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Spire Animation Studios announced it raised a round of funding from Singapore-based global investment company Temasek and investment firm Ericsenz.
Spire said the round would help it grow its efforts to make new kinds of films with game engine tools — and create metaverse experiences. The amount of the round wasn’t disclosed, but Spire has now raised more than $40 million to date.
The new funding supplements Spire’s previous financing led by Epic Games along with existing investor Connect Ventures, an investment partnership formed by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
The investment enables Spire to continue building out the team, tools, real-time pipeline and cloud-first infrastructure needed to produce the highest quality animated feature films with stronger collaboration and greater efficiency. The next-generation film studio will also simultaneously create worlds and experiences for the metaverse through Epic’s Unreal Engine.
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Spire plans to produce top-quality animated feature films with metaverse potential. The studio will also create immersive worlds designed for interactive platforms that build on their existing stories and enable fans to authentically engage.
The studio’s real-time pipeline developed using Epic’s Unreal Engine is at the heart of these newfangled experiences for the metaverse and other interactive mediums, including games, virtual reality and augmented reality.
“Adding Temasek to our existing set of outstanding partners — Epic Games, CAA and NEA — will help us realize our vision of bridging feature-quality linear and non-linear animated content.” said Spire CEO P.J. Gunsagar, in a statement. “A cornerstone of this new model is Meta-Distribution, which empowers audiences to interact with characters and stories of our movies before, during and after release. We couldn’t be more excited about this potential.”
Spire’s first animated feature leveraging this innovative technology and distribution model is Trouble, in collaboration with Danny McBride’s Rough House Pictures. The film is slated for release in 2024.
Spire has now grown to more than 90 people. Asked why Temasek is an ideal investor, Spire said it was due to their ability and willingness as a mega-fund to support Spire financially as it grows. Also, it gives Spire access to partners in Asia, especially in the immersive-technology space. And Temasek has a long-term investment window and a history of backing globally disruptive companies.
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