How this French startup is building an animation gateway for the world of the metaverse

5 May, 2022

The metaverse, while gaining popularity recently in the web3 world, has been around as a concept for almost 30 years. Defined as a simulated digital environment, it infuses augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain into social media concepts to create spaces for richer user online interaction that mimics the real world.

To a large extent, at this very nascent stage of metaverse development, whatever the metaverse is promising is what video game producers have been working on for decades.

What is driving this uptrend is community-based virtual worlds, such as Roblox, where players enjoy creator powers to control a virtual world. Additionally, the pandemic has accelerated the growth of metaverse worlds such as The Sandbox and Decentraland. 

And France has a head start. The country is home to famous schools of engineering and creation that produce amazing 3D designers and animators. The country is today the world’s second largest video game producer with digital video gaming revenue projected to hit US$3.8 billion by 2025. 

VC-turned-founder Yassine Tahi is among France’s new wave of web3 entrepreneurs looking to quicken, support, and usher in the future of blockchain-powered online gaming. His company, Kinetix, is democratising 3D animation for web3 builders.

This week, they announced their US$11M seed round.

Here, Yassine shares why his company is needed as we all accelerate into the metaverse – and what he predicts will be the next trends in this space.

“We had to venture further into the metaverse”

Yassine had an initial understanding of entrepreneurship, having dabbled in the online marketplace space and being an investor. 

Itching to get into the trenches himself, Yassine was clear about his strengths and weaknesses; he needed to find a builder to kickstart his founder journey.

He joined Entrepreneur First where he met Henri Mirande, a tech builder who shared his love of gaming and the entertainment industry. They recognised that the use case for 3D animation had exploded alongside the booming online gaming market. Players of online games were doubling up as creators, constructing ultra-high-definition avatars, virtual spaceships, and more. 

“It became obvious that we had to venture into the metaverse,” tells Yassine, “I see great potential for the metaverse in France. For starters, gaming is a huge thing in France and we have plenty of talents. Furthermore, all of the smartest people I know today are moving to create companies in the web3 space. This is super interesting and inspiring to see and the metaverse and NFTs are my opportunities.”

That was the catalyst that saw them buckling down to build an AI SaaS solution for studios – and everyone interested in making film-like quality 3D animation – just with an existing video. That solution became their company, Kinetix.

How the platform works
How the platform works

“Create a limitless world.”

Yassine only sees this new world intensifying – and Kinetix aims to be a central part of that. 

“We have seen how social media has changed the world,” shares Yassine, “I believe that the metaverse is going to be a virtual world on steroids. We will all be spending our time there, with brands competing for our attention.

This opportunity opens the doors for us to rethink and rebuild from the values we want to share, how we operate to create a limitless world without borders for people anywhere in the world. We are beginning to see this through gamification. It’s exciting to see how this brings more entertainment into our lives and makes it more fun.”

There is also the expanding play-to-earn model where gamers can enjoy a wide range of revenue streams through the various in-game assets, like NFTs, giving people more incentives to participate. Axie Infinity is an example of a popular P2E online video game which includes in-game creatures called “Axies” that players collect and use to complete daily quests and duel other players. As of March 2022, there are nearly 2.7 million monthly Axie players in its ecosystem. 

“Gaming is now becoming more than a pastime; it can also be your next revenue stream for your finances. With greater rewards up for grabs, more are flocking to play blockchain-based online games,” explains Yassine. 

“However, while these platforms are free and open, not everyone is tech-savvy enough to use them, some might never have coded a day in their lives. Our technology simplifies this process for them. Anyone can upload any video that they have from their own social platform and turn them into games-quality 3D animations and push it as NFTs to sell via our marketplace or in other virtual worlds.

We are also working to offer our users opportunities to use their animations to play games in these virtual worlds of their choice where they can reap the compounding effects as the value of their creation appreciates.

In this way, we solve two fundamental bottlenecks in the metaverse at the same time by making it seamless for any gamer to create quality 3D animations and earn through NFTs and also transit from one virtual world to another.” 

Their solution is the “right time, right place” innovation made for the global explosion of virtual worlds. The promise of Kinetix’s technology to open the floodgates of creativity and enrich virtual world communities had led to their close of an US$11 million seed round. It is truly an enabler to quicken the growth and the future of digital expression and monetisation in web 3.0.

“This is just the beginning of the better things to come. While our platform is built in France where we have great talents, our go-to-market strategy from day one is global,” notes Yassine, “We are part of the next-generation companies, looking to expand to markets like the US, Korea, India, and beyond.” 


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