Mobile Generative AI Content Startup Scriptic Raises $5.7M
Phone-based generative AI content platform Scriptic has raised $5.7 million in a seed funding round led by Bitkraft Ventures and joined by the Amazon Alexa Fund, among others. Scriptic, which rebranded from ElectricNoir along with the funding, offers mobile interactive games built with a mix of generative AI-produced synthetic media, including text, visuals, and audio.
Scriptic attracted interest for its interactive phone game Scriptic: Crime Stories after Netflix Games re-released it in 2022. The episodic game is based around phones, with the player trying to solve a murder by going through the victim’s phone and their texts, voice notes, video clips, and other content. The five-year-old startup has been keen to apply generative AI to its products, leaning into their potential by employing OpenAI’s text and image tools, the ones now powering ChatGPT and Dall-E, as far back as 2021. Scriptic is now experimenting with AI image and video generators Midjourney and Runway, as well as synthetic speech tools like ElevenLabs and Murf.ai.
“We created Scriptic with the aim of entertaining the world with stories that reflect our ever-changing digital lives. By bringing together a hugely talented creative team, our proprietary tech offering and a host of cutting-edge generative AI technologies, we’ve been able to create immersive stories that really resonate with audiences, purpose-built for the most interactive medium there is – our phones,” Scriptic CEO Nihal Tharoor said in a statement. “We’re excited about building out our pipeline of interactive shows across new and existing IPs, opening up our community for user-generated content, and taking the next step in our ambitious company journey.”
The company is quick to note that it considers the AI material more of an inspiration that helps humans build experiences rather than act as a replacement. Since its launch, Scriptic has created six titles, and its app has been installed 1.5 million times. The new funding round raises the total investment in Scriptic to $8.2 million. Scriptic plans to leverage the new cash to build out a team for TV shows as well as gaming and create a platform for user-generated content that they can share and sell via Scriptic’s platform.
Tharoor refers to the company’s long-term goal as to be seen as the ‘Roblox of narrative.’ The ambition is notable, especially since Roblox is not ignoring generative AI and has already begun experimenting with adding generative AI tools to write the code for objects and their behavior in a virtual environment. There are a growing number of efforts to augment video games with generative AI beyond just Roblox and Scriptic. For instance, digital human creator Didimo introduced Popul8, which uses generative AI t tweak uploaded character templates into hundreds of variations that still fit the style of the game, while Scenario uses generative AI for video game art and game developer Latitude created AI Dungeon to use advanced language models to produce the game’s text and interact with players through its characters. Meanwhile, Google has experimented with using its Imagen text-to-image AI tool to augment classic 1970s text adventure Zork with graphics. And Nvidia recently showed off its new Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) for Games, which helps produce more realistic and dynamic virtual people that can interact with players.