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Anything World has raised $7.5 million in funding to create an AI-based animation system that creators can use to be more expressive.
The London company is also launching its high-fidelity 3D animation system that enables rigging and animations for any 3D model. The system is being launched in stages with its first version available now.
The investors include Acrew Capital, Alumni Ventures and Warner Music Group.
Anything World also announced today that its service is coming to Epic Games’ Unreal Engine in December. These developments help with the mission to lower the barriers to creativity in 3D, making everyone a content creator. It means ever more people will have access to their tools for making better animated videos using industry standard formats.
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As 3D and virtual experiences become effective strategies for increasing engagement and user interest, Anything World’s platform serves as a vital tool in creating 3D assets at a massive scale that are open-sourced, readily available and remixable.
Anything World’s custom implementations algorithmically assign animations and behaviors, and alongside custom designs of 3D content, creators can access hundreds of thousands of 3D models.
This access and their creative tools represent a differentiator for Anything World, which offers a service that has the premise, functionality and unique layers of behavioral intelligence incorporated that no other competitor offers, the company said.
“The capacity for anyone to create immersive and accessible experiences in virtual and 3D worlds has been expanded substantially by this funding round,” says Gordon Midwood, CEO of Anything World, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to expand further the tools and opportunities we can provide to developers, creatives and the general public. Because of the interest and need from developers who want to create 3D worlds, populate those worlds with assets, and immerse users in incredible experiences, Anything World will continue to be the go-to platform.”
Anything World said the funding deal puts it at the forefront of artificial intelligence and 3D worlds and validates its goal to democratize 3D content creation. The development of the high-fidelity animation system, announced simultaneously, will be integrated directly into the company’s platform.
Features of this advancement include voice control and low- and no-code options for 3D content creation, the lowering of barriers to entry into this market and an increasing amount of creativity for users and engagement in gaming, virtual and Web3 worlds.
Ron Levin, partner at Alumni Ventures, said in a statement, “What we see in Anything World is the
most cutting edge machine learning platform to empower developers of the metaverse. Backed up by a terrific team, we are confident that the company will set the standard in the years ahead for 3D creators of games, the future of work, and more.”
Other investors include NGC Ventures, Supernode Global, GameTech Ventures and GFR Fund. The funding will be used for two years of runway, expansion of the team, and the launch of Anything World’s new high-fidelity animation system, which will allow anyone to become a 3D content creator.
Anything World had already raised $1.8 million in funding prior to this round, bringing the total to $9.3 million. The company has 14 employees and it started in June 2019.
Asked what the inspired the startup, the cofounders Midwood and Sebastian Hofer created indie and casual games together for years, for PlayStation, Nintendo and mobile. But creating living 3D worlds was always an expensive and time-consuming. When they saw the rise of open source 3D model communities such as Sketchfab and Google Poly, they wondered if these assets could be brought to life in automated ways, giving birth to Anything World.
As for raising the funds during the downturn, Midwood said it was challenging.
“We started fundraising in April and finished in August, during which time the crypto markets crashed and global economic conditions worsened massively as you know,” Midwood said. “That said, we’ve found that there is still funding available for the right companies despite the downturn.”
To differentiate its AI, the company is using machine learning to classify, segment, rig and animate any 3D asset. There is no other service that is able to automate the rigging and animation of any 3D model. It is proprietary algorithms that enable this, the company said.
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