Bengaluru-based AI and virtual reality startup Absentia VR has secured $1.2 Mn (INR 8 Cr) in its Pre-Series A round of funding from Exfinity Venture Partners, T.V Mohandas Pai, Deepak Ghaisas, Girish Paranjpe, and V. Balakrishnan.
The startup will deploy the funds to build its new offering, Norah AI, an artificial intelligence-driven solution that will enable companies to create interactive content for games, with minimal human assistance.
Talking about the funding, Shubham Mishra, co-founder, Absentia said, “With Norah AI, we are aiming to become the world’s first auto content-generation company with a focus on the media and entertainment segment. Over the past few months, the team has been successful in monetising the platform in the area of virtual reality, augmented reality, and image processing across select sectors.”
Absentia was founded in June 2015 by Shubham Mishra, Vrushali Prasade, and Harikrishna Valiyath, three third-year dropouts from BITS Pilani Goa Campus, with an aim to bridge the gap between existing e-content and virtual reality and extend that experience to everyone. The founders had previously developed a virtual reality headgear called Tesseract along with proprietary patent pending algorithms.
The company claims that Norah AI will be able to create new interactive content for various gaming experiences and types, including arcade games, casual games, puzzles, animation and graphics. It will essentially offer a neural network to content creators, where they’ll be able to create games, GIFs and animations etc.
In November 2015, the startup had raised $180K (INR 1.2 Cr) in Seed funding from a clutch of investors including Astarc Ventures and 50K Ventures.
Virtual reality is a potential multi-billion dollar market worldwide, with an emerging presence in India today. It has applications in a number of verticals including gaming, education, healthcare, real estate, architecture, online shopping etc.
In January 2016, Bengaluru-based startup Infurnia, a provider of virtual reality technology for the furniture segment, raised $160K in a funding round from UAE-based venture capital firm Idein Ventures. In March 2016, Noida-based SmartVizX, a virtual reality solutions startup, raised over $500K from the Indian Angel Network (IAN) and Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs India (SA&E India). It was also reported earlier today that Bengaluru-based augmented reality startup Whodat secured $600K (about INR 3.86 Cr) from early-stage venture fund, Ideaspring Capital.
Other startups in the virtual reality segment include Furdo, Foyr, Houssup etc.
[The development was reported by ET.]