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Aug 29, 2022

Ready Player Me Raises $56M and Looks to Bring Representation Into the Virtual Workspace

By Bobby Carlton

When it comes to creating that perfect balance of realism and cartoony avatars that can be used across multiple VR platforms, Ready Player Me is the leader. Very easy to make and only takes minutes, a Ready Player Me avatar can be personalized with clothing, fashion accessories, and even outfits from popular movies, and that could be a big deal for Enterprise adoption.

Last week, the company announced that they raised $56M led by a16z to help grow their business and give people the ability to connect people to the metaverse in a more meaningful way. This is obviously a huge leap for pushing avatar technology, but it also means a big step for the metaverse as more people and companies explore the potential of these virtual worlds.

Creating your own 3D avatar is incredibly simple. Absolutely no coding skills are needed to create one which you can then import into platforms such as Spatial,  Mozilla Hubs, VRChat, and others with ease by copying and pasting a generated code made by the software.

You may think that avatars are something you would only use in socialVR platforms or in games, but there is a big push to bring this type of virtual representation into work environments. Ready Player Me has already positioned themselves into Enterprise solutions by lining themselves up with dozens of partners to use their avatar technology for corporate training, team building, and even having avatar creation being part of the onboarding steps for new employees.

As companies establish their digital twins in platforms like Mozilla Hubs, MeetinVR, Glue, Virbela, and others, avatars are how we represent ourselves as employees in VR, and it helps create a diverse workforce in both the real world and in the metaverse. Employees expect inclusion, culture, and heritage to be things that are represented at work.

Last year saw 24 companies adopting Ready Player Me avatars for employee representation in the metaverse, and with this new round of fundraising, the company looks to push that number even higher. 

FS Studio VR Hub
Image from FS Studio

Timmu Tõke, CEO of Ready Player Me believes that being able to represent your individual heritage in the metaverse, whether it’s for meeting up with friends for a concert or being part of a client meeting is important for all of us.

The thought is that your skin tone, your hair, the shape of your eyes, and how you dress all make up who you are and is part of the story behind you the person, and you the employee. 

In an interview with GamesBeat, Tõke talked about how his company will bring that representation and consistent identity across all experiences saying, “We’re doing cross-game answers for the metaverse, as we saw that people spend a lot of time in virtual worlds.” Tõke added, “The metaverse is not one app, or one game or one platform. It’s a network of thousands of different virtual worlds. So it makes sense for users to have an avatar to traverse across many different virtual worlds.”

Image from Ready Player Me

“You have to build the network out for diversity as a developer tools company,” said Tõke in a interview with VRScout. “That’s where we spend most of our time.”

The metaverse is expanding each day with more social experiences and more companies and industries uncovering its potential for everything from connecting consumers through a metaverse portal, marketing goals, B2B, employee training and recruitment and how we can improve things such as automation, robotics, infrastructure, warehouse management, and so much more. 

Earlier in the year Ready Player Me announced a partnership with the AR company 8th Wall that would allow you to bring the Ready Player Me avatars into any 8th Wall AR experience using A-Frame, which potentially could bring more personalization into AR training initiatives such as on-the-fly training or reskilling. It could also have an impact on how companies approach marketing, recruitment and onboarding.

Tõke realized that we’re not totally there yet but the metaverse is gaining a lot of momentum. “Based on our rapid growth rate (40% month on month), I think it is fair to say the VR industry is booming right now, and expanding quicker than many people realize. Like any new technology, however, its success largely depends on how quickly it is adopted by consumers, and in that respect we still have some way to go.”

You can create your own individual custom avatar at readyplayer.me.

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