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Ukrainian deeptech Zibra AI receives $500K from a16z Speedrun for its innovative technology

Zibra AI team
Picture credits: Zibra AI

Zibra AI is a Ukrainian deeptech startup specialising in AI-generated 3D assets for games and virtual environments. It has participated in the first-ever Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Games Speedrun accelerator program. Also, the company received $500K to kickstart its current seed investment round. This brings the total investment raised by the company to $2.5 million. Already, the Silicon Valley VC firm has backed ElevenLabs and Hippocratic AI and opened its first overseas office in London recently. 

The Ukrainian company raised a pre-seed round of $1.2 million in November 2022 from Gismart, SID Venture Partners, and angels, including The Sandbox’s Sebastian Borget and Phil Libin from Evernote. Zibra AI also received an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games in December 2022. 

Zibra AI aims to use the funding to expand its team and fuel the growth of its innovative generative AI technology.

Alex Petrenko, CEO and co-founder at Zibra AI, commented: “It was an honour for Zibra AI to have been shortlisted in the very first a16z Speedrun this year. It’s the latest investment proofpoint which demonstrates clear investor confidence in our technology roadmap and vision for the next two years and beyond. Our generative AI tools address the two major challenges faced by developers – creating interactive VFX and generating 3D assets and characters. With this new investment, we can accelerate our plans to develop our tech and further support and streamline development for games and all virtual experiences across industries.”

Troy Kirwin, Investment Partner at a16z, said: “We were immediately impressed with the Zibra AI team’s ability to solve some of the most challenging technical problems in computer graphics. We’re thrilled to be a part of their journey to build an end-to-end 3D content creation platform.”

Sole Eastern European Speedrun representative

Zibra AI was one of just 32 companies out of the whopping 1,600 applicants accepted into a16z’s inaugural Speedrun, which provides funding and coaching for the most promising pre-seed startups at the intersection of games and tech. 

Each of the companies accepted into the program received an initial investment of $500K and pitched to investors at the Speedrun Demo Day held in Los Angeles in June 2023. Following the success of the first Speedrun, a16z has announced Speedrun 2024 and committed to invest up to $75m in other promising startups in the space.

While 55% of the Speedrun companies were located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zibra AI is the sole representative from Eastern Europe.

Disrupts gaming and entertainment with its Gen AI tech

Founded in 2021 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Zibra AI is building a platform for creating AI-Generated 3D assets for any virtual world or experience. It works with the mission to revolutionise the development process, enabling gamers to enjoy new gaming titles more frequently rather than waiting years for releases. 

The company’s flagship product, Zibra Effects, is a Unity Verified Solution that can be utilised across PC and Mac, iOS and Android, consoles and VR/AR, with use cases in industries like gaming, metaverse and professional training simulations. By automating the creation of high-quality 3D assets and visual effects, the technology helps streamline production for developers.Currently, Zibra AI’s generative AI technology is being used by a community of more than 85,000 developers.

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