Porto, Portugal, October 11, 2022 — Didimo, the leader in high-quality digital human avatars, announces a $7.15M Series A round to bring incomparable speed, quality, and scalability to game studios and businesses so they can literally put you inside games, retail experiences, and so much more.
The funding round, led by Armilar Venture Partners, with participation of Bright Pixel Capital, Portugal Ventures, and Techstars, enables Didimo to expand its best-in-class approach which simplifies what is typically a heavily complex and expensive 3D avatar creation process into one single step. Their proprietary cloud-based platform operates at runtime and is significantly more cost-effective for companies. Creating an accurate digital twin usually takes days of effort; Didimo cuts that to about 60 seconds.
Want to play right next to and face-to-face with Stephen Curry, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Tom Brady? Didimo’s robust pipeline means game developers, brands and companies can now turn 2D facial (and soon body) images into a 3D digital version of themselves at speed, scale, and immersion never seen in the market to date. Consumers can see their actual self playing against their favorite sports star in a video game, dancing with their friends at a virtual concert, or trying on fashion in eCommerce sites to pick a perfectly fitting outfit. Truly life-like avatars allow businesses to transform their services, experiences, and benefits, driving revenue and loyalty. Didimo consolidates a heavily complex 3D avatar creation process into a single-step, cloud-based platform that operates at runtime and is cost-effective for companies. The proprietary, AI-based system has earned 3 patents for the unique use of computer graphics, computer vision and deep learning technologies and the ability to serve highly detailed files quickly and easily. This makes it possible for businesses of all kinds to turn a customer’s selfie into a 3D digital version of that person in just seconds — something that could not be achieved before Didimo — and offer immersive, personalized experiences.
“Didimo’s mission has always been to make the digital world more human by bringing the richness of emotional expression and personalization to experiences,” says Didimo founder, CEO Verónica Orvalho. “We can empower people to do naturally in digital spaces what they do in the real world, like try on clothes, pick up and explore products, compete in a game or entertain their friends. Our technology means people engage with computing in more human and authentic ways.”
Pedro Ribeiro Santos, a partner at Armilar Venture Partners, explains what motivated the new investment in the startup: “We have been closely involved with Didimo for a few years and have watched this technology advance quickly, from its academic roots shaped over several years of R&D, to become an enterprise-grade product offering an entirely new engagement model with people at the center. We believe that the company’s product offers an immense opportunity, as businesses look for scalable ways through which they can provide deeper value — and earn greater revenue — from their consumer base, by stimulating user attraction, engagement, and retention.”
The US company, with offices in Porto, Portugal, and the UK will use the recently raised capital to drive global commercial growth, advance product development and create additional support options for customers.
Beyond user-specific digital twins, the Didimo platform can easily generate non-playable characters (NPCs) and realistic characters at speed and scale, helping studios and experience designers quickly populate their worlds with high-quality characters. The modular platform uses industry-standard tools and formats like Mixamo, ARKit, Amazon Polly, and more, enabling designers to quickly build to their desired specs, saving time and money.
Current customers and partners include NOS Communications, Ceek, Soleil Game Studios, Sony, Grenoble Ecole du Management, tagSpace, Valaclava, Atom Stars, Unstitched and more.
Didimo Inc is the leading creator of high-fidelity digital human avatars. With a patented, cloud-based technology platform, Didimo can generate high-fidelity, fully animatable and customizable digital humans for use in any digital touchpoint or experience. Generation can happen from a photo, video, or scan and is completed in around 60 seconds, opening this breakthrough pipeline to provide an individual’s digital twin — a didimo — at scale and at run time, to solve real-world business needs for all types of companies. Didimo’s mission is to bring the richness of human engagement to every digital interaction. Didimo has offices in Porto and London.
Armilar is Portugal’s leading VC funds manager. An independent VC with a history of more than 20 years, a high-performance track record and an international footprint, focusing on early-stage technology-based companies where data, digitization, and connectivity play a central role. Currently, Armilar’s funds under management amount to about €300 million, deployed typically as lead investor in seed to early-stage deals in companies in Portugal, Europe, and the USA.
The Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. The fund is also co-financed by Fundo de Capital e Quase Capital (FC&QC), managed by Banco Português de Fomento, S.A.
Didimo’s Initial Investors
Early support came from investors Portugal Ventures, Armilar Venture Partners, Bynd Venture Capital, Ideias Glaciares, Bright Pixel Capital/Sonae, Banco Português de Fomento, LC Venture Partners, EU Horizon 2020 Fund, and Techstars.