Ready Player Me, the developer of a cross-game avatar platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds with a single consistent identity, has raised $56 million in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
“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,” said Jonathan Lai, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
“We’ve been deeply impressed by the team’s blend of developer empathy, technical chops, and entrepreneurial pragmatism and couldn’t be more excited to partner with them on this journey,” said Lai.
David Baszucki, the co-founder of Roblox, Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch, Sebastian Knutsson & Riccardo Zacconi, King Games co-founders, sports and entertainment company Endeavor, Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures, D’Amelio family, Punk6529, Snowfro, Collab Currency, Plural, Konvoy Ventures, Robin Chan, co-founder of Fractal, and others, participated in the round.
As companies compete to shape the virtual frontier, the race for the metaverse continues to heat up. Numerous players are vying for the lead. It is rumored to be the next evolution of the $336 billion gaming industry.
Ready Player Me gives developers a 3D avatar system that can be used in various virtual worlds and video games. It enables teams to concentrate on creating worlds and experiences. Ready Player Me is already integrated into over 3,200 Web2 and Web3 apps, according to the startup, including VRChat, Spatial, Somnium Space, RTFKT, and many more.
In addition, the company already collaborates with individual creators and fashion brands like Adidas, New Balance, Dior, Pull&Bear, and Warner Brothers (Dune movie outfits) to enable cross-game avatar assets.
The startup aims to connect the metaverse through avatars
Ready Player Me claims its 3D scanners have generated 20,000 facial scans for its proprietary database. According to Fast Company, Ready Player Me has developed 5 million avatars. The company’s goal is to connect the metaverse using avatars.
The concept is similar to Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One plot. There, players have a single identity that they use across all of their online entertainment. Users only need to upload photos, and Ready Player Me will generate a customizable avatar.
“What will unlock the true metaverse experience is interoperability between games, worlds and applications and a consistent identity for users across all experiences,” said Timmu Tõke, co-founder and CEO of Ready Player Me.
“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. 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 participate in the cross-game avatar marketplace,” said Timmu Tõke.
Ready Player Me intends to use the funds to expand its current workforce of 51 people. It will also develop its content creation tools and scale up its avatar creator. Ready Player Me will also feature other avatars, according to the company. Developers will be able to integrate their content across their partner network.