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Inworld AI, Leading Character Engine Company Raises $30 Million from Lightspeed

The funding will be used to accelerate research and development, hire top talent, invest in infrastructure, and launch an open-source version of its Character Engine.

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Inworld AI, a leading character engine for games and interactive experiences, has raised $30 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, bringing the company’s valuation to over $500 million. The round also saw participation from Stanford University, Samsung Next, Microsoft’s M12 fund, First Spark Ventures co-founded by Eric Schmidt, and LG Technology Ventures.

Inworld AI provides AI-driven non-player character (NPC) experiences for various applications, including gaming and interactive media. The company’s technology goes beyond existing large language models (LLMs) and chatbots, allowing developers to create AI NPCs that exhibit complex and lifelike human behaviors, increasing immersion for players. The platform enables developers to link Inworld’s character brains to animation and rigging systems, creating NPCs capable of learning and adapting, navigating emotional intelligence, and autonomously initiating actions and goals.

The funding will be used to accelerate research and development, hire top talent, invest in infrastructure, and launch an open-source version of its Character Engine. The company’s commitment to open-source collaboration is aimed at pushing forward innovations in generative AI and elevating the gaming industry.

The AI-driven characters offered by Inworld are expected to transform storytelling and interactive entertainment, allowing audiences to transcend the role of passive viewers to become active participants. The introduction of AI-driven characters is seen as a new form of creative expression that will open up new avenues for narratives guided by the collective imagination of creators and the audience.

The funding round comes on the back of successful AI-driven non-player character experiences with various partners and community-created mods of popular games. Inworld’s technology has impressed investors with its potential to revolutionize the gaming industry and bring characters to life with realistic emotions and dialogue, enhancing the richness of gaming experiences.

The future of NPCs is expected to positively impact gameplay, with a large percentage of gamers willing to spend more time playing and pay more for games with advanced AI NPCs. Inworld AI aims to lead the way in this paradigm shift and create a new era of interactive entertainment powered by generative AI.

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