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These Two Innovations Will Transform How We Experience the Digital World

How Voice & Visual Innovations Are Shaping Our Digital Futures

Welcome to this month’s viewpoints, news and investment activity covering the Metaverse, XR and Spatial Computing - brought to you by FOV Ventures.

This Month:

  • Announcing TWO new portfolio companies.

  • GDC Takeaways

  • DVRSTY Deadline

Voice and Visuals - TWO New Portfolio Companies!

We have announced two new investment this month, Graswald.ai (w/ Lakestar, Supernode Global) and ai|coustics (w/ Connect Ventures, Inovia)

Graswald leverage the power of Gaussian splatting and Generative AI to turn videos and images into photorealistic 3D models, while ai|coustics are developing Generative Audio AI technology to enhance speech clarity in digital communication.

Both come with two great demos:

  • Check out the impressive fidelity on Graswald.ai 3D models in the browser.

  • Try ai|coustics sound enhancements with the demos, or your own audio.

You can read more in-depth on why we invested in each here and here, but more broadly both investments fit into our thesis around a future with more intelligent and spatial computing.

With Graswald, content isn't just viewed; it's experienced in 3D, allowing for everything from commerce to storytelling to adopt spatial components that draw audiences into more engaging, lifelike environments.

The surge in Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) propels voice interaction to the forefront, companies like ai|coustics will enable devices and applications to comprehend and respond to human speech with remarkable sophistication.

The integration of advanced audio capabilities and 3D content creation tools heralds an era where digital experiences are spatial, interactive, and more intuitive.

Earlier this year we looked at the key themes we were looking to invest in across 2024, and we are delighted to be adding Graswald and ai|coustics to our portfolio.

If you are working on a startup, or investing yourself across XR and Spatial themes - we would love to hear from you! Reach out on LinkedIn or submit details here 

Why Tech Investors Can't Ignore the Gaming Sector

The FOV team spent several weeks in the US last month, with Petri immersing himself at SXSW in Austin. And Dave just returning home from Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

A16z’s Speedrun (their gaming accelerator) demo day

FOV Ventures is not a pure gaming fund, but GDC is a key event for us every year given that the gaming industry is really at the forefront of a lot of the innovation and enabling technologies that we invest into, from 3D engines to XR to generative AI.

Games are a catalyst and a playground for innovation.

From the AI-driven chess programs of the 1960s to modern in-game characters and creatures, gaming has provided an ideal platform for AI experimentation and growth. 

Put an LLM in a game and its quirks and emergent behaviours can be forgiven, whilst using them into a healthcare app requires a lot more consideration. This means we’ll see many of the future uses of AI tested in upcoming games. For example, AI powered in-game NPCs will serve as a test bed for more AI agents, where the stakes are much lower than customer service agents.

We’re only just starting to see serious, mass use of generative AI tools in production and games themselves. But studios and devs are busy experimenting with the state of the art and integrating AI into new workflows. It was striking to see how many startups were leveraging AI in some form or other at A16z’s demo day that took place for a room packed full of investors on the first day of GDC.

The gaming industry is a breeding ground for business models.

Concepts like freemium models, in-app purchasing, and advertising were born in gaming worlds, setting global business precedents. Even ubiquitous streaming subscription models trace their roots back to gaming, highlighting its influence on revenue generation and consumer habits.

As developers explore new revenue streams, expect to see innovative approaches to game monetisation. One of those is Creator Economy Models.

At GDC Epic Games announced they paid $320 million out in creator earnings over the past 12-months. Fortnite Creative can be a great source of supplemental income or a great start to solo-development. There are 23,500 developers in total on Fortnite Creative, which means that you only had to be in the top 4% of developers to bring in at least $20,000 in annual income. With Steam becoming more competitive and crowded, might studios move over to low-barrier platforms with built-in distribution like UEFN? Interesting times ahead.


One year ago Annabell left this comment on our LinkedIn page…

Our typeform wasn’t working, but Annabell wanted to apply to our DVRSTY initiative!

After swiftly fixing our mistake, Annabell applied, and was accepted to DVRSTY with her startup Atopia - a product where people interested in culture can immerse themselves in a limitless cultural offering via any browser or Atopia’s VR app.

By background, Annabell is a cultural consultant and violinist, not your typical VR founder. But she had a clear vision to enable millions of people to access museums, galleries, concert houses, operas and theatres immersively.

Following the mentorship programme of DVRSTY, Annabell then was awarded tickets to AWE 2023 where she pitched in front of hundreds of investors and founders. A few weeks later she closed her pre-seed funding round from us and Heartfelt Capital.

Annabell's journey with Atopia Space exemplifies the transformative power of embracing diversity and innovation - and we’re excited to do it all over again!

BUT! There are just TWO DAYS left to apply…

FOV Portfolio News:

FOV Job Board:

Have a great April everyone!

Dave Haynes, Petri Rajahalme and Sointu Karjalainen (FOV Ventures)