Pocket RD, 3D Avatar and XR Developer, Secures Strategic Alliances and 450 Million Yen in Series B Funding

Pocket RD – an XR technology company which strives to provide solutions that offer new and more expressive tools for human communication – is pleased to announce it has secured 450 million yen ($4 million) in third party (Seed B) funding from Square Enix, KDDI Corporation, Kodansha Ltd, Dai Nippon Printing Co, Ltd.

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“KDDI Open Innovation Fund III” (operator: Global Brain Corporation) will act as lead investor with additional backing from Kodansha Co., Ltd. (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO, Yoshinobu Noma), Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP, Headquarters: Tokyo, President: Yoshinari Kitajima), and SMBC Venture Capital Co., Ltd. (President: Akira Ochiai) operated by the “SMBC Venture Capital No. 6 Investment Business Limited Liability Union”.

The objective behind this investment round is to strengthen the development of “AVATARIUM”, a fully automated production and editing platform for personal avatars, and “Pocket Collection”, a blockchain supported NFT marketplace for 3D CG assets and to provide growth through business alliances with KDDI Corporation, Kodansha Ltd, and Dai Nippon Printing Co, Ltd.

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AVATARIUM has already launched its first partnership operation with KDDI, by integrating original avatars into KDDI’s “Virtual Shibuya” platform.  As part of KDDI’s “Virtual Shibuya au 5G Halloween Festa 2021 – Fun for Good” event, AVATARIUM scanners have been placed in two locations: GINZA 456 powered by KDDI and au Style Shibuya Modi.  Customers were able to create their own avatars – customized in “deformé” style or dressed up as their favorite animation character – and attend KDDI’s “Virtual Halloween” event as an original avatar. Moving forward, we will continue to grow synergies between KDDI’s au Metaverse and Pocket RD’s avatar technology and blockchain 3D asset marketplace (Pocket Collection). The two companies will actively collaborate to link real and virtual experiences in “Virtual City” environments and enable customers to create and integrate their own original avatars.

In addition, Kodansha and Dai Nippon Printing are actively reviewing a range of partnership opportunities to integrate Pocket RD technology and know-how and introduce to a wider market, and to nurture new business opportunities.  Please stay tuned!

Comments from Investor-Alliance Partners

Hirofumi Kawai,  Manager of Image Studio, SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.

“With face-to-face communication decreasing due to the coronavirus and the growing importance of the metaverse, service technologies such as AVATARIUM – developed by Pocket RD – have the potential to become the new de-facto standard for communication. Our four new alliance partners make a strong team and possess the resources and networks to expand the capabilities of Pocket RD. Moving forward, we will harness the knowledge and experience we have accumulated to date in the development of 3D CG and avatar tools to expand more advanced solutions to a wide range of customers. As a collaborative platform, we look forward to growing Pocket RD as a launchpad for high-quality content, rich in innovation and creativity, bringing the best entertainment to people around the world.”

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