Virtual world creator Improbable receives $502M investment from SoftBank


Here’s another reminder that we really shouldn’t take our eyes off of Improbable Worlds, even for a second. The five-year-old software company, which is specializing in creating massive virtual worlds for simulations and games, just received over a half-billion dollar investment from a Japanese telecommunications corporation.

SoftBank injected $502 million into Improbable this week in one of the largest U.K. venture capital deals of all time. This investment puts one of SoftBank’s members on Improbable’s boards and sees SoftBank create a non-controlling stake in the company.

To make a good week even better for Improbable, venture firms Andreessen Horowitz and Horizon Ventures also committed additional funds to the tech startup and its SpatialOS software. “Having backed Improbable from the start, we continue to see huge potential in the application of its technology, both for solving real-world problems and in changing the future of the games industry,” said Horizons Ventures founder Solina Chau.

Creating massive simulations and complex virtual worlds is a very expensive prospect, which is why the capital investment was needed. Improbable currently employs 180 people and said that it will use these funds to hire more programmers, computer scientists, and support staff.

Improbable and SpatialOS have been linked with many up-and-coming MMO projects, including Worlds Adrift, Lazarus, Chronicles of Elyria, and Metaworld.

Source: Bloomberg, VentureBeat, BBC. Thanks Theryl, HolyAvengerOne, and Elio!
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