Google has acquired an artificial intelligence (AI) avatar startup for about $100 million to better compete with TikTok and boost its content game. Alter helps creators and brands express their virtual identities.
The source said the acquisition was completed nearly two months ago. However, neither of the companies disclosed it to the public. Notably, some of Alter’s top executives updated their LinkedIn profiles showing that they joined Google without acknowledging the acquisition. The source requested anonymity as they are sharing nonpublic information.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company had acquired Alter but refused to comment on the deal’s financial terms.
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The US and Czech-headquartered Alter started its journey as Facemoji, which is a platform that offered plug-and-play tech to assist game and app developers in adding avatar systems into their apps. The startup secured $3 million in seed funding from investors, including Twitter, Play Ventures, and Roosh Ventures.
Facemoji later rebranded as Alter. A person familiar with the matter said Google hopes to use Alter to enhance its content offerings. Alter founders Robin Raszka, and Jon Slimak have not commented on the matter.