News just broke that veteran Israeli start up Gizmoz, creator of 3D head avatars has merged with Utah-based Daz 3D, an avatar creation service offering virtual 3D bodies. Existing investors Benchmark Capital, Highway 12 Ventures, and Columbia Capital, put in an additional $5.3 million into the new merged company.
According to the official FAQ:
The integration of DAZ 3D’s renowned 3D content library with Gizmoz’s photo-realistic head reconstruction and personalization technologies enable the merged company to become the leading publisher of personalized digital characters and accessories.The merged company will be the first solution to bring together complex 3D modeling, consumer ease of use, and fully interoperable characters/avatars, providing a central solution to design, manage and transport digital avatars that can be deployed in virtual worlds, online games, PC and console games, social networks, video clips, greeting cards, mobile apps, and professional modeling and animation tools.
As a result of the merger, Daz 3D’s CEO, Dan Farr, will become the CEO of Gizmoz. Eyal Gever, the current Gizmoz CEO will become the company’s president.
DAZ 3D, provides digital three dimensional content and software solutions. It offers
- Bryce, a 3D environment and animation package
- Carrara, a 3D modeling, animation, and rendering solution
- DAZ Studio, a 3D digital art creation tool
- Hexagon, a polygonal modeling software
- Mimic, a lip-synching application.
The company provides an online publishing program for artists to create art or animation. It also hosts a social marketplace for sharing art and exchanging ideas. In addition, the company provides merchandise through its online store. DAZ 3D, Inc. was formerly known as DAZ Productions, Inc. and changed its name in June 2007. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Draper, Utah.
Gizmoz, provides social expression and user-generated media services for consumers, advertisers, and media partners. It offers Be a Star, an online application enabling consumers to create, customize, animate, and share photorealistic 3D talking characters. It was originnally founded in 1996 as Zapa Digital Arts and changed its name to Gizmoz, Inc. in March, 2000 (the press release however, says Gizmoz was founded in 2003).
The merger has a good chance of working. The companies technologies compliment each other and the merger provides an opportunity to ‘enlarge the pie’ by tapping a new market of virtual bodies. Wouldn’t you pay to add your character to a boxing game, where you are fighting against your boss? Techcrunch seems to be agreement.