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NetEase Invested in StarHeir Technology, A Start-Up that Focuses on Ultra-realistic Virtual Humans and Metaverse Fashion Scene

By Isabella Jiangcheng
Dec. 31, 2021 updated 09:47

NetEase has invested 1.57 million USD (~ 10 million CNY) in StarHeir Technology’s angel round of funding. According to business intelligence platform Qichacha, NetEase now holds 10% of the holdings. StarHeir Technology registered capital increased 17%.

StarHeir Technology is a Beijing-based digital human developer. The company was established in March 2021, focusing on the most technical-challenging sector of virtual humans: the ultra-realistic models. The company now owns four ultra-realistic models: Nami, Vila, Vince, and Reddi. These models have received millions of followers on social media and have collaborated with high fashion and streetwear brands, including Gucci, Max Mara, Air Jordan, Li Ning.

Left to Right: Reddi in Max Mara, Vince in Li Ning, Vila with Clarins

StarHeir believes that realism in virtual humans would allow the models to integrate into people’s daily lives more easily, providing more business perspectives in the future. As of now, StarHeir operates mainly in the fashion segment by being both a tech provider for corporations that need virtual human modeling technology and as a content provider for virtual fashion and accessories. Aside from the virtual humans, StarHeir has also launched its own virtual streetwear brand Meta Street Market and introduced its first limited sneaker XNOR-100.

According to StarHeir’s Founder, Todd Jiang, StarHeir would create a matrix of 30+ digital humans in the next three years. Virtual clothing, exhibitions, and even metaverse events would also follow. Todd believes StarHeir will be looking forward to becoming a major partner in the metaverse industry.

This is the 6th virtual human company that NetEase has invested in this year. Previously NetEase has invested in avatar tech company Genies, avatar social platform IMVU, interactive content platform Maestro, the company behind Microsoft Xiaobing Hongmian Xiaobing, and virtual human provider Next Generation. NetEase is undoubtedly building itself a metaverse as it expands and integrates a virtual-human industry chain internally.