Unity Technologies acquires Ziva Dynamics for its character creation tech
It’s the second acquisition of a B.C. business by the San Francisco-based software giant in under two years.
Vancouver’s Ziva Dynamics, which develops sophisticated character simulation software, has been acquired by San Francisco-based Unity Technologies, according to a post published Monday morning on the Unity blog.
Why it matters: Unity says it is “laser-focused on democratizing tools for creators, so that the industry’s most brilliant gems are available to all, not just a select few.” It's the reason for a slew of recent acquisitions the firm has made, including startups like SpeedTree, SyncSketch and Pixyz. The acquisition of Ziva, which has built cutting-edge, machine-learning-powered simulation tech, brings Unity closer to its ultimate goal.
That goal? “To make it easier, faster, and cheaper to have artists and all creators realize their visions. according to Unity’s Marc Whitten.
As an example of the innovation Ziva has created, it used a hyper-realistic digital human, Emma, to make the announcement. Watch below:
More about Emma: “Emma is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning, and is running in real-time in Unity. Her model was trained with over 30 terabytes of unique 4D data using the ZRT Trainer, which enables her to emote over 72,000 trained shapes and achieve entirely novel face poses… And soon, it will be accessible to artists and creators of all levels.”
Background: Ziva was founded by Academy Award winner James Jacobs and USC associate professor of computer science Jernej Barbic in 2015. Later that year, the startup took second place in the annual New Ventures BC Competition.
Funding: The company raised nearly CAD $10 million in 2020 from Grishin Robotics, Toyota AI Ventures and Millennium Technology Value Partners’ New Horizons Fund. Plus, in 2018, the firm secured a $2 million investment facility from TIMIA Capital.
Repeat buyer: Ziva isn’t the first B.C. firm that Unity has snapped up in recent years. In May 2020, immersive technology developer Finger Food Advanced Technology Group was bought by Unity for its real-time 3d technologies, which attracted customers like Lowe’s, Enbridge, and Softbank Robotics.
For M&A news, subscribe to our newsletter: