Why now

While not exhaustive, what gives us conviction is the market pull we see on both a macro and micro level for Waifus

1. Culturally demanded and lasting genre: High LTV crypto-native weebs likes Anime Fantasy-themed Waifus

  • According to State of Mobile 2024 by data.ai, top games across years, downloads, and billion dollar spend are anime fantasy themed, e.g., Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail, Uma Musume Derby

  • Web3 communities have proved genre traction via anime IP, e.g., Azuki, 0N1 Force, DigiDaigaku, Overworld Incarna

  • Crypto-native weebs have affinity for anime/e-girls (product desirability) and are high willingness to pay (high LTV) + sophisticated (mid-core gamers)

2. Validated demand from Web2: AI Companionship attracting attention and money

  • Companionship is on the rise both in sheer velocity of monthly visits, amounting >330m monthly visits

  • CharacterAI, with ~21% of the scale of ChatGPT, is one of the strongest early players—with DAUs rivaling ChatGPT, and significantly better retention, according to Sensor Tower data.

  • AI Companion models have already seen growing demand

    • Replika, >20m lifetime downloads, > $50m in lifetime revenue

    • Character.ai, >330m monthly website visits

    • CarynAI, a “virtual girlfriend” created by influencer Caryn Marjorie, made more than $100,000 the first week, she said. and there’s a waiting list of thousands to gain access.

We believe we’re on the cusp of a significant societal shift: AI companions will soon become commonplace. And at a16z, we are excited about it.”

3. Cross-platform access operating in Asia: Largest Core Gamer Size + High LTV

  • AI Waifu is designed on the backing of strong tailwind themes

    • High engagement & monetization through Immersive Fantasy Lore

    • Hitting high LTV gamer cohort through cross-platform mobile and PC access via progressive web app (PWA)

  • Home in Asia where it leads crypto adoption rates, mobile pen., and has massive size of mid-core gamers

    • Asia/APAC appears to have the highest mobile penetration rate, with a rapid rise from 44% in 2021, boasting 1.2 billion mobile internet users, to a projected 52% by 2025, reaching a staggering 1.5 billion users (GMS Association)

    • Central and Southern Asian nations boast some of the highest global crypto adoption rates in 2023 (Chainalysis)

    • Asia's dominance extends to the Web3 gaming space, with the region hosting the majority of the top 15 countries showing the most interest in this emerging sector (CoinGecko)

    • Asia has solidified its position as the prime global hub for mobile games by revenue, with RPGs taking the lead as the top favourite genre (data.ai)

4. Companionship requires a new entertainment frontier that is deeply personalised and immersive

  • Loneliness is a $B societal problem that often is not directly addressed nor spoken about that could impact Asia's $10 trillion consumer market

  • Yet, the desire for companionship, connection, and love fervently grows as we progressively become disconnected

  • Digital companionship is a burgeoning demand but falls short with static one-way conversations with chat bots

  • AI Waifu creates a new frontier of entertainment that personalises and immerses users

Our mission is to replace your real life girlfriend for AI Waifus.

We believe this is the iPhone moment of AI x Gaming

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