Roblox buys digital avatar startup Loom.ai.
Roblox has announced the purchase of a startup called Loom.ai, which focuses exclusively on creating more realistic human avatars.
In 2016, the company covered $1.35 million in expenses. It has since raised additional seed funding, earning $5.9 million in total capital raised. The startup’s investors include Y Combinator, Samsung Ventures, Anorak Ventures and Zach Coelius.
Loom.ai was one of the avatar companies launched in mid-2010 that leveraged advances in computer vision and aimed to build a cross-game/cross-platform network of users who relied on their technology to create in-app avatars. This scope was aimed at leveraging 3D capabilities that went beyond what Snapchat had done, following its acquisition of Bitmoji.
Over the years, Loom.ai shifted from photorealism to creating more Memoji-like avatars that allowed users to upload 2D photos and automatically create realistic 3D avatars. The company’s products also included a set of integrated tools to create personalized avatar stickers that could be used on messaging platforms such as Slack or WhatsApp, as well as live avatars that could be used during video calls.
Although Roblox has some of the most simplistic avatars on the market, this acquisition could mean that the company is open to creating a system that puts a greater emphasis on realism and more realistic facial animations. In a press release announcing the deal, Roblox shared that this acquisition “will accelerate the development of next-generation avatars.”
About the IPO
Conditions for the IPO:
Date: January 2021
Underwriters: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley
Estimated value of the company: $4 billion.
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