Pioneering V-Tuber Startup Lands $3.6 Million Raise From Amazon and More

A young startup called Hyper seeks to build technology to make the development and use of VTuber avatars simpler and faster for online personalities who use them.

The company’s recent seed round raised $3.6 million, led by Two Sigma Ventures.

Other major participants included Amazon’s Alexa Fund, MakersFund, as well as several noteworthy individuals, like Brud, Inc. founder Trevor McFedries, Dan Romero, who is the CEO and founder of Farcaster, and Robin Raskza, the CEO and founder of the avatar platform Facemoji.

The rise of VTubers

VTubers are online individuals who use motion-capture-powered anime and manga-inspired avatars to interact with their viewers.

They have established a major presence on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, among other places, and some have managed to become rather big businesses.

The most popular VTubers are managing to collect hundreds of millions of hours of viewership each month thanks to their loyal fan bases and sponsorships.

Their success has even attracted big tech firms, hence Hyper’s interest in building a platform for new avatar creation.

The company has not disclosed usage figures at this time, but it is known that it raised $3.6 million.

The number of VTubers is also on a sharp rise. Back in 2020, estimates said that there were around 10,000 active individuals online that fit the description of VTubers.

Today, it is believed that there are at least 15 million VTubers active on Twitch alone.

Their audience is even more impressive, with some of the leading creators having over a million followers. Some examples include Ironmouse (1.5 million), Shylily (1.1 million), Shxtou (1.07 million), Nyatasha Nyanners (1.02 million), and Veibae (1.02 million).

In addition, tens of millions of creators run channels on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms.

Hyper to replace the fussy set-up of motion capture technology

Hyper has found that setting up an avatar with the current technology is overly complicated and impractical.

The process includes motion capture suits, costly cameras and computer equipment, not to mention overpriced and complex software and large amounts of bandwidth.

Instead of all of that, it believes that it can make avatar creation and usage much simpler with nothing but an iPhone and an app.

In doing so, it can crack open a brand new wave of demand for making and using VTuber avatars.

The company’s founder and CEO, Aaron Ng, said,

We want to be the largest avatar company in the world, and we think we could do it.

The company intends to use the new funds to continue building out its business but also to create new products based on avatar technology.

One part of its plan is to build avatar AI assistants using its newest feature, Hyper AI.

This tool allows users to create AI-based characters that would look like other VTuber avatars. However, they would be based entirely on AI. As such, they can serve as personal chatbots, storytelling characters, and more.

This is possible because Hyper AI characters are powered by generative AI built on OpenAI’s ChatGPT. However, Hyper customized it to respond to natural language questions, in addition to adding other remarks.

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