Avatar creation platform Ready Player Me raises $56m

Ready Player Me now counts more than 3,200 customers including Tencent, Adidas and Dior

Ready Player Me                                 
The start-up will use the funding to scale its creator platform and improve diversity in its avatar creation process – Photo: Ready Player Me
                                

The cross-platform avatar creation platform Ready Player Me has raised $56m from Andreessen Horowitz’s firm to transform 3D and virtual identities across the metaverse.

The Andreessen Horowitz funds a16z Games Fund One and a16z crypto led the round, with participation from a consortium of investors including David Baszuck, co-founder of Roblox; Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch and Fractal; King Games co-founders Sebastian Knutsson and Riccardo Zacconi; Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures; the D’Amelio family; Konvoy, and others. 

Ready Player Me, co-founded in Tallinn, Estonia in 2014 by Timmu Tõke,  said it will use the Series B raise to scale its creator platform, improve diversity in its avatar creation process and build its customisation process for brands and businesses.

“Eight years ago, we started on a journey to make it easy for anyone to create an avatar they love and can use in virtual worlds," Ready Player Me said in a blog post.

“It felt obvious that people would spend more and more time in 3D virtual worlds over time and would need an avatar that truly represents themself and, eventually, travels across many virtual experiences.”

The platform, which launched in 2020, has rapidly scaled its services and says it now counts more than 3,200 customers, including firms such as Tencent, Adidas and Dior. It raised $13m in a Series A round back in December 2021, led by Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Teleport founder Sten Tamkivi.

“It makes no sense for each virtual world to build their own avatar system. We spent seven years building the best avatars so you don't have to,” the company said at the time of the announcement.

Booming industry

Online gaming has boomed in recent years, and during the first quarter of 2022, there were more than 54 million daily active users on Roblox  worldwide. The gaming industrylooks likely to maintain its rapid growth into the next few years, with estimates that the industry could be worth $321bn by 2026.

Ready Player Me is hoping to be the go-to platform for developers looking to create a single avatar that can be used across the metaverse. The company said: “This leaves more capacity for the core experience of their games and will result in a better overall experience. We believe in the future of an open and connected metaverse that is built by many developers and creators and is not controlled by one company.”

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