Alta, a virtual reality metaverse studio, announced today it has raised a 12.4 million seed funding co-led by Makers Fund and Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors include Pioneer Fund, Boost VC, muru-D and Thomas Rice.
The latest funding, which values the startup at $62 million, will be used to further develop proprietary content and IP, expand the team and position the game for new platforms, Tima Anoshechkin, co-founder and CEO of Alta, told TechCrunch.
Founded in 2016 by Anoshechkin, Joel van de Vorstenbosch and Boramy Unn, the Sydney and San Francisco-based startup started out as a virtual reality game developer creating A Township Tale, a VR open-world RPG in which every user has their own medieval fantasy virtual world that is shareable with other users, Anoshechkin said.
It first gained traction in mid-2021 when its first VR game launched on the Oculus Quest 2. Upon its release, it spent more than seven weeks at No. 1 on the Oculus charts and produced historical engagement metrics for the platform, according to the company. In addition, the startup's revenue has increased tenfold compared to when it first started, Anoshechkin said, without providing the revenue figures. Alta currently has about 500,000 users, Anoshechkin added.
“Alta started out with a single quest: to create worlds that bring people together,” Anoshechkin said. “This funding helps us expand that vision beyond just growing our flagship game, and allows us to expand the team, create new opportunities and partnerships to collaborate with, and continue to develop world-class technology whether with VR or other platforms. Whenever and wherever you are playing, our experience will always be engaging, seamless and fun.”
Alta’s next goal is to expand and build networks of virtual worlds across multiple platforms, incorporating elements of the metaverse, Anoshechkin said. What sets Alta’s technology apart from other competitors is that it relies heavily on procedural generation, which is a way to combine computer algorithms with human-authored assets to create content at mass scale seamlessly while building these virtual worlds, Anoshechkin explained.
Alta plans to raise another funding as early as this year to increase its headcount across the globe, said Allison Howard, COO of Alta. The company has offices in Australia and the U.S. and plans to make inroads into more countries in Europe and Asia in the near future, Howard added.
The ecosystem of VR technology has been steadily growing for the last few years. The consumer virtual reality market is projected to reach more than $5 billion by 2023 from $2.6 billion in 2020.
“For two years now we have been fans of Alta’s compelling vision for a deeply immersive space built around cooperative exploration, and we continue to be impressed by Tima and his team’s first major milestone -- creating a sophisticated, highly systemic world, beloved by its community in its fledgling stage,” said founding partner of Makers Fund Jay Chi, who will join Alta’s board of director.
“The team is highly technical, determined and passionate about building captivating experiences that dedicated communities can grow around -- which align perfectly with our belief that games and social platforms will increasingly intersect. Over the last two years, in particular, we’ve seen VR adoption increasing while the metaverse grows and are excited to partner with Alta as they continue serving and growing this community,” said Andrew Chen, partner of a16z.