepreneurial history, and a global ecosystem of strategic partners.
Find out more about how BITKRAFT and its portfolio companies are pushing the boundaries of Synthetic Reality® by visiting https://www.bitkraft.vc/vision.
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