GizMoz, provider of fun technology that can turn your 2D image and recorded voice into a talking 3D character, is growing up and moving into the Asian market. The Israeli company, which we first covered in December 2006, has raised $6.5M in Series B financing from a round led by DoCoMo Capital, a subsidiary of the largest cell phone operator in Japan.
The money and its budding relationship with DoCoMo should help the company provide mobile offerings for consumers in Japan, a country that CEO Eyal Gever calls “a world-leader in mobile adoption.” Gever says that the company plans to provide mobile offerings for both businesses and end users. These will include web-to-mobile messaging, mobile-to-mobile messaging, and a variety of consumer applications like animated talking greetings, video tones, wallpapers, and screensavers. The company will not yet discuss the details of its expansion plans, but we can expect Gizmoz to partner with media companies and mobile content aggregators in addition to mobile operators.
Apart from its Asian strategy, Gizmoz has also integrated its 3D avatars into AIM with something called Gizmoz Expressions. AIM users can now upload their photos, create a 3D avatar with them, and assign different animations and behaviors for when certain things are said in chat. The avatars will then sit inside IM windows and add a bit of amusement to conversations. Characters can also be picked from a large collection of celebrities, political figures, etc. for those who don’t want to use their own portraits.