There are several ways to earn money in the metaverse by participating in play-to-earn games, buying virtual real estate, or creating 3D assets on metaverse platforms like Roblox, AltspaceVR, and VRChat. A South Korean 3D modeling software developer called Tripolygon allows metaverse creators to create their own 3D assets using Unity plugins.
“Creating 3D models is no longer a domain for experts or software developers,” said Tryipolgon CEO Jae-sik Hwang in an interview with TechCrunch.
The Seoul-based startup recently raised $5.2 million (KRW 6.5 billion) to accelerate its growth. The Series A funding brings its total raised to $5.7 million and values the company at around $25 million, Hwang said.
Tripolygon was founded in 2018 by Hwang, who previously worked as a senior engineer at Crytek, a German video game developer.
3D modeling software is like a set of tools to create 3D assets, Hwang explained, adding that by using 3D modeling software tools, users can create any type of 3D assets, such as buildings, accessories, objects and avatars. Tripolygon offers 3D modeling software (UModeler), plugins (UModeler X) and more as a subscription service for metaverse creators.
If users install Tripolygon’s UModeler in Unity, 3D modeling tools will be added to Unity, Hwang noted.
Most Unity engine users, such as programmers, game designers, and visual effects (VFX) artists, need to create 3D assets. Yet, it is not easy for them to learn 3D modeling software like 3ds Max, Maya and Blender, developed for 3D modeling experts and professional software developers. According to Hwang, with Tryipolygon’s service, they could create 3D assets with the familiar UX/UI in Unity without learning complicated software.
The startup’s main customers are Unity developers who use UModeler in the Unity Asset Store, Hwang said. To date, around 17,000 Unity developers are using UModeler and its monthly active users are close to 2,000, he noted.
Last October, Tripolygon partnered with Unity to become a Unity Verified Solutions Partner. Its product UModeler, a real-time 3D model production plugin, has been confirmed by Unity that its SDK is optimized for Unity editor and developers.
The latest funding was co-led by KB Investment and We Ventures, with participation from Naver Z and Strong Ventures.