AnotherBall, a digital entertainment company focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and Web3, has raised US$2.2 million in funding from various angel investors. The new venture, led by Shunsuke Oyu (also known as 'Captain'), has also introduced its own VTuber project called IZUMO.
Some of the angel investors involved in the AnotherBall funding include:
- Hiroaki Kitano (CTO at Sony Group Corporation)
- Jaynti Kanani (Founder of Polygon)
- Justin Waldron (Founder of PlayCo)
- Keisuke Honda (KSK Angel Fund, professional soccer player)
- Kevin Aluwi (ex-CEO at GoJek)
- Kevin Lin (Co-founder of Twitch, CEO at Metatheory)
- Rehito Hatoyama (ex-CEO at Sanrio Media & Pictures Entertainment, and Advisor to Azuki's creator company Chiru Labs)
- Richard Ma (CEO at Quantstamp)
- Shintaro Yamada (CEO at Mercari)
- Sota Watanabe & Yusuke Obinata (Next Web Capital)
- Suji Yan (CEO at Mask Network)
- Taizo Son (CEO at Mistletoe)
- Roy "Zeneca" Bhasin (CEO at ZenAcademy)
According to the company, IZUMO is a VTuber project in the age of AI and Web3, with a mission to build a sustainable platform where everyone can live as they want to be in the Web3 space, leveraging VTubing technology.
As part of the project, it has released its first character Ailis, described as "a humanoid singing android with the mission of "connecting the world," is an incomplete being and needs the support of fans to give her life."
According to Captain, Ailis is born as a free asset project, which he aims to be a stepping stone for creators globally and connect virtually instantly, hence Ailis's avatar assets are released for free, even for commercial use. He explains it further in one of his updates on Substack:
Releasing these assets before establishing the brand carries significant risks for the project. However, we believe that the concept of "a community, not a single company, owning the character" is essential to our mission, so we decided to take the first step. We have faith in our IZUMO fans.
Ailis is not just a cute character but was born to be at the intersection of IP and new technology. We think these elements are crucial steps towards a world where creators can earn a living while engaging in creative work, and we sincerely hope that Ailis will become a catalyst for many creators' artistic endeavors.
Captain led PRISM Project since its conceptualization back in 2021. In May 2022, entertainment giant Sony Music Entertainment Japan took over the management of the agency as part of its efforts to expand its VTuber endeavors.
At that same time, Captain had announced that he had stepped down from his executive role at PRISM, with Shogun now overseeing the project's activities as its executive producer. He is currently an advisor to the project.