Ready Player Me, the leading designer of interoperable avatar technologies, announce It has received $56 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) GAMES FUND ONE and a16z crypto.
Additional investors include Roblox co-founder David Baszucki, Sebastian Knutsson and Riccardo Zacconi, Robert Chan, co-founder of Fractal, Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch and Fractal, Henry Ault, co-founder of Eco, and many others.
Entities contributing to the Series B funding round also include Endeavor, D’Amelio family, Punk6529, Snovro, Konvoy, Nordic Ninja, Collab Currency and Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures.
Learn more: https://t.co/Zp6d4fjuFS
– Ready Player Me (readyplayerme) August 23 2022
The funding aims to increase the company’s headcount from 51 employees and stabilize its profits amid market volatility as many developers rely on their platform.
The additional funds will enhance the platform’s flexibility and performance, add avatar creation tools and diversify real-time 3D (RT3D) assets to avatar demographics, and expand to other avatar platforms.
Interoperability as a necessity
A16z General Partner Jonathan Lay In a blog post, he explained how interoperability was a “key guiding principle of the Metaverse,” allowing people to own digital identities and assets and “move between virtual worlds.”
Despite this, he explained, many of the biggest platforms such as Fortnite, Minecraft, League of Legends, and others were “closed economies” that lacked interoperability.
He added that the next generation of games and virtual worlds “will be built with interoperability as a core tenant and will enable users to “own their identity and take their digital assets wherever they go”.
Echoing the need for global standards in metaverse interoperability, said a spokesperson for Ready Player Me,
“For the open metaverse to emerge, services and standards must be built across the world that enable virtual worlds to connect and interoperate. […] It is essential that anyone can create an avatar they like and transfer it to any virtual world they want.”
They added that the future of the Metaverse is “open and connected” and created by many developers, not a single company.
The news comes as the Estonia-based company is building partnerships with global tech giants such as HTC, Verizon, Tencent, Huawei, VRChat, Adidas, RTFKT, Dior, Spatial and many more.
This announcement comes amid great partnership With WebAR publishing platform Geenee AR to launch augmented reality (AR) avatars that don’t contain code, allowing users to “wear” or overlay digital content on physical objects.
Ready Player Me has also teamed up with AR 8th Wall veterans to Open Developer Tools To integrate avatars with browser-based experiences across extended reality (XR) headsets, mobile phones, and computers.