Inworld AI Raises $50M for Generative AI Character Creation Platform [Updated]
Generative AI-powered virtual character creator Inworld AI has raised $50 million in a new round of funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and attained a valuation of more than $500 million. Inworld has now raised around $120 million in total.
Inworld offers a Character Engine that constructs virtual beings out of text descriptions. Users can detail the appearance, behavior, background, and more in great detail, and the generative AI engine will synthesize the virtual being described, relying on general knowledge databases and proprietary sources the user can include. Though Inworld has been employed for education and marketing, the chief focus of the company is entertainment, especially video games. The multimodal characters rely on a mix of machine learning models that Inworld describes as going beyond ChatGPT or other conversational AIs relying on large language models (LLMs).
“The next generation of games will be judged by how immersive the experiences feel,” Inworld CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn said. “The Inworld Character Engine offers a transformational shift that brings characters to life with realistic emotions and dialogue, adding richness to the stories and worlds they occupy. Populating experiences with characters that behave with convincing real-time responses and actions will play a substantial role in getting us to the promise of truly interactive entertainment.”
Inworld’s raise continues the startup’s rapid-fire rollout of new features and partnerships since coming out of stealth in 2021. Last year, the startup debuted Inworld Studio, raised $60 million in two funding rounds, and received an Epic MegaGrant from Unity Creator Epic Games. Inworld also joined and graduated from the Disney Accelerator program, where it demonstrated a prototype ‘Droid Maker’ for designing the look and personality of an interactive droid from the Star Wars universe.
The company also launched a $1 million development funding award of its own for AI character creators using Inworld Studio, with Snowcrash author Neal Stephenson and AI industry leaders serving as judges. Stanford University and Samsung Next also joined the new funding round, along with a half-dozen previous investors. Inworld plans to apply the cash toward further scaling its services, as well as building an open-source version of its Character Engine.
“Inworld’s commitment to open source is a testament to our belief that collaboration fuels innovation,” Inworld CTO Michael Ermolenko said. “Working with the open source developer community, we’ll push forward innovations in generative AI that elevate the entire gaming industry.”