Artificial Intelligence Company ObEN Raises $5 Million In Strategic Funding Led By Tencent

ObEN, a full-stack AI company, is building the world’s first celebrity AI platform to create next generation experiences and content

BEIJING, China and PASADENA, Calif., July 18, 2017  ObEN, Inc (ObEN), an artificial intelligence (AI) company that is building the world’s first celebrity AI platform, today announced that it raised $5 million in strategic funding led by Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent) (SEHK: 00700), with participation from Li Ruigang, Chairman of CMC and Fengshion Capital. This brings ObEN’s total funding to date to more than $13.7 million.

ObEN’s AI platform empowers celebrities to quickly create, securely store, and efficiently distribute their Personal AI, a virtual copy that looks, sounds and behaves like its human counterpart. Unlike current solutions which are fragmented and time-consuming, ObEN is the first to combine speech, computer vision and natural language processing technology to construct a person’s virtual voice, 3D image and personality to create a full-stack virtual celebrity. ObEN empowers celebrities to seamlessly control and deploy their Personal AI to create scalable but personalized experiences with their audiences, grow their fan bases and enter new markets, all while saving valuable time. ObEN is creating a future marketplace where celebrities and their fans can interact directly through their Personal AI, across a variety of products and services in mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and IoT. ObEN’s Personal AI product is expected to launch later this year.

“As technology rapidly evolves and moves towards applications using AI, we are excited by ObEN and their AI solution which is poised to enrich user experiences across different online platforms”, said Levin Yao, Executive Director of Tencent Investment. “ObEN’s vision of creating a new form of entertainment and content driven by celebrity AI is inspiring.”

The new funding will accelerate product development and grow ObEN’s AI platform for future use in a wide range of digital platforms.

“We are thrilled with Tencent’s strategic investment which serves as validation from one of the world’s premier social and gaming platforms,” said Nikhil Jain, cofounder and CEO of ObEN, Inc. “Fans may never have a personal experience with their favorite celebrity, but ObEN’s Personal AI for celebrities aims to change that. Imagine being able to perform a virtual duet with your favorite artist, have your beloved movie star become the face and voice of your virtual assistant, or engage in a deep conversation with your most admired influencer. The possibilities are infinite.”

Last month, ObEN announced the formation of AI Stars, a joint venture with S.M. Entertainment, one of Asia’s largest entertainment companies with an extensive portfolio of global celebrities including Kpop phenomenons EXO, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, NCT 127, and TVXQ! among others. AI Stars merges ObEN’s Personal AI technology with S.M. Entertainment’s global artists and premium content to deliver products and services that combine celebrity IP with AI technology.

About ObEN

ObEN is an artificial intelligence (AI) company that creates complete virtual identities for consumers and celebrities, enabling never before possible social and virtual interactions. ObEN builds a person’s virtual voice, image and personality to create their Personal AI and then stores, manages, and helps monetize these assets in the digital world. Founded in 2014, ObEN is a Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Vive X portfolio company and is located at Idealab in Pasadena, California. To learn more about ObEN, please visit oben.com.

About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our social products Weixin and QQ link our users to a rich digital content catalogue including games, video, music and books. Our proprietary targeting technology helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our infrastructure services including payment, security, cloud and artificial intelligence create differentiated offerings and support our partners’ business growth. Tencent invests heavily in people and innovation, enabling us to evolve with the Internet.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.hk) are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Jeff Hare
jeff@oben.com
(+1) 818.726.9238

Kennis Lau
kennislau@tencent.com
(86) 755 86013388 ext 68958/ (852) 3148 5100

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ObEN's proprietary artificial intelligence technology quickly combines a person's 2D image and voice to create a personal 3D avatar. Transport your personal avatar into virtual reality and augmented reality environments and enjoy deeper, social, more memorable experiences. Founded in 2014, ObEN is an HTC VIVE X portfolio company and is located in Pasadena, California at leading technology incubator Idealab.


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