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Inworld AI Raises New Funding Round Led By Lightspeed, Bringing Valuation To Over $500 Million

WRITTEN BY | 02 Aug 2023
Inworld AI Raises New Funding Round Led By Lightspeed, Bringing Valuation To Over $500 Million

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.

inworld-character-engine-modelsSource: 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. 

The latest investment builds upon the company’s success in delivering AI-driven non-player character (NPC) experiences with prominent entities such as Team Miaozi (NetEase Games), Niantic 8th Wall, LG UPlus, Alpine Electronics, as well as community-created mods for such popular games as Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto V, and Stardew Valley. One of the other showcases of technology capabilities was presented at the 2022 Disney Accelerator Demo Day, featuring a ‘Droid Maker’ prototype created in collaboration with ILM Immersive.

“In a platform shift like AI, ‘generational’ companies won’t only incrementally improve existing workflows with faster, better, or cheaper tools; they will create completely novel, previously impossible user experiences — like Inworld,” stated Moritz Baier-Lentz, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, who will be joining the company’s board of directors. “Inworld simply stands out when stack-ranked among the 200+ investable opportunities at the intersection of gaming and AI—based on upside, team caliber, product velocity, and traction. Ilya Gelfenbeyn (Chief Executive Officer), Kylan Gibbs (Chief Product Officer), Michael Ermolenko (Chief Technology Officer), and the team are uniquely positioned to seize an outsized opportunity. Having previously led Inworld’s Seed round, I couldn’t be more excited to partner up with them again in my new role at Lightspeed.”


Source: Inworld AI

The Inworld AI team is committed to pushing the boundaries of AI-driven character development, delivering lifelike and engaging experiences to gamers and virtual world enthusiasts. Emphasizing the company’s commitment to collaboration and innovation, Inworld’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, Michael Ermolenko, said “Inworld’s commitment to open source is a testament to our belief that collaboration fuels innovation. Through collaboration with the open-source developer community, we will drive innovations in generative AI that elevate the entire gaming industry.”

This is the third announcement by the newly-formed gaming subdivision of Lightspeed Ventures. Earlier, we covered Believer Company’s big Series A round, as well as Gardens Series A round both co-led by Lightspeed Gaming. 

Last year, Lightspeed got to our Most Active VC Investors CY 2022 with a total of 11 investments throughout the year. To date, Lightspeed has invested over $350 million into the gaming industry. Learn more about other Lightspeed Venture Capital investments in the gaming sector in the table below.