ObEN, Inc., a Pasadena, California-basecelebrity AI platform, raised $5m in funding.
The round – which brings total funding to date to more than $13.7m – was led by Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent) (SEHK: 00700), with participation from Li Ruigang, Chairman of CMC and Fengshion Capital.
The new funding will accelerate product development and grow ObEN’s AI platform for future use in a wide range of digital platforms.
Led by Nikhil Jain, co-founder and CEO, ObEN provides a platform that combines speech, computer vision and natural language processing technology to construct a person’s virtual voice, 3D image and personality to create a full-stack virtual celebrity. It enables celebrities to control and deploy their Personal AI to create scalable but personalized experiences with their audiences, grow their fan bases and enter new markets.
The company is creating a future marketplace where celebrities and their fans can interact directly through their Personal AI, across a variety of products and services in mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and IoT.
The Personal AI product is expected to launch later this year.
Last month, ObEN announced the formation of AI Stars, a joint venture with S.M. Entertainment, one of Asia’s largest entertainment companies with an extensive portfolio of global celebrities including Kpop phenomenons EXO, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, NCT 127, and TVXQ! among others. AI Stars merges ObEN’s Personal AI technology with S.M. Entertainment’s global artists and premium content to deliver products and services that combine celebrity IP with AI technology.