Ready Player Me Raises $56M To Expand Cross-Platform Avatars
Series B Led By a16z's $600M Games Fund One
By: Jason LevinNFT News
Would you rather buy an outfit that works in 1 game or 3,000? Metaverse composability startup Ready Player Me is betting on users choosing the second answer.
Ready Player Me raised a $56M Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z Games Fund One and a16z Crypto for its technology that lets over 3,000 video games have interoperable avatars, the company said in an Aug. 23 announcement. Founded in May 2020, Ready Player Me has created over five million avatars and worked with brands like RTFKT, Adidas, Dior, VRChat, and more.
Ready Player Me lets gamers use their avatar across multiple video games rather than each video game having its own avatars and characters. The avatar creation system is the result of a proprietary database of 20,000+ face scans captured with the company’s own 3D scanners.
“People spend more and more time in virtual worlds every year. 12-15 year olds today hang out with their friends in games and this trend will continue. Games are the new social platforms,” Ready Player One co-founder Timmu Tõke told The Defiant. “In 5-10 years Ready Player Me is the avatar interoperability layer for the metaverse. We help people create awesome avatars and travel with them across the metaverse”
a16z’s Games Fund One is a $600M fund focused on game studios, consumer-gamer relationships, and gaming infrastructure. Its portfolio includes NBA Top-Shot creators Dapper Labs, web2 game Roblox, crypto-native game Sandbox, and more.
“We believe the next generation of games and virtual worlds will be built with interoperability as a core tenet,” wrote Jonathan Lai, a16z GP. “Long-term, RPM is building the interoperable identity protocol for the open Metaverse – enabling players and developers alike to take their identity and assets with them to any 3D experience.”
Weekly active users of games peaked with the bull market in November 2021 and have been on a slow decline since then. Between the top seven games – Decentraland, Sandbox, Somnium Space, Axie Infinity, Tower, Gods Unchained, and Illuvium – there are roughly 2,000 active users, from more than 10,000 at the peak, according to Dune. The top three tokens by market cap – SAND, AXS and STEPN – are down by at least 80% since their all-time highs, according to Coingecko.
With the new funding, Ready Player Me expects to expand its 51-person team, build out its suite of avatar creation tools, and improve avatars’ graphics. In addition to Andreessen Horowitz, the round was funded by investors including Plural, Roblox co-founder David Baszucki, Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, Kevin Hart’s Heartbeat Ventures and Punk6529.