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Gaming technology company Improbable has raised $150m (£115m) to build a metaverse network and ecosystem that lets organisations create their own virtual worlds and Web3 businesses.

Improbable’s metaverse network, M², will provide interoperability between existing blockchains.

Founded in 2012, Improbable is a London-headquartered company that partners with game developers, entertainment companies, defence organisations and academia to build digital worlds.

The funding round was led by US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Further capital came from Mirana, DCG, CMT, SIG, Ethereal Ventures, Saranac partners and Round13 DAF, Zinal Growth.

“Giving people the tools to design their own metaverses at the scale that Improbable enables, with Web3 interoperability and composability to expand on each other’s creations, will result in some truly ground-breaking virtual experiences,” said Chris Dixon, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz.

The funding follows a corporate round in July 2018 for $50m (£38.3m), led by NetEase, and a Series B round in May 2017 for $502m (£384.9m), led by Softbank Vision Fund.

Improbable’s total funding to date stands at $754m (£578m).

“We founded Improbable to make real the promise of incredible online worlds that were more than just games – they were extensions of our lives,” said Herman Narula, CEO, Improbable.

Improbable provides multiplayer services to over 60 global publishers and its simulation platform is used by the UK government for defence training. Its Morpheus technology can support over 10,000 players in a digital world. Improbable’s platform has over 350 million communication operations per second.

Interest in the metaverse – a digital world accessible by virtual and augmented reality that doesn’t yet exist – has grown since Facebook rebranded to Meta last year.

Investors have shown a strong appetite for metaverse startups, with Oorbit recently raising £3.8m.

Meanwhile, FOV Ventures last month launched its €25m (£20.8m) fund to invest in early-stage startups building the metaverse, such as metaverse fashion marketplace RSTLSS.

In 2021 investment into UK virtual reality companies hit a record £154m, compared to £90m in 2020.

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