London-based Scriptic, a studio developing interactive phone-first shows and pioneering creative apps of generative AI in entertainment, announced on Thursday that it has secured $6.2M (approximately €5.7M) in the second close of a Seed round of funding.
This also brings the company’s total seed round to $8.7M (approximately €8M).
Scriptic initially received seed investment in 2021 from Vgames, Moonfire, and angel investors David Helgason and Kevin Lin.
Investor supporting Scriptic
The second close of Seed funding came from the Sony Innovation Fund.
Japan-based Sony Ventures Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation. It manages the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), which invests in emerging technology companies and startups addressing global environmental challenges.
SIF aims to support disruptive technologies, launch new businesses, and contribute to environmental solutions while seeking a return on investment.
Antonio Avitabile, MD-EU of Sony Ventures Corporation, which manages SIF, says, “Scriptic is emerging as a front-runner in the future of interactive entertainment, and we are excited to be partnering with the team for the next chapter of their growth journey in an area where we see tremendous opportunity.”
“Scriptic’s highly scalable, efficient and sophisticated mobile-first approach pushes the boundaries of interactive content, and we believe the company’s UGC offering has the potential to take this further by empowering the creativity of millions of everyday storytellers,” adds Avitabile.
The investment will be deployed as Scriptic grows its content pipeline of interactive, phone-first shows, and activates its UGC strategy by putting its AI-powered creator tools into the hands of external writers and storytellers.
Nihal Tharoor, CEO and co-founder of Scriptic, says, “It’s a huge honour to have Sony Innovation Fund join our roster of stellar investors, and we’re thrilled that they share our vision for the future of interactive media and storytelling.”
Entertaining the world with stories
Scriptic, co-founded by Nihal Tharoor and Benedict Tatham (Chief Creative Officer), specialises in creating interactive shows that simulate the smartphone and app experience, reflecting people’s digital lives.
They combine talents from TV and gaming with proprietary technology and generative AI to produce content like “Scriptic: Crime Stories”, recognised by BAFTA and available on Netflix’s gaming platform.
The company’s app has garnered over 1.5 million instals on Apple and Android devices, featuring episodic and short-form titles across various genres.
Scriptic employs a “phone-first” strategy for efficient, scalable, and accessible content production. Their emphasis on immersive interactivity appeals to both traditional gamers and mainstream audiences.
The company claims to be pioneering the use of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E, ElevenLabs, Midjourney, and Runway Gen-2 in collaboration with human creators. Their notable titles resulting from this approach include Dark Mode: a horror anthology, Viral: a zombie series, and You Be The Judge!, a comedic courtroom drama.
Scriptic’s long-term vision
Scriptic’s overarching goal is to develop both its own interactive phone-first shows and a user-generated content (UGC) platform. This platform aims to enable a wide range of creators to easily produce high-quality interactive dramas.
They plan to achieve this through a cloud-based creator suite that integrates various AI tools, including generative language models, diffusion models, and audio synthesis models, into a unified node-based service.
This initiative aligns with Scriptic’s commitment to fostering accessible and immersive storytelling experiences.
Scriptic’s content, notably Scriptic: Crime Stories, is now available in 12 languages on Netflix, demonstrating its global reach.
The company is in a phase of expansion with James Nicholls, a veteran in the gaming industry, joining as Studio Director to facilitate the growth of content and the user-generated content platform.
Scriptic is strategically hiring across different departments to support its expansion in areas like technology, production, marketing, creative, and design.