Ready Player Me, a cross-game avatar platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds with one consistent identity, closed a $56 million Series B round led by Web3-enthusiast investment firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Generally, Ready Player Me provides developers an avatar system that allows teams to focus on creating worlds and experiences. The company also says it provides distribution through its network, and opens new revenue opportunities through interoperable avatar asset sales and cross-game economy.
“An open metaverse with millions of interlinked experiences, rather than a few large walled gardens, will drive better user experience, creator experience and economics,” the company said in a recent statement. “An open marketplace of avatar assets will increase the size of the market and allow developers in the metaverse to increase their revenues.”
More than 3,000 Web2 and Web3 apps are integrated into Ready Player Me, including VRChat, Spatial, Somnium Space, RTFKT, and more.
The company has also been working with individual creators and fashion brands like Adidas, New Balance, Dior and Warner Brothers to enable cross-game avatar assets across the metaverse.
Once focused on building avatar systems and tech for enterprise customers like Tencent, Verizon, and HTC, Ready Player Me has been growing over the past eight years into a platform with over 20,000 face scans used to develop a deep-learning solution to render realistic faces from a single 2D photo.
“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 take part of the cross-game avatar marketplace,” Tõke added.
Jonathan Lai, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said that he and others at a16z have been impressed by Ready Player Me’s “blend of developer empathy and technical chops” and is “well on its way to building the interoperable identity protocol for the open metaverse.”
Aside from a16z, notable investors in Ready Player Me include David Baszucki, 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, the D’Amelio family, and more.
Ready Player Me runs across desktop, web, and mobile and is available to developers through a SDK (software development kit) and API (application programming interface).