- The funding round was led by Griffin Gaming Partners, one of the world’s largest venture funds focusing exclusively on gaming and Microsoft’s Venture Fund M12
By : Mohamed Elttar
modl.ai, which seeks to remove the shackles of game development with a transformative AI engine, announced today it has closed Series A funding of €8.5m with lead investor Griffin Gaming Partners and M12 - Microsoft’s Venture Fund. The company received additional participation from Rendered.vc, PreSeed Ventures, and Transistormedia.
The modl.ai AI engine is redefining game development by equipping developers with an essentially unlimited army of bots that can adapt to various playing styles, employ dynamic moves and tactics.
This gives developers power to enhance automation and remove the redundancies and manual efforts that often stymie and delay the release of new games and updates by months or even years.
Pierre-Edouard Planche, Partner at Griffin Gaming Partners, said: "Gaming is one of the trickiest user experiences for which to automate testing, and it therefore requires an utmost degree of technical talent and research combined with direct experience working in games.
This is why we are very excited to be backing Christoffer, Lars, Benedikte, and the modl.ai team to help streamline a growing pain and multi-billion-dollar industry expense that is top of mind for many game developers."
Carli Stein of M12 added: “At M12, we’re excited about the impact modl.ai will have on the gaming industry, allowing game developers to focus on the parts of development they love, while automating the costly, time-consuming, and manual processes they don’t,” said Carli Stein, an investor at M12.
“When we met Christoffer and the modl.ai team, we knew they had the right combination of highly technical domain expertise, coupled with a product suite that has the potential to revolutionize game development as we know it.”
modl.ai was founded by a talented team of game developers, engineers and AI experts led by CEO Christoffer Holmgård, who saw the opportunity to use AI to automate and improve multiple aspects of the game development process.
Between them, the company founders have developed and launched more than 30 games for PC, Mac, Playstation, Xbox, Switch, Apple Arcade and further platforms.
“We started modl.ai to build the tools and technology we always wished we had as game developers,” said Christoffer Holmgård, CEO and Co-Founder.
“In 2018, we decided that the timing was right, both for technology and the market. The founders had worked together in games and AI for more than a decade, always discussing how we could bring advanced AI to game developers broadly, offering something completely new to the industry that we love.
All games are unique, creative works, but they share production needs and technological characteristics. That’s why the games industry is becoming increasingly modular and standardized. This is a good thing, and we want to be the de facto AI Engine for as many games as possible.”
With the new funding, the company will expand its reach to make the AI Engine available to developers worldwide. With simple setup, developers will get access to AI players - to not just test and balance their games but also have access to customizable bots who will play their game with or against their player base. modl.ai’s AI Engine works with the major publicly available game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine and can be extended to support any modern game engine.
modl.ai’s AI Engine drives bots for games, enabling AI players that test, evaluate, and even play games in the place of human players. The market for testing and quality assurance in games alone is several billion dollars, and the need for bot players has become crucial in a multiplayer focused $200Bn+ industry.
The games industry is on the cutting edge of technology and innovation; however much of the game development process is highly manual. This means significant creative potential with highly skilled developers, as well as precious speed to market, is lost to rote work and monotonous daily routine. modl.ai is on a mission to change this, building an AI Engine that frees developers to focus on creating, by automating the parts of the game development process that are repetitive and time consuming through AI players.
"Game testing is an endemic, universal, yet overlooked pain point in the industry that has material impact on studio operations, profitability, and title performance. Automation solutions have not emerged due to the complex nature of games and unique design. We strongly believe that modl.ai is the breakthrough team to tackle this moonshot opportunity and, in doing so, is positioned to build a powerful AI platform developed for 3D environments that can grow beyond games," stated Jiten Dajee, Rendered VC.
“At PreSeed Ventures, we know it’s all about a few individuals with a rare set of traits and the right mentality to move the needle and modl.ai’s CEO, Christoffer Holmgård is one of those people,” said Mads Klarskov Petersen, COO of PreSeed Ventures. “modl.ai has not only attracted top talent within the space, 12 PhDs from applied AI in games, but has proven the growing importance that AI plays across different aspects of modern game development. Moreover, Christoffer is one of our favorite examples of how a Danish startup can attract international talent and investors, by building a unique technology and sticking to its purpose: helping developers to enhance and increase player engagement no matter the market direction.”
Headquartered in Denmark, modl.ai is a four-year-old company that is transforming the game development market with its state-of-the-art AI Engine and machine learning models. Staffed by many of the industry’s best and brightest, modl.ai currently ranks second in the world among private companies for the number of technical game publications its team has collectively authored. With modl.ai’s engine and game-playing bots, testing, evaluation, overall game development and speed to market will never be the same. "If anyone can bring games AI research to the industry and succeed, this is the team" – Ken Stanley, OpenAI alum." For more please visit modl.ai.