Google acquired AI avatar startup, Alter, which offers a tech stack to developers that helps to create avatar systems.
According to TechCrunch, the company was founded as Facemoji and raised $3 million last year from a seed round, led by Play Ventures, with participation from Twitter and Roosh Ventures.
After Apple’s Memoji, Alter aimed to offer game developers a chance to build their avatar systems without plugins into different networks.
With SDK (software development kits), the startup offered a real-time 3D avatar system with features including facial motion capture, similar to the 3D-style avatars in the TikTok app.
Founded in 2017 by Alter founders CEO Robin Raszka and Jon Slimak, Alter enables users, especially Gen Z, to create incredibly customizable avatars that allow for more creative “digital expression” and also allows users to “be whoever you want to be.”
In 2021, Alter received funding from Twitter. The startup raised about $3 million in a seed round with additional backing from Play Ventures, Twitter, and Roosh Ventures.
“Avatars are the future of how we connect online, but avatar tech is still where payments were in 2009 before Stripe came along. It’s costly, slow, and hard to build next-gen digital spaces, awesome-looking 3D content from scratch that doesn’t come with a clumsy user experience,” Raszka said following the fundraise. He also added, “we are changing that and opening new possibilities for the next generation of developers and creators.”
Google is ambitiously competing against the popular China-based social platform with better content after the company’s spokesman confirmed the acquisition took place two months ago.