Hyper raise $3.6 million for its VTuber-friendly avatar platform
VTubers are online celebrities using movement manga and anime-inspired avatars in games, YouTube, and other platforms. They have become a prominent industry with millions of monthly viewings, dedicated fan bases, high-paying sponsorships, and demand for more. Big tech giants like Amazon and other investors have invested in Hyper, a startup focusing on making avatar creation and usage more accessible and less expensive. Hyper’s technology aims to simplify the content and avatar creation industries.
Two Sigma Enterprises is leading a $3.6 million seed round for the company; other investors include MakersFund, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Robin Raskza, and Trevor McFedries. The funding round includes MakersFund, Twitch owner Amazon’s Alexa Fund, and notable figures like Robin Raskza, Trevor McFedries, Brud, Inc., Dan Romero, and Farcaster. The company has not yet released usage statistics.
In 2020, 10,000 VTubers were predicted to be active online, while 15 million gaming streamers on Twitch have an annual audience of 1 billion users. This is a small fraction of creators operating channels on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Hyper aims to create VTuber-style personas on platforms using an iPhone and app, eliminating the need for expensive equipment and bandwidth overhead. This approach eliminates the need for performance capture suits and other setups.
Aaron Ng, Hyper’s CEO, wants Hyper to become the biggest avatar company in the world. The first step in the plan involves avatar AI assistants. Hyper AI is a device that creates AI-based characters, similar to Hyper’s other VTuber avatars. These characters can serve as personal chatbots, storytelling characters, or driving activities when human VTubers need a break. They can also appear alongside VTuber avatars to engage in storytelling or stimulate engagement.
Hyper AI characters are powered by generative AI, built on OpenAI’s GPT, and tailored by Hyper reply to comments and queries in foundational language. While OpenAI’s APIs are accessible and practical, the startup plans to collaborate with other companies in the future.
Ng believes the advancement of large language models provides advantages. Narrative creation in VTuber content, avatars. They encourage interaction and competition without correlation, making them the next logical step for fans to tell stories.
The new storytelling environment aims to engage readers with characters; the primary emphasis lies in. narrative development and an innovative approach to character creation. This aligns with Amazon’s interest in investing in this field, as it aligns with their initial objective. The portfolio focuses primarily on virtualization., metaverse, and founder economy topics, with a strong forward lean toward Amazon’s media division. The fund invests in rapidly developing technological fields relevant to media or devices businesses, observing distinct actions and focusing on these emerging technologies.
Superplastic, a synthetic influencer platform, may offer insight into Amazon’s plans to create a greater media empire based on Superplastic’s characters. Hyper may be a potential direction, with Amazon’s vast IP assets making it an exciting partnership. Ng highlights excitement for working with Amazon due to its immense IP possession.
Advancements like Apple’s Vision Pro headset launch will shift consumer expectations in digital interaction, offering more opportunities for businesses to produce digitally native content and tools. Dan Abelon, Partner at Two Sigma Ventures, believes that Hyper Online is believed to possess the capacity to broaden content creation. Hyper is committed to providing portable tools for this new format, recognizing the founders’ focus on simple solutions.