Ready Player Me Gets $56MM To Create Avatars for the Open Metaverse
Ready Player Me, a cross-game metaverse avatar outlet, has secured $56 million in a Series B investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz (@a16z). The platform announced the development on Tuesday, August 23rd, through a blog post on its website, followed by a tweet on its official Twitter page.
Ready Player Me plans to expand its team and provide more tools for developers and users to leverage its platform, among other upgrades. With the latest round, they’re well on their way to outfitting the metaverse with interoperable avatars.
Table of Contents
#2 - More on The Latest Funding Round
#3 - Ready Player Me’s Plans For the Funds
#4 - Over 3,000 Partnerships and More in the Works
#5 - Can Ready Player Me Dominate Platforms Like Meta’s Horizon Worlds?
About Ready Player Me
Founded in 2014 by Wolf3D, Ready Player Me is an ambitious web3 project that plans to connect thousands of metaverse games, worlds, and applications. It allows developers and users to build and develop personal virtual identities from scratch or through pictures. These avatars are interoperable across different platforms, allowing users to use a single identity throughout the metaverse.
Ready Player Me presently provides developers access to its avatar creator tool, which can save six months to several years of development time. The tool also provides gamers with aesthetic uniformity across game worlds.
More on The Latest Funding Round
The latest funding saw Ready Player Me raise $56 million, with renowned VC Andreessen Horowitz leading the round. A16z, known for investing in all things web3, was joined by other big names, including:
David Baszucki, co-founder of Roblox
Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch
Snowfro, founder of Squiggles
Kevin Hart and Hartbeat Ventures
Sebastian Knutsson and Riccardo Zacconi, King Games co-founders
Sports and entertainment company Endeavor
Punk6529, NFT influencer, and open metaverse advocate.
Robin Chan, co-founder of Fractal, and many others.
While the company didn’t disclose its current valuation, its CEO Timmu Tõke said, “it’s good. The latest round follows a $13 million Series A investment headed by Taavet + Sten (a VC managed by Taavet Hinrikus, previously of Wise/TransferWise, and Sten Tamkivi, formerly of Teleport and an EIR at a16z; it's also in this Series B).
Ready Player Me’s Plans For the Funds
The web3 outlet says it will use the funds to continue building out its developer platform and expanding into new markets. They plan to hire more developers and creators to join their team to help them achieve these goals. While the current team is spread across Europe, they plan to launch a US office soon and hire more developers.
The funds will also go into improving the user experience. They plan to:
Make the Ready Player Me character builder scalable, adaptable, and fast enough to meet the needs of all the different kinds of developers they deal with.
Create a system where developers, companies, and artists can develop and sell avatar customization items that can be used in hundreds of different Virtual worlds.
Experiment with different body types, finer-grained clothing customization, improved face shape prediction, improved stylization, and more to increase avatar diversity.
Increase the number of Ready Player Me avatars available. They have no intention of dominating the metaverse and becoming its only avatar. The objective is to make it easier for any avatar to explore multiple virtual locations.
Over 3,000 Partnerships and More in the Works
Ready Player Me has already partnered with over 3,000 developers and publishers to integrate their virtual avatars into their own games and metaverse projects. Their partnerships currently span different web2 and web3 outfits and include impressive names such as VRChat, RTFKT, Somnium Space, Spatial, and many more.
The firm has worked with several high-profile creators and fashion houses whose items are compatible with the avatars, including Pull&Bear, New Balance, Dior, Adidas, and Warner Bros. Outfits from the film Dune, for instance, are available to Ready Player Me avatars courtesy of Warner Bros.
"We're developing cross-game solutions for the metaverse since we see people spending a lot of time in virtual worlds," Tõke explained. "The metaverse is not a single app, game, or platform." It is a network of thousands of virtual worlds. As a result, having an avatar to navigate several diverse virtual worlds makes sense."
Can Ready Player Me Dominate Platforms Like Meta’s Horizon Worlds?
While firms like Meta and Epic Games are developing controlled parts of the metaverse, Ready Player Me bets on an open-gated future in which users may hop between the worlds of multiple creators.
Tõke explains that there are two options available to people in the metaverse:
"One is a monopolized system in which a handful of powerful firms control and dictate all the regulations. The other is more like the internet than current video game worlds since it allows players to move freely between diverse locations.”
Tõke is convinced that there is only one right way forward: "We think the open metaverse should exist and is a better future for virtual worlds."
Ready Player One seems to pit corporate proponents like Mark Zuckerberg against those who want an open metaverse. Tõke predicts the financial rewards of an open metaverse will grow attractive as more and more people become accustomed to spending real money there.
He believes it's important to have avatars and items that can move across different worlds because it creates a larger universe for avatars. Skins that players can use in over 1,000 games are more likely to be purchased than those that they can only use in one. Ready Player Me is working hard to make this market accessible to everyone.
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