The AI-generated avatar creation cross-platform for the metaverse, Ready Player Me, has raised $56 million in a Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The startup’s co-founder and CEO Timmu Tõke says the funding will be used to scale the cross-platform metaverse avatar system.
Investors Inject Ready Player Me With Fresh Capital, CEO Says ‘Interoperability’ Is the Key to Unlocking the Metaverse
On Tuesday, Ready Player Me (RPM), a startup that issues 3D avatars to be leveraged in the metaverse, announced that the firm has raised $56 million in a Series B funding round. The latest financing follows the company’s Series A announced in December 2021, when the team raised $13 million in a funding round led by Taavet+Sten.
The Series B financing for $56 million was led by a16z, and other participants include Roblox co-founder David Baszucki, King Games co-founders Sebastian Knutsson and Riccardo Zacconi, Hartbeat Ventures, Punk6529, D’Amelio family, Snowfro, Collab Currency, Plural, and Konvoy Ventures. Twitch co-founder Justin Kan also participated in the RPM Series B. RPM CEO Timmu Tõke believes that cross-platform connectivity will be the key to unlocking the metaverse.
“What will unlock the true metaverse experience is interoperability between games, worlds, and applications and a consistent identity for users across all experiences,” Tõke said on Tuesday. “We think it’s essential for virtual worlds users to create an avatar they love and buy avatar skins and accessories that work across the metaverse and are not stuck in one game. The RPM executive added:
This infusion of funds will allow Ready Player Me to continue scaling the avatar system to make it more flexible for developers, create new tools to help developers monetize with avatar assets, and build tools for individual creators to take part of the cross-game avatar marketplace.
Ready Player Me Inks Deals With Prominent Players, While Popular Brands and Corporate Giants Seek to Capitalize on the Metaverse Concept
RPM has already formed partnerships with well known companies which include firms like Adidas, Warner Brothers, Pull&Bear, and Dior. The startup is also working with Hiber, Mzaalo, the Nemesis platform, 8th Wall, and Pixelynx. RPM has also completed custom avatar infrastructure for corporate giants such as HTC, Verizon, Tencent, and Wargaming. Jonathan Lai, a general partner at a16z, said the investment company was “impressed by the team” and noted that a16z looks forward to working with RPM.
“Ready Player Me is loved by both developers and players as the largest platform for avatar-systems-as-a-service and is well on their way to building the interoperable identity protocol for the open Metaverse,” Lai explained during the announcement on Tuesday.
RPM’s financing follows a significant influx of popular brands and companies seeking to capitalize on the metaverse concept. This week the fund manager with $1.4 billion in assets under management (AUM), Invesco, launched a metaverse fund. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is building a metaverse campus, and the University of Tokyo is offering engineering courses dedicated to metaverse technology.
During the second week of August, reports had shown Samsung signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a number of metaverse startups. However, the metaverse has been criticized a great deal as well, as the concept has received flak from luminaries like the billionaire investor Mark Cuban and Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin.
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