London-headquartered Scriptic is a studio developing a dynamic catalogue of interactive phone-first shows and pioneering creative applications of generative AI in entertainment. Now, the company has scored $5.7 million in the second close of its seed round. The round was led by BITKRAFT Ventures (that invested in HyperPlay and Carry1st), with participation from Tower 26 and the Amazon Alexa Fund, as well as additional and returning investors.
With this, the total investment raised in the seed round accounts for $8.2 million, following an initial investment of $2.5 million. The investment will be used to develop and significantly expand Scriptic’s content pipeline, and onboard a community of external writers to the company’s AI-led creator service to build, share, and monetise their own stories.
In addition to this, the company is expanding its team over the next year and is looking to fill new roles in tech, production, marketing, creative, and design.
Nihal Tharoor, CEO and co-founder of Scriptic, said: “Today’s funding, from an incredible cast of new and returning investors, will empower us to pursue our vision of becoming the ‘Roblox of narrative’. We’re excited about building out our pipeline of interactive shows across new and existing IPs, opening up our community for user-generated content, and taking the next step in our ambitious company journey.”
Malte Barth, Founding General Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures, will join Scriptic’s board as part of the investment. He said: “At BITKRAFT Ventures, we firmly believe in Scriptic’s vision of bringing live-action interactive entertainment to GenZ and Millennial audiences through smartphones. By providing users with a true sense of agency by shaping their own interactive narratives, Scriptic redefines the boundaries of immersive experiences and interactive storytelling leveraging a unique AI-based production pipeline. We are excited to back the team at Scriptic as they usher in a new category of entertainment by blending game mechanics, AI, virtual influencers, storytelling, and compelling user-generated content on smartphones and multiple social media services.”
Generative AI for content production
Scriptic (formerly ElectricNoir) was founded in 2018 by Nihal Tharoor and Benedict Tatham. It is one of the first entertainment companies to leverage generative AI tools in a production capacity, having first used ChatGPT and DALL-E in 2021 to help with content production. The content produced by the studio is a powerful use case for generative AI in story media – blending text, images, video, and audio – into one seamless interactive experience.
Over the next year, Scriptic will activate its user-generated content (UGC) strategy, first by putting AI-enabled creator tools in the hands of dozens of curated external builders. A cloud-based creator suite will give these writers one node-based service which wires together generative language models, diffusion models, and audio synthesis models, allowing them to create high-quality and seamless interactive experiences in a short space of time. This is the foundation of the company’s long-term vision of giving anyone the ability to easily build compelling phone-first dramas.
The studio’s growing catalogue of shows includes titles in the crime, comedy, horror, and court-room genres with plans to explore others. Its flagship show, Dead Man’s Phone, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2020 and re-launched on Netflix as the highly popular Scriptic: Crime Stories in 2022.