Rabbit Holed

Edward Zitron 24 min read
Thank you to Emily Shepherd for her hard work reporting parts of this story, as well as her assistance clarifying details related to GAMA and finding company documents related to Rabbit and Cyber Manufacture.   

In November 2021, a company called Cyber Manufacture Co raised $6 million for its “Next Generation NFT Project GAMA,” about a week after it incorporated with the Secretary of State of California. According to an archived version of GAMA’s website from June 1 2022, GAMA was a “decentralized organization that is sending 10K crew members into space to complete energy harnessing missions across the universe.” Holding a GAMA NFT would grant you “exclusive membership to the GAMA Space Station,” with other perks including “staking opportunities, tickets to GAMA studios, limited edition merch and live events.” GAMA’s token promised to be “carbon-negative” and the “foundation of the GAMA economy.” The “GAMA space station metaverse” would be “the destination for all 10K Crew Members, powered by Unreal Engine and proprietary AI.” 

In theory, GAMA would allow you to connect NFTs that would allow you to walk around a space station and interact with other users, and according to one of the investors quoted in its funding release, “the future of GAMA [would] be powered by rich narrative storytelling, Web3 gaming, and an emergent, community-powered social experience.” 

On November 13, 2023, GAMA would make its last announcement on its Discord channel, telling “GAMA Crew Members” that it was officially open-sourcing the GAMA space station and “introducing a new API for AI NPCs, opening up a world of possibilities for interaction and engagement with the GAMA universe.” GAMA’s original Twitter account (https://twitter.com/GAMA_NFT) still exists, but https://twitter.com/GAMA_AI, which housed most, but not all of GAMA’s “Ask Me Anything” Sessions is also gone. 

You may be wondering why I’m talking about some random NFT project — yet another example of an abandoned Web3 venture where the owners have disappeared into the ether. 

I’m talking about it because the CEO of GAMA was and is Jesse Lyu, the co-founder of Rabbit, the company that makes the purportedly AI-powered R1 device, and that Cyber Manufacture Co. is the same company as Rabbit Inc. 

While I’ll go into further detail about the Rabbit R1 in a future article, here’s the essentials: it’s an Android-based device that, purportedly, allows users to control their various apps and subscriptions — which, at this point, includes Uber, Doordash, Midjourney, and Spotify — using spoken instructions. Its ultumate goal is, purportedly, to do everything a phone can do, but with Star Trek-style human-computer natural language interactions. The device — which costs $200 — has already started shipping and the reviews are not good

On November 2, 2023, nearly a month after raising $20 million to work on the Rabbit R1 and its “Large Action Model,” Cheng Lyu (also known as Jesse Lyu) filed paperwork with California’s Secretary of State to change the name of Cyber Manufacture Co. to Rabbit Inc. This has been confirmed by Aaron Li, who states that he built “most of the technical systems behind GAMA,” and that Rabbit and Cyber Manufacture are the same company and the same team. Here is a Twitter post from October 4, 2023 posted from Rabbit’s Twitter account describing Cyber Manufacture Co.’s “collective mission to create a more natural way to interact with machines.”

When offered the chance to respond to the numerous questions I had for this article (linked here in their entirety), Rabbit’s Ryan Fenwick gave the following statement:

Hi Ed - Thanks for reaching out. Here's a statement that we've issued on this, for your reference:

Jesse has a long history as an entrepreneur and has been involved in a range of projects over his career, including the GAMA metaverse / NFT project. It’s a project he has talked openly about in the past, and he left it before starting rabbit. He is fully committed to rabbit and is building a strong and growing team to serve the company’s growing user base.

Rabbit Inc has neither confirmed nor denied anything I have said in this article, but I do take one major exception to its statement: Jesse Lyu didn’t leave GAMA, nor did he ever “start” Rabbit. 

From what I can tell, the exact same corporate entity that was selling NFTs and hyping an AI-powered metaverse platform is now, mere months after disappearing on its users, selling an AI-powered gadget after raising $30 million in venture capital. Further evidence to suggest this is that Rabbit’s own funding announcement references Synergis Capital, who in its own medium post says that it has “backed the Rabbit team for over two years,” and led the original round in GAMA/Cyber Manufacture

Lyu has previously described his relationship with GAMA in a Discord reply as ”fun during Covid that I work with couple of folks to build a unity project and I made a decision to disconnect from it and open sourced the project on Github”:

Yet as recently as November 30, 2023 — nearly a month after the announcement of Rabbit’s first round of funding — Lyu was directing people to check out the Announcements section of GAMA’s Discord. In a 5730 word interview with Raymond Wong of Inverse, Lyu did not mention GAMA, or anything related to GAMA, nor did he mention anything to do with Web3, the Metaverse, or NFTs. Jesse Lyu’s Account is an admin on both the GAMA and Rabbit Discords. 

