Atlas, a groundbreaking 3D generative AI platform, has just recently emerged from two years of being in stealth mode, and is now armed with $6 million in seed funding. This financial support comprises a $4.5 million round led by 6th Man Ventures (6MV) and an additional $1.5 million round led by Collab+Currency. The platform, positioned as a game-changer in the industry, collaborates with game developers and brands to construct virtual worlds at unprecedented speeds, disrupting conventional methods. Atlas enables developers to effortlessly create intricate 3D models from reference images and text.
Established in early 2021 and headquartered in Vienna, the startup was founded by Ben James, a self-taught coder with a background in architecture. In a recent interview with TechCrunch, James highlighted his unique perspective at the intersection of design and technology. He shared, “I thought that there would maybe be an interesting way to look at architecture through the guise of machine vision. 2D drawings like plans and sections are inherently embedded with three-dimensional information, and what we started playing around with at Atlas was if there was a way to connect machine vision learning information from 2D imagery and bring that into the 3D world.”
Atlas, an early recipient of a research grant from the European Union’s High-Level Expert Group on AI, meticulously developed its technology in compliance with the union’s Ethical Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence.
The startup’s proprietary software, crafted in-house by a team of experts in AI, gaming, and design, aspires to serve as a collaborative design partner by optimizing workflows for designers and creators. According to Atlas, past projects have witnessed a remarkable 200x increase in speed. Notable partners include Consortium 9, along with Shrapnel and Square Enix, who have transitioned from partners to investors. The company also collaborates with small and indie game developers, offering them the capability to generate virtual worlds, creative assets, and designs consistent with existing intellectual property.
While the platform is currently exclusive to enterprise and commercial use, Atlas plans to initiate alpha testing for a public platform targeting small and indie developers in the coming months. This platform will enable users to upload reference images and indicators of their specific game style and aesthetic, receiving a finely tuned AI model in return.
Addressing the startup’s business model, James stated that Atlas will adhere to a standard license-based model. The recent funding they have secured will be utilized to expedite the expansion of developer solutions and the development of a self-service 3D AI creator platform. Key participants in their funding rounds included a16z Scouting Fund via Shrapnel, Contango, Gaingels, GFR Fund, New Renaissance Ventures, Square Enix, and Wagmi Ventures.
James expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with next-gen content creators, envisioning a future where individuals without 3D modeling or coding experience can bring their visions to life using Atlas. According to their founder, an individual person who doesn’t have any 3D modeling experience, or coding experience, but does have an amazing vision for a virtual world, would be empowered to create their vision.
The company anticipates that once Atlas completes the development of the right tech stack, it will unlock a plethora of new possibilities in the realm of content creation.