Google paid a reported $100 million to acquire Alter, an artificial intelligence (AI) avatar startup seed funded in part by Twitter. The company’s technology helps creators and brands express their virtual identity.
The acquisition was completed about two months ago with a goal to boost content and better compete with TikTok, a source told TechCrunch.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the acquisition to Search & Performance Marketing Daily.
Alter founder Jon Slimak has changed his LinkedIn workplace status to Avatars at Google. One month ago, he posted on LinkedIn: “Excited to share that I’m starting a new position building Avatars at Google.”
Slimak’s post suggests that Google used Alter to support its avatar business.
Robin Raszka, the other Alter co-founder, wrote on LinkedIn: “Taking a break, brb.”
Slimak and Raszka started the company as Facemoji, a platform that offered plug-and-play technology to help game and app developers put avatar systems into their apps. Then rebranded to Alter.
Investors Play Ventures, Roosh Ventures, and Twitter initially infused the company with $3 million in seed funding.