Weekly News Digest #31
# of announced deals
announced deals’ size
# of closed deals
Source: Inworld AI
Inworld AI Raises New Funding Round Led By Lightspeed Gaming
Inworld AI, a US-based startup operating at the intersection of AI and gaming, has successfully closed a new $50m+ funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners at $500m+ valuation, bringing the company’s total funding to over $100m. The round also saw participation from such investors as Stanford University, Samsung Next, and LG Technology Ventures, as well as continued support from strategic partners like Microsoft’s M12 fund and First Spark Ventures co-founded by Eric Schmidt.
Inworld AI is a platform for AI dialogue and character creation in the gaming and interactive experience industry. By harnessing the power of GPT-3 technology, the company makes non-player characters (NPCs) more complex and capable of generating unique personalities, dialogues, and reactions.
The tool can not only build characters based on lore, world, and human-like behavior patterns but also orchestrate multiple characters, build up their relationship and create unique scenarios based on their interaction. Inworld Origins, a playable demo recently launched on Steam, shows how the technology can be implemented into video games. “We can’t share any more details yet, but you should expect our solutions to be integrated into some of the major AAA games in the future”, said Kylan Gibbs, a Chief Product Officer at Inworld AI.
Source: Inworld AI
The company has raised over $100m in total since its inception, with its previous round ($50m Series A) closed a year ago. Inworld AI currently employs 60 FTEs and plans to expand the team further. Fresh capital injection will be used to scale R&D efforts of Inworld AI, invest in infrastructure, and introduce an open-source version of its Character Engine.
Learn more about the deal on our website.
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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Israel-based mobile games developer Playtika (NASDAQ: PLTK) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Youda Games’ portfolio from Azerion (EURONEXT: AZRN), a European digital advertising and entertainment media platform. The portfolio includes social card-themed game Governor of Poker 3, apart from many others. The initial cash consideration for the acquisition is $89.4m (€81.3m), with a potential earnout that could raise the total consideration to up to $163.94m (€150m) subject to achieving curtain KPIs. The acquisition aligns with Playtika’s growth strategy to leverage its LiveOps expertise and technology stack for scaling and optimization.
UK-based technology company Endava (NYSE: DAVA) has acquired US-based TLM Partners, an outsourcing development services for PC, console video games, and digital entertainment. TLM’s expertise in cross-play, middleware, physics, engine-level tools, and technical art aligns with Endava’s immersive interaction capabilities. The acquisition strengthens Endava’s position in the gaming industry, combining TLM’s relationships with platform partners and renowned clients with Endava’s agile development and enterprise engineering strengths.
Germany-based XR and VR gaming and business solutions developer Hologate has raised $9.1m (€8.3m) in a Series A funding round, co-led by Bolero Holdings and Vester Partners, with participation from existing investor Cherry Ventures. The funding will be spent for international market expansion, new product development, and hiring efforts. Hologate aims to bring its HGXR training and simulation solutions to global markets, focusing on Europe and North America, while also leveraging AI for authentic interaction with virtual humans.
Ukraine-based deeptech firm Zibra AI, specializing in AI-generated 3D assets for games and virtual environments, has raised $0.5m in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Speedrun accelerator program. Zibra AI plans to utilize the funding to expand its team and enhance its generative AI technology, including its product Zibra Effects, which automates 3D asset and visual effects creation for industries like gaming and the metaverse.
Germany-based games developer Linked Dimensions, a subsidiary of Wicket Gaming, has raised $0.2m (€0.185m) from Germany Games Fund. The sum will be used for expansion of its turn-based tactical strategy game Tank Operations, namely the development of an expansion pack, Tank Operations: Next campaign. The game is available on Steam.
India-based tech-tainment company Bhooshan’s Junior has raised a $0.13m (₹1.11 crore) mix of debt and equity in a Pre-Seed funding round. The firm is dedicated to producing comics, animated series, gaming and AR/VR products, and interactive robotic toys for kids. Bhooshan’s Junior aims to become a kids’ entertainment solution for both Indian and global audiences by 2026.
China-based mobile games developer Digital Raccoon has reportedly raised an undisclosed sum in a Series B funding round led by Jingxin Fund. The funding will be used for further product development, team expansion, and IP incubation for their original games, including Monster True Story and other titles.