Swedish startup Hiber said it has raised $800,000 in a round of funding for its browser-based game platform that enables players to build and share their own games. The company’s goal is to expand game creation and help games reach wider audiences.
The funding came from Stockholm-based Luminar Ventures and others. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based company has a beta version of its browser-based game and entertainment creation platform online at Hiber World.
Players and creators can already build and share games on the beta site. The funding brings the current total investment in the platform to almost $1 million and will allow the company to reach its next milestones as it rolls out globally.
“The gaming industry is the largest, and the fastest-growing, entertainment sector globally,” said Jacob Key, a founding partner at Luminar Ventures, in a statement. “The talented team at Hiber is now removing the barriers for anyone to create, share and play their own, and each other’s, games directly in the web-browser, which will enable an entirely new and giant user-generated content vertical to emerge. We have seen what the democratization of content creation has done to other sectors, and the Gaming Industry will follow suit. Just faster, bigger and more viral.”
In Hiber World, people don’t need to know how to code in order to become a creator. They just need an idea for a game, and the passion to build it. Anyone can make even more complex games if they have programming skills, but HiberWorld is for everyone, regardless of their skill, the company said.
Hiber has released a beta version. An updated version is coming in the next few months, along with a roadmap for releasing tools that will make it easier to create games and entertainment, while providing for more complexity as well, all in a browser.
“We’re creating a gaming and entertainment platform where people can play and experience personalized content or create their own, together with friends, and without the need to code, directly in an Internet browser,” Hiber CEO Michael Yngfors said in a statement. “The Seed Funding is a proof point to us that we are on the right track and that our plans have been validated by some very accomplished investors.”
Luminar is a $60 million Swedish-based venture capital fund focused on early stage startups with global scale and ambitions. It was started by experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors Magnus Bergman Jacob Key and Linda Höglund.
Hiber was started in 2017 by industry veterans Yngfors and Mattias Johansson, who wanted to break down the barriers between players and creators. The company has less than 10 employees, and it is expanding. Rivals include Roblox, Minecraft, Struckd, and Kogama.
But Hiber hopes to set itself apart by enabling people to create and play entirely within an web browser without needing to download anything.
Currently the games on HiberWorld’s are all less than 10 megabytes in size, but that is expected to go up as games and assets become more complex.
This is possible because of the proliferation of web technologies like HTML5, WebGL, PWA, and WebAssembly, and growing storage capabilities attached to browsers. The core technology to develop and launch HiberWorld has been in place and evolving for a couple of years.
Hiber allows creators to choose from assets and place them in a 3D space (which in this case is the browser window). Then, by saving the location of the assets and their functionality, Hiber can replay them for others on the game portal.
Hiber said it has seen viral traction with some small advertising and promotion tests earlier this year. In one test, and with only a few thousand dollars, HiberWorld became a phenomenon in at least three school districts in the U.S. and got banned at school within a few weeks because of the volume of students creating and playing games.