Daily Crunch: London-based Space Computing Startup Hadean Closes $30M Series A

Backed by Epic Games, distributed computing startup Hadean raises $30 million to power the metaverse

Hadean, a UK-based distributed spatial computing startup that sets out to build the infrastructure for the burgeoning metaverse, has closed a $30 million Series A funding round from a group of investors leading companies, including Epic Games and Tencent.

Founded in London in 2015, Hadean began with a broad mission to make “supercomputer levels of processing power available to anyone,” TechCrunch wrote in 2017 while the company was still operating in beta. Over the ensuing years, Hadean has iterated for different use cases and become a major player in gaming in particular, where it powers major hits such as Minecraft.

At its core, Hadean is all about helping developers evolve their codebase to support software that requires significant computing power, which Minecraft demands especially when it comes to an internet-based multiplayer engagement. . Hadean’s space simulation library integrates with all major game engines and helps MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) and other online game developers avoid having to implement player limits or to use other forms of technical (but limited) trickery to circumvent problems created by hundreds or more players participating at the same time. It’s about keeping the dreaded “lag” at bay, while retaining the depth, complexity, and realism of an offline single-player console game.

This is achieved through the magic of distributed computing, with the Hadean platform eliminating “excessive middleware, orchestration and over-engineering”, as the company puts it, dynamically provisioning more or fewer resources as needed. ‘a game.

But the underlying technology can be used for just about any use case, from resource-intensive enterprise applications to web3, blockchain and the metaverse. In July, Hadean was awarded a contract with the British Army to build a simulated land warfare training environment.

A virtual world illustrated by Hadean. Picture credits: Hadean

Epic investment

And it’s against this backdrop that Hadean has now secured a slew of illustrious backers eager to enter at an early stage, while the Metaverse is still in its infancy.

As the Telegraph newspaper first reported last month [paywalled]Hadean initially secured around $18 million in funding from investors including Chinese tech titan Tencent and InQTel, a CIA-backed nonprofit venture capital firm based in Virginia, USA. -United. was still in the process of closing the funding round, it is announcing today.

The full list of (known) backers includes lead investor Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit), Tencent, 2050 Capital, Alumni Ventures, Aster Capital, Entrepreneur First, InQtel, and powerhouse Epic Games, which also happens to be a Hadean customer. In fact, Epic Games used to give funding to Hadean in the form of a MegaGrant, which are basically grants to support companies working on projects to help support its Unreal engine.

In an email to TechCrunch, Hadean CEO Craig Beddis said Epic Games arrived late for Series A and therefore had to invest through a convertible note, which basically means it’s short-term debt that will convert into equity. It’s also worth noting that Epic Games recently raised around $2 billion to build what it bills as a kid-friendly metaverse, which gives one more clue as to why Fortnite’s creator is now directly investing in it. Hadean.

“Hadean’s computing power will provide the necessary infrastructure as we work to create a scalable metaverse,” Marc Petit, vice president of Epic’s Unreal Engine ecosystem, said in a statement. “The company’s technology complements Epic’s Unreal Engine by enabling huge numbers of concurrent users and unlocking new tools for creators and developers.”

Tencent’s involvement is also notable, given the current geopolitical tensions between China and the United States. Beddis explained that Hadean ended up taking less money than was offered by Tencent so he could stay CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) compliant, and avoid a national security review.

With an additional $30 million in the bank, on top of its previously raised seed rounds of approximately $16.5 million, Hadean is well funded to double its existing traction in gaming, government, and business. business, and powering all kinds of web3 and metaverse applications.

“Hadean’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 a limited experience – small scale, siled and insecure. That’s why these are the technical challenges we’re tackling today. But we believe that true success and mass adoption will depend on how easily creators can build their own experiences at scale, leveraging open and robust Metaverse-as-a-Service technologies.

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