Inworld AI, which provides a platform to create AI-powered characters for virtual worlds including VR/AR, games, and metaverse apps, today announced a $10 million strategic funding from BITKRAFT Ventures, featuring The Venture. Reality Fund existing investors including Kleiner Perkins and CRV have joined this round.
Notable angelic investors include Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch; Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell; Animoca Brands co-founder, Yat Siu; Sandbox co-founder Sebastien Borget and NaHCO3, the family office of Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill. Additionally, John Gaeta, the Oscar-winning designer best known for his work on the original Matrix trilogy, has joined as a consultant. The investment will be used to scale the team as the company strategically expands into metaverse apps and games.
Inworld AI was founded by experts who successfully opened conversational AI platforms at Google and DeepMind, including the core development team behind API.AI (renamed Dialogflow after the Google acquisition). The company’s mission is to enable developers and creators to create virtual characters that support natural multimodal interactions with users. Virtual characters created using the Inworld AI platform mimic the cognitive abilities of humans, using a combination of artificial intelligence technologies, including natural language understanding and generation, computer vision, and augmentative learning. These interactive characters can take on a wide variety of roles, such as native inhabitants of the metaverse, intelligent AI-based NPCs for games, or brand representatives in immersive worlds.
The company plans to release the beta version of its build platform in the second quarter of this year. It supports integrations for popular VR engines, worlds, and games.
“In the next decade, we expect to create virtual environments of unprecedented scale and connectivity. But these worlds will feel empty without the right content, and bringing it to life with meaningful social interactions is a challenge unless developers can’t the benefits of AI and process generation to create the compelling characters that populate them,” said Moritz Baier-Lentz, partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. “Doing the right things is a challenging task and we have long been looking for the right team to tackle an important challenge. Inworld’s experience, skills, and pace of execution are second to none and we couldn’t be more pleased with the partnership.