Curiosity, a Dutch venture capital fund focused on seed-stage investments in AI startups of Northern Europe, today announces its second investment. In collaboration with ZAKA Ventures, $800.000 was made available to support further growth of the Estonian startup Alpha AR.
The growth and popularity of virtual environments causes an increasing demand in 3D models and so-called ‘digital twins’. In response to these developments, co-founders Madis Alesmaa, Rait-Eino Laarmann and Gholamreza Anbarjafari decided to start their company Alpha AR. Since 2018, the technology of this startup has enabled users to automatically transform 2D images to 3D models, without any additional skills or experience in 3D modelling necessary. By using machine learning, Alpha AR's platform takes care of the complete transformation process and creates high-quality 3D models, more cost-efficient and quicker than ever before. These models are suitable for a.o. augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), virtual try-ons, NFT, and the metaverse. By offering an online platform for the use of the technology, Alpha AR's software is deployable worldwide.
"The combination of advanced technology and strong entrepreneurship creates tremendous growth potential for Alpha AR. The startup has already attracted well-known international brands as customers, and there's a waiting list now. We're looking forward to support Alpha AR in their ambition to becoming a global player in 3D content creation," Herman Kienhuis, managing partner of Curiosity, states.
The invested $800.000 creates a total of $1 million in funding raised by the startup. This amount will be used for further development of the AI platform and international expansion. Specifically, Alpha AR aims to play a key role in the growth of the metaverse: virtual environments, existing out of a combination of elements of various technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and video communication, resulting in a blend between the online- and physical world. Examples of the metaverse are games such as Fortnite, and fashion stores offering the possibility to try on clothes virtually. The metaverse is expected to play an increasingly important role in industries such as gaming, entertainment, social media, productivity, and retail.
“We’re very excited to see such a strong interest in our company and technology. The funding raised brings us one step closer to reaching our goal of growing into the market leader for the development of the metaverse”, co-founder and CEO of Alpha AR, Madis Alesmaa, states.
Alpha AR is in its early commercialization phase and is working with big international brands such as Renault, Meta, Farfetch, WANNA, PWC, VivaTech, Publicis, Threedium and Plug and Play. The startup’s innovative technology has been confirmed by various nominations and awards. For example, Alpha AR has already been nominated for the Retail Futures 2020 Innovation Challenge Prize from London's Fashion District, has been one of the finalists for LVMH’s Innovation Award, and received first place in the How to Web's 2021 Spotlight competition.
About Alpha AR
Alpha AR is an Estonian based Startup founded in 2018 by Madis Alesma and Rait-Eino Laarmann. Alpha´s technology enables users to turn any 2D image into a 3D model automatically, without requiring any special skills or experience in 3D modelling.
Curiosity is an Amsterdam-based venture capital firm, focusing on early-stage investments in AI-driven software companies in the Benelux, Nordics and Baltics. The firm was founded in 2021 by experienced investors Herman Kienhuis (McKinsey, SanomaDigital, KPN Ventures, River Venture Partners) and Maurice Beckand Verwee (Walvis Participaties, Crosspring, River Venture Partners). Curiosity Early Stage Fund Coöperatief U.A. is registered with the Dutch Financial Authority (AFM) as an alternative investment fund.