Inworld AI, a California-based AI startup, has closed a $7 million seed funding round to provide developers with a means to create AI-powered characters to populate the metaverse.
The funding round was co-led by Kleiner Perkins and CRV with participation from Meta (formerly known as Facebook). The round brings the startup out of stealth mode and will allow it to expand its platform’s capabilities to meet the increasing demand. Izhar Armony, General Partner at CRV, referred to the firm’s participation by stating:
“Extended realities are expected to be around a $300 billion market over the next three years. There’s incredible growth to be had for businesses right now in planning and executing their metaverse strategies and involvement. Inworld AI offers a key to turning these worlds into compelling realities by enabling a true sense of presence for those within this fascinating new frontier. The team is growing rapidly, so now is an exciting time for people interested in VR, games and virtual worlds to partner with and join the company, so they can be at the forefront of this rapidly growing space.”
Inworld AI was founded back in July to allow developers to populate the metaverse with virtual human agents able to have complex interactions that contribute to the realism of the virtual world. The technology developed by Inworld AI will also allow users to interact with real people in a more realistic way ranging from customer support to training sessions, all in an immersive true-to-life virtual space. Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO of Inworld AI, said in this regard:
“Immersive realities continue to accelerate, with an increasingly diverse and fascinating ecosystem of worlds and use cases. Virtual spaces like Meta’s Horizon Worlds, Roblox, Fortnite, and others that offer unique experiences and enable users to exist in other worlds will also continue to see quick demand from businesses, offering everything from games to story content to new enterprise applications. The technology for building virtual humans is complex and takes a great deal of specialization. Our aim at Inworld AI is performing that required heavy lifting, enabling our partners to leverage the platform we build however they prefer.”
Originally coined by Neal Stephenson in its science fiction novel Snow Crash, the Metaverse has been the topic of much discussion over the past month as companies like NVidia, Meta, Roblox, and Microsoft have made public their efforts in this area. While most people think of the metaverse as an open VR gaming experience, the applications of the metaverse are far bigger than gaming.
Solutions like the one developed by Inworld AI will allow the development of the metaverse to move away from this misconception by allowing the creation of complex systems without the need for hard coding. This approach will imbue the metaverse with the ability to adapt to changing conditions, creating the degree of freedom necessary to refer to a virtual world as a true metaverse.