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Google acquires avatar startup

The American corporation Google acquired the developer of technology for creating avatars using artificial intelligence - Alter. According to a source from TechCrunch, the deal was valued at about $100 million. This is how Google will try to expand its content and compete more successfully with short video service TikTok.

The parties completed the deal about two months ago and did not notify the public about it, the source told TechCrunch. However, some Alter executives have updated their LinkedIn profiles to indicate that they have joined Google Avatars.

A representative of the corporation confirmed that the corporation bought the startup, but declined to comment on the financial part of the deal.

Based in the US and the Czech Republic, Alter offers plug-and-play technology to game and app developers that allows creators to add avatar systems to their programs. The startup was previously called Facemoji and received $3 million in funding from Play Ventures, Roosh Ventures and Twitter.

Google has been investing heavily in its AI technology in recent years. The company intends to make AI the core of its product portfolio, from language learning models to image generators.

The recently released Pixel 7 smartphone is able to better process photos and translate speech with the help of AI. Google plans to roll out Alter's technology to YouTube Shorts, which is likely to integrate Google Avatars.

Alter aims to create AI avatars not only of people, but also of clothing and accessories. For example, a user can buy an NFT of a designer bag and add it to their avatar. In addition, this technology is integrable into video games and metaverses.

Google acquires avatar startup