Ready Player Me, a cross-game avatar platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds by creating dynamic, animated avatars built and operated by others has closed a $56 million Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a VC firm in California.
Other notable investors include David Baszucki, co-founder and CEO of Roblox. Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch and Fractal. Riccardo Zacconi and Sebastian Knutsson, co-founders of King. Erick Calderon (Snowfro), founder of Art Blocks. Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Ventures.Collab Currency, D’Amelio family, Endeavor, Punk6529, Robin Chan, co-founder of Fractal and Henry Ault, co-founder of Eco.
Timmu Toke, co-founder and CEO, of Ready Player Me!, stated, “Our bigger vision is to connect the metaverse through avatars. There may be metaverse [experiences] owned by big companies, who will make all the rules, but there is a vision of an open one where people can travel, built by millions of developers, where no one controls the whole thing. Like the internet. We’re trying to push the world towards that metaverse.”
Apart from providing developers with an avatar system, Ready Player Me also provides distribution through its network and opens new revenue opportunities via interoperable avatar asset sales and a cross-game economy.
Jonathan Lai, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz commented, “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. 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.”
Over 3,000 apps across Web2 and Web3 have integrated Ready Player Me including Spatial, Somnium Space, RTFKT, VRChat and many more. The company is already in partnership with behemoth fashion brands and individual creators like Adidas, New Balance, Dior, Pull&Bear, and Warner Bro. (Dune movie outfits) to bring cross-game avatar assets across the metaverse.
The company wrote in a press release, “it’s incredibly difficult to build a game or a virtual world. We aim to make it slightly less painful for developers by removing an important and complex part they have to spend their time on — building an avatar creator. It makes no sense for each game to build its own closed avatar creators.”
The platform aims to build a more connected virtual world as “the avatar interoperability layer for the metaverse”.
With its new $56 million Series B funding, Ready Player Me aims to scale its “avatar creator to make it more flexible and performant for the many types of developers we work with”, and build more avatar content creation tools to allow brands, individual artists and developers to “create and sell avatar customization assets that work across thousands of virtual worlds.”
The funding will also help the company increase its workforce from 51 people and provide financial stability for what lies ahead.