Missed the GamesBeat Summit excitement? Don’t worry! Tune in now to catch all of the live and virtual sessions here.

Futureverse, an AI and metaverse technology and content company, has raised $54 million in a new round of funding in an effort to marry AI and the metaverse.

10T Holdings led the round and included participation from Ripple. Futureverse‘s technology platform includes a suite of proprietary AI content generation tools designed to enhance the music, objects, characters, and animations that will eventually be part of the metaverse.

The Ripple part of this is interesting, considering a federal court ruled last week that Ripple did not violate security laws when it sold its cryptocurrency tokens to the general public. That ruling will likely liberate crypto companies and blockchain game companies from regulations that have hampered revenue.

Futureverse wants to combine technological infrastructure and AI-driven content to create the open metaverse that everyone envisions. With the help of its tremendous partners 10T and Ripple, Futureverse aims to take the metaverse from an abstract idea to a practical, accessible, and interactive destination.

The tech also depends on blockchain technology, but the company hasn’t had as much reason to tout that until last week’s court ruling. There are many working pieces in the company’s strategy, as it has rolled up 11 companies since it started — most of that happened very quietly.

Futureverse was founded to empower developers and users to create and engage with interoperable content and applications previously unavailable within the metaverse. The company’s technology platform includes a robust suite of proprietary AI content generation tools designed to enhance the music, objects, characters and animations that make up the metaverse.

FIFA AI League
FIFA AI League

By rolling up the 11 metaverse infrastructure and content companies into one collaborative ecosystem, Futureverse wants to deliver essential components for constructing any metaverse application, while forming one of the world’s largest metaverse communities powered by digital collectibles. Futureverse also wants to be a leader in an entirely new frontier of AI gaming. Last week, Futureverse launched the AI-powered consumer game AI League in cooperation with FIFA on iOS and Android.

It has also partnered with Muhammad Ali Enterprises to release the first AI-powered boxing game, Muhammad Ali – The Next Legends.

The company is run by metaverse pioneer Aaron McDonald; tech and entertainment investor/operator Shara Senderoff; technology and information security expert Marco Brondani; and Futureverse business operator Dan Gillespie. The company’s mission is to empower developers and users to create and engage with interoperable content and applications previously unavailable within the metaverse.

“The metaverse has the potential to transform the way humans engage and collaborate with one another and improve our experiences across a number of different spheres, including gaming, payments, asset management, and more. In order to reach this potential, the metaverse requires open, scalable, and interoperable infrastructure,” said McDonald and Senderoff, cofounders of Futureverse, in a statement. “Futureverse combines next-level technological infrastructure and AI-driven content to create the open metaverse we all envision. With the help of our tremendous partners 10T and Ripple, we are excited to take the metaverse from an abstract idea to a tangible, accessible, and interactive destination.”

Muhammad Ali: The Next Legends
Muhammad Ali: The Next Legends

Futureverse will use the proceeds from the funding round to continue developing the company’s comprehensive technology, including its Futureverse Platform featuring “Powered By Futureverse” tools and products.

As for the definition of the metaverse, the Futureverse founders said in an email to GamesBeat, “Simply put, we believe the metaverse is the next evolution of the internet. It is already happening around us everyday. We believe it can be defined by two key distinctions: immersive convergence, where the silos of user experience across applications merge into a unified experience, and data, wherein users are empowered to own and control their identity, social graph, content and value online. These components make for a seamless, interconnect experience. An early example of this can be seen in WeChat, where users can live their digital life within that platform. We believe more and more internet experiences will become immersive especially as AI tools make it easier for anyone to create. The Futureverse Platform is designed to make that content layer interoperable as well.”

Futureverse is using The Root Network, a blockchain and suite of protocols with ready-made runtimes for building next-generation metaverse apps, games, and experiences. The Root Network is integrated with Ripple’s XRPL, and supports the use of XRP as a gas token as well as the XLS-20 NFT standard.

“We are excited to continue to support the Futureverse vision and celebrate the Root Network’s integration with the XRP Ledger. While we’re at the earliest stages of what a project like this — and really the larger concept of the metaverse — can achieve, we at Ripple are thrilled to contribute to the foundational infrastructure layer and provide real utility to the end users of the open metaverse,” said Monica Long, president of Ripple, in a statement.

Futureverse’s series A funding round is the latest piece of the company’s recent momentum. In April, the company announced a strategic partnership with blue-chip NFT collection Cool Cats, integrating Cool Cats’ iconic brand with Futureverse’s cutting-edge technology and bringing Cool Cats NFT holders into the Futureverse ecosystem. In the last year, Futureverse has formed global strategic partnerships with renowned organizations including FIFA, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), Mastercard, Wimbledon, Death Row Records, Wētā Workshop, Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Keanu Reeves and Alexandra Grant.

“Futureverse has developed an immersive and vertically-integrated metaverse platform that acts as an AI technology provider, metaverse infrastructure builder, layer 1 architect, creative studio, and digital community all-in-one,” said Dan Tapiero, CEO of 10T, in a statement. “We look forward to supporting Aaron and his experienced team as they continue to achieve significant real-world commercial traction and scale Futureverse’s capabilities and offerings.”

Futureverse wants to be a major player in the metaverse, and so it is trying to execute on a plan to create an open, scalable, and interoperable infrastructure within the metaverse industry.

Asked about the blockchain being a smaller matter than in the past, the founders said, “Blockchains are an important part of the open metaverse, they allow users to truly own things, like their digital identity. Without community owned infrastructure, you can’t have true data ownership. That said, the Futureverse Platform is much bigger than just a blockchain. We have built many other technological components to make the seamless user experience of the open metaverse a reality.”

The rollup companies

Futureverse founders Aaron McDonald and Shara Senderoff.

The company has about 250 people around the world building infrastructure, tools and experiences. The Futureverse roll-up included the following companies:

Altered State Machine, leading AI protocol for AI-powered metaverse and game characters and content. https://alteredstatemachine.xyz/

Non-Fungible Labs, creative and engineering studio, designer of ecosystem avatars and world environments (including FLUF World) as well as “DOT”, Dynamic Object Transformer 3D programmatic avatar and asset creation software. https://nonfungiblelabs.xyz/

Sylo, developer of the Sylo protocol, decentralized communications for the metaverse powered by The Seekers gamified node infrastructure. https://sylo.io/

Centrapay, digital asset payments SDK, enabling Web3 payments in popular global payments networks. https://centrapay.com/

Centrapass, developer of the decentralized digital identity protocol/SDK and decentralized asset custody protocol. https://centrapass.com/

Immersve, a multi-chain payment protocol and web3 / metaverse Mastercard® product that bridges web3 and metaverse infrastructure with the Mastercard® network. https://immersve.com/

Shadows Interactive, an LA-based Animation Studio and creator of the Party Bear collection.

Altered Phoenix, a gaming studio with experience developing gaming titles covering a range of genres and platforms.

ATEM Car Club, seeks to push the boundaries of car culture into an immersive digital experience. https://atemcarclub.com/

Centrality, New Zealand’s leading blockchain tech venture ecosystem.

DRx, a digital streetwear community developing cutting-edge digitally augmented fashion.

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.