Jabali Raises $5M to Build a Generative AI-Powered Game Engine of the Future

Led by game industry veterans from Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft, and leading AI researchers,  the company is committed to revolutionizing game development

SAN FRANCISCO & RALEIGH, N.C.  – March 6, 2024 – Jabali, an AI company advancing game engines and empowering visionary game designers and developers, announced that it has raised a $5 million seed round led by BITKRAFT Ventures with participation from Sapphire Sport, Sony Innovation Fund, Canonical Ventures, and angels from Amazon, Google AI, Open AI, and Pinterest. The investment will be used to expand the Jabali team, refine proprietary models, and accelerate the product launch.

Jabali's founding team is composed of gaming executives from Amazon, Meta, Zynga and Microsoft along with leading AI researchers with extensive publications in prominent journals such as AAAI and IEEE. Combined the team has over 50 years of gaming experience and the games technology and games built by this team has been used by thousands of game developers and played by a billion players. Jabali is committed to transforming the processes and tools used to create games –  removing major roadblocks like excessive coding or complicated workflows – into something that anyone with a creative vision can use.

The company’s generative AI-powered game engine will let users create new types of games and interactive experiences without needing extensive game development knowledge. Jabali is creating a purpose-built, closed-loop feedback workflow and technology for video games and interactive experiences, utilizing the advances in multimodal generative AI.

"At Jabali, we believe that AI is the next chapter of innovation in video games. We need a revolutionary engine, built from the ground up incorporating advancements in generative AI. Our engine revisits what a game engine can do, enabling more people to make games and new experiences,” shared Jabali Founder and CEO, Vatsal Bhardwaj.  Jabali is interested in partnering with visionary game makers who want to revolutionize the way games are created and exploring new game mechanics using AI.

"Today's engines were built 25 years ago and we see an opportunity with Jabali to democratize game creation and drive innovation in today's growing $200B+ gaming industry,” added Scott Rupp, Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. "With Vatsal's experience in building games and games technology at Meta, Amazon and Zynga and Dr. Arnav Jhala's extensive expertise in AI and video games research at NC State University and UC Santa Cruz, Jabali is poised to fundamentally change how developers make games and how gamers play them.” The founding team also includes Toufeeq Hussain, who was a product executive at Amazon and led the creation of multiple game services.

"Game engines are a critical driver to the expansion of creative capability and reach. Jabali is addressing fundamental shifts in game development requiring multi-modal generative AI technology to be built from the core of the game engine. This approach will not only supercharge game studios but also enhance game development and foster a new generation of game creators,” said Joseph Tou, Managing Director – U.S., Sony Ventures. “AI is disruptive across almost all sectors and Jabali's commitment, experience, and purpose-built application positions it as a leader in shaping the future of game creation.”

The company is hiring. For more information regarding Jabali and the company’s open roles, please visit the Careers page.

About Jabali

Jabali's mission is to democratize creation and bring innovation to video games. Jabali is building an AI-native engine to empower visionaries, game designers and developers. Jabali will offer a comprehensive, easy-to-use, engine to create games and interactive experiences. Jabali's founding team has worked on products such as Oculus, Windows, Bluetooth, Viddy, game engines, video games; taught game programming to 100s of students, started Starcraft competitions and build large scale cloud services. Learn more at www.jabali.ai

About BITKRAFT Ventures
BITKRAFT Ventures is a leading global investment platform for gaming and Web3 according to research from InvestGame and Drake Star Partners. Founded by industry pioneer Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT serves a worldwide network that spans many of the industry’s forward-thinking startups and founders—including former executives from the likes of Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Epic Games, Google, and Apple who are working to build and operate the virtual worlds and economies of the future. BITKRAFT operates four venture funds with a total of over $830M in assets under management and has over 100 companies in its global portfolio as of August 2022.

BITKRAFT’s experienced international team works closely with exceptional entrepreneurs to create significant value through early candid partnerships, unique domain experience, entrepreneurial history, and a global ecosystem of strategic partners. Find out more about how BITKRAFT and its portfolio companies are pushing the boundaries of Synthetic Reality® by visiting https://www.bitkraft.vc/vision.

About Sapphire

Sapphire Sport is the first-of-its-kind ~$300M AUM venture strategy that brings together the capital and industry experience of premier global sporting, media and lifestyle brands, including City Football Group, adidas, AEG, MSG, Sinclair, Arctos, Bank of Montreal and principal owners and investors from franchises in all major U.S. sports leagues. Sapphire Sport primarily invests in Seed, Series A and B-stage technology companies (both B2B2C and B2C) that are powering the next generation of consumer behavior across media, digital commerce, gaming, health and human performance, culture and community. Sapphire Sport is currently investing out of its $181M second fund, announced in January 2023

About Sony Ventures Corporation    

Sony Ventures Corporation manages the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), which invests in all stages of emerging technology companies as well as in startups solving global environmental challenges. SIF engages with pioneering startups to help fuel the development of disruptive technologies, launch new businesses, and contribute to the environment while seeking return on investment. Sony Ventures Corporation is headquartered in Japan. Learn more at www.sonyinnovationfund.com.