Didimo, a Portugal-based firm that creates digital models of humans, today announced that it’s raised more than $4.9 million from new and existing investors including Portugal Ventures, Farfetch UK Ltd., Bynd VC, Beta-I and LC Ventures.
The funding follows a recent $2 million grant from the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, bringing the company’s total seed financing to more than $8 million to date.
Didimo (meaning “twin” in Greek) is involved in creating high-fidelity 3D characters from a single selfie or scan. Also dubbing the end result a ‘Didimo’, the company says you only need to upload or scan a photo from a smartphone, which is then created into a ready-to-animate personalized 3D character in 20 seconds.
Founded in Portugal in 2016, CEO and founder Prof. Veronica Orvalho created the platform based off her research in computer graphics, which have been used by Universal Studios, Sony, Microsoft, Amazon and other European-funded research projects. Didimo now has 22 employees with teams in Porto, Portugal, Vancouver, Canada and London, UK.
The company says in a press statement that the funding will be used “to add to the technology team for product development and to continue commercialization and expansion through additional strategic partnerships.” The company has previous worked with companies such as Sony, Amazon, CeekVR, and Farfetch via pilot programs.
“Throughout history, we have seen barriers be built, only to be torn down again. Today, in our internet-driven world, we have more opportunities to connect than ever before. Yet, when communication is intermediated by technology, we often lose the humanness of that connection,” said Orvalho. “Our mission with the Didimo platform is to break down the barriers between the physical and digital worlds, helping humans transport themselves across that divide. We want to give everyone the chance to use technology based on the image we know best – our own.”
Orvalho’s research, the company says, is focused on “capturing the nuance of facial expressions in motion, mimicking the way in which we convey surprise, delight, sadness, and other emotions critical to the human experience.”
You can check out an example of a ‘Didimo’ digital human on the company’s website.