Virtual Being Startup Neosapience Raises $21.5M, Creates Virtual Metaverse Actors and Singing AI
Virtual being developer Neosapience has raised $21.5 million in a Series B funding round led by BRV Capital Management. The startup has also debuted a new tool for its Typecast platform to produce better virtual actors and AI-powered characters capable of singing and rapping.
Neosapience created Typecast to combine synthetic voices and visuals into audio recordings and videos of virtual actors mimicking real humans. Typecast hosts a library of virtual being models produced from recordings of 170 professional actors, newscasters and other performers. The South Korean startup’s deep neural network trained from Korean and English audio and video to reproduce how the performer speaks and moves across various emotions and styles. Users can input a script and adjust the way the virtual being behaves while reciting the words on the script. The visuals and audio control are flexible enough to sing and rap in English. The company also has plans to add Japanese and Spanish to the repertoire of the AI actors. The relative simplicity of the platform led to the top Korean YouTube channel in the shorts category to use Typecast’s dubbing exclusively and for the company to score contracts from major book publishers to use Typecast AI to read audiobooks.
“While we have grown so rapidly over the past year, we see an opportunity to push even further to become the undisputed global leader in AI-driven virtual humans and its applications in synthetic media and interactive content,” Neosapience CEO Taesu Kim said. “This latest round of funding will allow us to expand our reach and push the boundaries even further. It will not only allow content creators to create more content with less effort but also execute on our vision of AI-powered virtual actors being accessible to everyone.”
The advances in voice and video performance on Typecast also position it to explore the metaverse. The company is keen to join the burgeoning competition among companies producing virtual beings to populate the digital space, one of the hottest conversational AI and virtual reality trends. Startups are rapidly scaling up to take advantage, with notable investments across the last year, including Hour One, Veritone, DeepBrain, and the $70 million raised this month by Soul Machines. The growing number of metaverse platforms are only increasing demand, as Meta’s eponymous platform, Baidu’s XiRang, and Nvidia’s Omniverse attest. Virtual performers are very much part of the story, including LG’s virtual spokesperson recording a music album, following in CoCo Hub’s pop stars, and Sber’s virtual show host.
“Typecast’s various AI voice actors have helped content creators all over the world unleash their creativity, but many users still have required additional tools to edit videos after our product created the audio,” Kim said. “Applying our AI technology to cast AI video characters was the next logical step for our company. Now we can make it remarkably simple for anyone to execute their stories in new ways without needing any expensive equipment or a special studio. All they need is a script, a laptop and an idea.”