$502M Improbable Round
May 12, 2017
a British technology company, has raised $502m in a round of Series B
funding led by SoftBank.
All the funds from the investment will be invested in developing
Improbable’s technology, including its SpatialOS distributed operating
system. Improbable’s plans include accelerated recruitment in its London
and San Francisco offices, and investments to develop a vibrant
ecosystem of developers and customers.
Improbable uses cloud-based distributed computing to enable the creation
of virtual worlds for use in games and massive-scale simulations of the
“We believe that the next major phase in computing will be the emergence
of large-scale virtual worlds which enrich human experience and change
how we understand the real world. At Improbable we have spent the last
few years building the foundational infrastructure for this vision,”
said Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable.
Alongside the investment, Improbable will explore and identify
opportunities for mutually beneficial relationships with SoftBank, its
partners and portfolio companies.
Deep Nishar of SoftBank has joined the Improbable Board following this
investment, which sees SoftBank taking a non-controlling stake in the
Existing Series A investors Andreessen Horowitz and Horizons Ventures
are also making follow-on investments as part of this round, and will
continue to offer advice and guidance to Improbable, along with Temasek,
the Singapore investment company, which was also involved in the Series
Solina Chau, Founder of Horizons Ventures, said, “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. Improbable is an exciting,
ambitious company that we’re honoured to be a part of.”
Improbable and SpatialOS
Improbable’s technology enables the creation of massive simulations –
“virtual worlds” – at a far greater level of scale and computational
complexity than previously possible, and while able to support more
simultaneous connected users.
Improbable’s first product, SpatialOS, a distributed operating system
for massive-scale simulations created using Improbable’s technology,
integrates with major game engines and has been in live beta since
Improbable is also applying the same technology that powers SpatialOS to
the simulation of complex real world systems. Potential applications
include simulating transport infrastructure, telecommunications networks
or the behaviour of fleets of autonomous vehicles.
Improbable technology in gaming applications
Because the work of maintaining game worlds and tracking activities
within them is managed and distributed across the cloud using SpatialOS,
multiplayer and massively multiplayer games can be created and scaled by
teams of any size, without dedicated network engineering and without
initial infrastructure costs.
Developers are already using SpatialOS to build a range of different
types of games which take advantage of its ability to manage larger
scale, higher player numbers and easy scaling in a seamless virtual
Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable, said: “The global games market is
already huge, and we believe that far more growth is possible. The kinds
of games enabled by SpatialOS – multiplayer games allowing players to
form meaningful relationships with games worlds and with each other –
will be category-defining, and attract new audiences.
This investment reflects the potential size and importance of the market
for this next generation of games and, ultimately, how massive-scale
virtual worlds could become fundamental to how society works.
SoftBank is a perfect partner for us, with many complementary
investments in their portfolio. This investment will allow us to take
the big, bold steps needed to fully realise our vision.”
Improbable technology – “real-world” applications
Improbable’s technologies enable the creation of complex simulations at
massive scale. There is considerable potential for expanding the
capabilities of simulation technology to real-world decision making.
is exploring applications in city management, telecommunications,
infrastructure and logistics, cybersecurity, transportation and traffic
control and the Internet of Things, and has also seen interest in
medical applications, economic modelling and many other use cases.
Proofs of concept and pilot projects have included the simulation of the
Internet backbone, and a British city (based on open-source map,
traffic, gas and electricity, water and sewage, Internet and mobile
Deep Nishar, Managing Director, SoftBank, said: “Improbable is building
breakthrough technologies that are becoming vital and valuable platforms
for the global gaming industry. Beyond gaming, this new form of
simulation on a massive scale has the potential to help us make better
decisions about the world we live in. Improbable’s technology will help
us explore disease, improve cities, understand economies and solve
complex problems on a previously unimaginable scale.
Along with Machine Learning and IoT, Improbable’s distributed
computation technology represents a critical next frontier in