MyShell, Blockchain Platform For Building 'AI Girlfriends' and Productivity Apps, Raises $11M

MyShell uses blockchains to let creators earn a profit for building AI apps and Her-like companions.

AccessTimeIconMar 27, 2024 at 4:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 27, 2024 at 4:56 p.m. UTC
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MyShell, a Tokyo-based decentralized AI platform used to create "AI girlfriends," has raised $11 million in pre-series A funding for its AI app-building ecosystem.

The investment, which brings MyShell's total funding to $16.6 million, was led by Dragonfly, with additional participation from Delphi Ventures, Bankless Ventures, Maven11 Capital, Nascent, Nomad Capital and OKX Ventures. The round also attracted support from individual investors such as crypto investor and thought leader Balaji Srinivasan, NEAR's Illia Polosukhin and Paradigm's Casey K. Caruso.

MyShell pitches itself as an ecosystem for AI creators to develop and deploy applications. The new funds will be used to further the development of its open-source foundational model and to support its community "of over 1 million registered users and 50,000 creators," according to a statement.

MyShell aims to distinguish itself from other AI platforms with its focus on decentralization: The company has open-sourced key parts of its codebase and leans on blockchain tools to assist with model training and creator royalties.

Crypto will "uniquely enable" MyShell to "help creators and AI model researchers to monetize their work," and blockchains will serve as the foundation for "a dedicated platform to trade, and own AI assets," MyShell CEO Ethan Sun told CoinDesk in an email.

The company's main products include “Workshop,” where users can build AI agents through prompts, and “Makerspace,” a no-code app development tool for creators. The tools have mainly gained steam in the realm of AI companions, with people utilizing the platform to create Her-like chatbots designed to resemble specific characters, both real and imagined.

"These AI applications and models have the capability to 'generate' revenue, making them AI assets that could be tokenized, traded and owned to share 'revenue stream,'" said Sun.

MyShell provides a space for users to showcase their creations in its Discord discussion community, and most of the agents shared there tend to be AI girlfriends designed to look like cutesy anime characters – many of which gate access behind "not safe for work" content warnings. Some have taken the tool in a different direction, however, using MyShell to create AI bots mimicking figures like Elon Musk, the tech mogul; and Saul Goodman, the quick-witted lawyer-criminal from Breaking Bad.

According to Sun, "about 40% of content created by the community is AI girlfriend/companion," but "the main goal of MyShell is to empower creators to build customized AI applications in a diversified range rather than just focusing on AI companions."

"Given the ability of third-party API integrations and comprehensive AI models to process information, it’s now possible to build applications and productivity tools without coding," said the MyShell CEO.

In its statement on Tuesday, MyShell noted that in addition to building out its companion-creator community, the company's tech has served as the foundation for MeloTTS, "a pioneering open-source text-to-speech solution that closely mimics the human voice" and Allice, an "open-source foundation model for an AI-App development workflow."


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Sam Kessler

Sam is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for tech and protocols. He reports on decentralized technology, infrastructure and governance. He owns ETH and BTC.

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