In a Discord post from March 10, 2023, Jesse would inform GAMA users that the company was now teasing “the first applications from GAMA x Quantum Engine,” and that “Quantum Engine is an AI powered OS developed by the same souls behind GAMA,” and that users should be sure to check out its official website at https://www.quantum-engine.ai, a link that now forwards to https://www.rabbit.tech/, the website for Rabbit’s R1 device, though the @quantumengineai account has been deleted

At the end of the post, Lyu hinted that users should “stay tuned” and that there was a “big wave coming” just under 8 months before he would stop mentioning GAMA or anything related to cryptocurrency entirely. 

In fact, Lyu did an “Ask Me Anything” session about GAMA on its Twitter on September 8, 2023, though no recording exists as the GAMA_AI account has been wiped. 

Fortunately, I discovered over nine hours of Clubhouse Replay recordings from Jesse Lyu’s various Ask Me Anything sessions from November 26, 2021, December 1, 2021, December 3, 2021, December 10, 2021, December 17, 2021, December 27, 2021, December 31, 2021, and January 7, 2022, featuring hours of Jesse Lyu, identified clearly and repeatedly in his capacity as CEO of GAMA, explaining his vision for the project and what he was intending to develop and how, in Lyu’s own words, the entire GAMA project was incubated in his house.  

I have also backed up each of these recordings in the event that Clubhouse has any server issues, or that Lyu (or anyone associated with the GAMA/Rabbit projects) attempts to delete them.  


I will now share a few insights I learned from Mr. Lyu as a result of listening to several hours of him talking on Clubhouse. Some, as you will see (and hear, if you must) were far more specific than others, because most of them are made up of relatively vague updates about a game that, as we speak, does not appear to have made it to market. This retelling will not be comprehensive, but I will pull out what I believe are relevant things that establish the existence and seriousness of Lyu’s involvement with GAMA and its associated entities. 

In the November 26, 2021 session, Lyu says that he had been mining Bitcoin “pretty early,” but chose to start “investing his own assets in early 2018,” spending somewhere around $2 million buying NFTs, “learning everything about NFTs,” at which point he started a company called Cyber Manufacture Co, which, he noted, was “behind GAMA.” At one point Lyu says that he “doesn’t really like the word metaverse, because whoever’s talking about [is] probably not really creating it, they’re just talking about it.” 

In this session, Lyu discusses how GAMA is “talking about Hollywood filmmaking VFX or AAA studio pipelines,” and that NFT holders “actually do own the 3D assets” of their character. Lyu spends a great deal of time describing his vision for GAMA, which included owning a spaceship, mechanisms for communication between characters, and noting at one point — at around 43:22 —  that “none of us (referring to the team)” wanted to make GAMA a “hype and dump program.” 

Lyu also mentions that GAMA would make a TV series, and that “every GAMA crew would be independently rendered,” that the ultimate version of GAMA would be controlled “just using your brain logic and natural language,” and that it had a “hidden roadmap” involving a cryptocurrency, and that GAMA Coin would “basically be Bitcoin 2.0,” generated by 100% clean energy. 

I don't know, alright? If you're asking me how that would work, I don't know. I've listened to hours of this stuff now, and it’s all like this. 

As an aside, on January 25, 2024, Lyu claimed that he had “spend some time…trying to learn just about everything regarding crypto defi, still not convinced,” and on January 28, 2024, said that “we” — referring to Rabbit Inc, formerly known as Cyber Manufacture Co., which was given $6m as an NFT company in a round led by two different firms that are “crypto focused,” — would “never touch crypto. NEVER.”

In the December 1, 2021 session, Lyu says that GAMA has a partnership with a local green energy company that he couldn’t name at the time, and spent a great deal of time talking about the wonders of clean energy and that GAMA’s roadmap’s ultimate goal is to release its NFTs, then design “the next level ready player one metaverse experience,” and then have that sit, and I quote, “on the benchmark of the metaverse experience overall.” Later on, Lyu refers to GAMA as conducting itself in “the most transparent manner.” 

In the December 3, 2021 session, Lyu discussed the launch of “Ship One,” which appears to be the first group of people able to buy GAMA NFTs. Lyu discusses launching a VR experience, and notes toward the end that GAMA was “trying to assemble the best team in the industry.” 

In the December 10, 2021 session, Lyu faces some dissent from a user called “Frank” around 30 minutes in, who shares concern from the Discord channel that they aren’t seeing progress on the project, and that it was hard for people to keep track of what was going on. Lyu eventually interrupts Frank and promises to give a “very comprehensive answer for the communities,” before spending around a minute vaguely suggesting the community should have more patience. Frank gives up at this point and accepts that Lyu might, at some point, have a “more creative way or a more certain way to tell” the community. Jesse assures everyone, at one point, that he has “nothing to hide from this community.” Lyu mentions toward the end that, at some point, it planned a retail store in Los Angeles.

In the December 17, 2021 session, Lyu, who is introduced as “Mission Control Himself,” further discusses the Gamaverse project, which he claims has a $3.4 million budget that’s “being approved internally,” which he stated would go to the first phase of the Gamaverse, and that it had a “six months hard deadline of the first alpha.” To credit Lyu, he did actually show progress in that timeline — an early VR version, for example. Lyu also emphasizes that GAMA is “looking at the long term,” with his intention to complete the roadmap in 12-18 months. At one point, Lyu references the acquisition of Glare, an LA based creative studio, which Lyu also posted about on Instagram on November 30, 2021. 

