Inworld AI, which uses generative AI to help developers create smart characters that can learn and perform their own actions, closed a fresh round of funding at a $500 million valuation.
While the round has not completely closed — that is expected later this month — the company said it will total $50 million-plus. The rounds includes some big investor names — Lightspeed Venture Partners, Stanford University, First Spark Ventures, Samsung Next, LG Technology Ventures and other existing investors.
Search less. Close more.
Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.
Inworld has now raised more than $100 million since being founded in 2021, per the company.
The Mountain View, California-based startup sits at the intersection of AI and gaming. It has developed a “Character Engine” to create non-playable characters for gaming and other interactive experiences using multiple machine-learning models.
Developers can use the platform to create characters that can learn and adapt, have memories and motivations, and even navigate relationships.
“The financial runway means we can take a long-term view when it comes to supporting the developer community today, and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving landscape of generative AI for tomorrow,” said co-founder and CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn in a blog.
Gaming funding slows
While Inworld’s platform can be applied to different use cases, there is no denying how it can be used in gaming — which has seen limited VC interest this year, according to Crunchbase data.
Funding to U.S.-based gaming startups hit a high in 2021 — like many other industries — topping more than $5 billion.
Last year, such startups saw about $3.8 billion invested, although $2 billion of that went to Epic Games in a massive round.
However, with more than half of 2023 gone, U.S.-based gaming startups have received just more than $400 million to date.
It’s likely AI’s applications to gaming will spur on more investment, but the industry has a long way to go to even come close to last year’s funding numbers.
Related Crunchbase Pro list
Clarification: The amount of money raised was updated from the original publication of this story.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.