Chinese media outlet 36Kr reported on Wednesday that PSYAI, an extended reality (XR) development enterprise, announced that it had completed three rounds of financing worth a total amount of over 10 million dollars.
The company’s angel investment round was supported by Yuanhe Capital while GoldenSand Capital invested in Pre-A Round and SIG invested in Pre-A+ Round. The funds collected will be mainly used to strengthen the R&D of the company’s cloud rendering and other related technologies.
Based on a self-developed XR engine, the company provides virtual production services using the SaaS (software as a service) model for many industries such as e-commerce, live-streaming, concerts, business conferences, social media communications, virtual human assistants and customer service. The firm can also provide real-time 3D interactive content production services for enterprises at a lower threshold.
A 3D interactive engine is based on a complex tool chain which traditionally provided services for game companies and higher-end film productions. The superimposing of real-time computing on the engine requires much more advanced cloud computing, edge computing and artificial intelligence algorithms.
The founding team of the firm is mainly composed of former senior experts in the video and film industries who have conducted long-term and in-depth cooperation and discussions with leaders of machine vision such as The Third Floor and Pixar in Hollywood as well as of former executives of Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, and researchers from the frontier fields of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
An Chenghai, co-founder and COO of the firm, said: “In the past six months, we have spent a lot of energy doing one thing well, namely, measuring the product-market fit (PMF) of XR engine products. At present, there are cooperation cases in the domestic fields of top e-commerce enterprises, concerts and virtual human operations.”
Among them, virtual humans are one of the most important applications of XR technology development. In recent years, especially since the “metaverse” viral in 2021, virtual humans are being accepted by the public. However, in the current technological ecosystem, different types of virtual humans need different supporting teams and technologies. For example, for high-definition digital humans, they usually need an animation video production team with a certain scale to support their output, and, moreover, they cannot interact in real time. More specifically, virtual idols often need to invest in professional capture equipment, including expression capture equipment worth at least million of yuan, and technological teams to support them.
The company’s XR engine is opening up the path between the virtual world and reality. The engine is able to unify in real-time expressions, motion capture, ultra-low delay transmission and real-time cloud rendering while maintaining a high degree of likeness to reality.
Based on its own SaaS platform, the company has also created its virtual human called An Ruohan. According to the introduction of its team, An has been collecting the technological exploration achievements of the company for more than one year. In the pilot phase on Bilibili, the audience was impressed by its human-like display and interaction.