UK-based Hadian, a UK-based distributed spatial computing startup working to build infrastructure for the growing Metaverse, has closed a $30 million seed round of funding from high-profile investors including Epic Games and Tencent.
In the year Founded in London in 2015, Hadian began with a broad mission to put “supercomputer processing power in the hands of anyone.” In the intervening years Hadian has been redefined for a variety of use cases and has emerged as a major player in the gaming sphere, where major breakthroughs such as Minecraft occur.
At its core, Hadean is about helping developers grow their codebases to support software that requires significant computing power, which Minecraft especially requires when it involves online multiplayer. Hadian’s location simulation library integrates with all major game engines and allows MMO (massively multiplayer online game) and other online game developers to avoid setting player limits or use other technical (but limited) methods to avoid problems. Created by hundreds or more players participating at the same time. It’s about avoiding the dreaded “lag” while maintaining the depth, complexity and realism of a single-player offline console game.
This is achieved through the magic of distributed computing with Hadian’s platform eliminating “excessive middleware, orchestration and over-engineering”, as the company puts it, providing as many or as few resources as a game needs.
But the underlying technology can be used for anything, from asset-based enterprise applications to web 3.0, blockchain and the metaverse. In July, Hadian was awarded a contract with the British Army to build a simulated training environment for ground warfare.
And it’s against that backdrop that Hadian has secured a number of celebrity supporters who are now eager to get in at an early stage, with the balance still in its early years.
The Telegraph newspaper reported earlier last month [paywalled]A CIA-backed non-profit venture capital firm based in Virginia, US, has received nearly $18 million in initial funding from investors including Chinese tech giants Tencent and Inc. It’s still in the process of closing the funding round, which we’re announcing today.
The full list of (known) backers includes leading investor Moulton Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit), Tencent, 2050 Capital, Alumni Ventures, Aster Capital, Entrepreneur First, InQtel, and the mighty Epic Games, which will be Hadia’s client. In fact, Epic Games has previously provided Hadian with funding in the form of megagrants, which are basically grants to support the engine that doesn’t support companies working on projects.
In an email to TechCrunch, Hadian CEO Craig Beddis said that Epic Games was late to the Series A round and had to invest in a convertible note, which is essentially short-term debt that turns into equity.
Additionally, Epic Games recently raised nearly $2 billion to build what it claims is a kid-friendly Metraverse, and that gives further clues as to why it’s now investing directly in Hadian.
“Hadian’s computing power provides the infrastructure needed,” Mark Petty, who serves as Epic’s VP of Unreal Engine Ecosystem, said in a statement. “The company’s technology complements Epic’s Unreal Engine by enabling a greater number of users and opening up new tools for creators and developers.”
In light of the current geopolitical conflict between China and the US, Tencent’s participation is also noteworthy. Hadian took less money than Tencent offered to remain compliant with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) and avoid a national security review.
With another $30 million in the bank, in addition to an earlier seed round of nearly $16.5 million, Hadian is well-funded to double down on its startups in the gaming, government, and enterprise realms and develop all kinds of energy. web 3.0 and metaverse applications.
“Hadian’s mission is to connect the physical and virtual worlds – to help us make better decisions and ultimately improve the quality of our lives in the physical world,” Beddis said. “Today’s virtual worlds are limited experiences – small-scale, siloed and insecure. So why are these the technical challenges we are solving today? But we believe the true success and mass adoption of Metavas will depend on the ease with which creators can build their own experiences at scale.