In the December 27, 2021 session, Lyu, who is introduced as “Head of Mission Control,” admits the use of a “mystery box” format for its NFT drop was a mistake. He also discussed GAMA’s leading investor — “Jerry” from Synergis, also known as “PPQ” — held a private giveaway that was immediately sold by the winner for 0.25 ETH, which Lyu related hurt both him and Jerry’s feelings. 

One part that’s hard to understand is the addition of a “high risk minting” also known as “explorer minting,” which Lyu adds (and says “he ain’t gonna lie about it”) is “gambling…something fun for the big holders,” while adding that while there is a 10% chance of losing your money, there’s “over a sixty percent of a chance” that you are getting “multiple” in return, I assume referring to some kind of NFT. 

Lyu refers to the explorer minting system as a casino multiple times, which is extremely concerning, and continued to discuss having a retail store “on Fairfax across the street from Supreme.” I am guessing this is referring to North Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Lyu claimed GAMA had submitted an offer to a landlord, and that the store would “educate people about NFTs, Web3, and the Metaverse.”

In the December 31, 2021 session, Lyu talks about a blog he wrote in 2014 — which we haven’t been able to locate — saying that in ten years he would, and I quote, “choose whether he made himself into an airman or put on some of the fancy goggles and immediately [imagined] himself as an airman,” which he uses to enter into a vast discussion about the metaverse and hardware, as well as a new addition to the team called David Martinez, who speaks for most of the session. Lyu talks about how the general roadmap he is trying to build “alongside his career” was one where he tried to figure out “how to push the limit to make the interaction between human and machines more natural,” before vaguely referring to “the ultimate level of general AI.” 

To Lyu’s credit, he is rather ahead of the curve in this conversation, discussing GPT models and generic language model training years before they’d become news. Lyu ends his relatively vague discussion of AI by suggesting that there would be independent NPCs “powered by an independent AI algorithms and each AI algorithms will be understand [sic] from the script and concept and the physics of that particular world” [Note:this is transcribed ad verbatim]. The most interesting thing that Lyu mentions in this is that the GSS (the Gama Space Station metaverse) is “an MMO by default, online by its default.”

In the January 7, 2022 session, Jesse is once again referred to as “Mission Control himself,” and refers to the GAMA team as “still operating in his house,” with the expectation that they would move to a bigger office “very soon,” adding that the “entire GAMA project was basically incubated” in his house, a 1.2 acre property where they had converted the “entire pool house into the GAMA office.” 

Lyu spends much of the session talking about what you’ll be able to do in the Gamaverse, suggesting that it was in the early stages of creating some sort of persistent version of player characters that would exist while they weren’t online. Lyu speaks at length about the metaverse, and AI, and how deeply AI should be “adapted into the Metaverse construction,” mentioning conversational AI and VR for good measure. Lyu also mentions GAMA had started working with agencies on its “Twitter stuff.”

At this point, there are no further recordings that I could find of any of the Ask Me Anything sessions, though one user on the GAMA Discord posted an AMA summary on December 5, 2022 that mentioned that “one of the creator who have written comic books for Spiderman and Deadpool is currently working on GAMA comic,” and that a whitepaper was upcoming. After this, the only mention I can find of a GAMA whitepaper is a user on Discord saying “wen whitepaper?” on September 14 2022.

Over the following months, Lyu would post updates in the GAMA “status-report” channel on Discord, including a real-life event in March 2022, an event at San Diego Comic Con from July 15, 2022, and then no further updates until December 7, 2022, when Lyu posted a status update about how “ALL content on GAMA channels” would be generated “using the best AI technology available,” harnessing OpenAI’s ChatGPT to generate narrative content for GAMA’s open world, and DALL-E 2 to generate visual content. He also claimed that he was “working with OpenAI to develop a user-friendly tool that encourages everyone to contribute to GAMA” called The Architect, named after a villain from The Matrix movies. 

Lyu would not make another update until March 10, 2023, when, as mentioned at the start of this newsletter, he would bring up the use of the “Quantum Engine,” the aforementioned AI powered OS “developed by the souls behind GAMA,” the website for which now forwards to Rabbit.tech.

On May 3, 2024, I spoke with Aaron Li, who runs Hiddenstate.xyz and worked with Lyu and the GAMA team for over a year as an external partner taking care of “everything technical end-to-end.” Li confirmed that Cyber Manufacture Co. later became Rabbit Inc, and that he and Lyu took part in “some discussions about some AI projects as early as Q3 2021, some of which have overlapping concepts with Rabbit R1 (but not hardware).” 

Li states that “Jesse and his team were full time on GAMA and very dedicated to the project,” and that in December 2022, Jesse brought in Peiyuan Liao to start working on “Quantum Engine,” and that Liao eventually became the CTO of Rabbit Inc. 

When i asked him — specifically because Lyu has claimed no relationship with cryptocurrency — about any relation to tokens, Li added that there were “serious discussions about designing a token and quite a bit of research work into that…[and that neither he nor Lyu] were into launching useless tokens so it was never published.”

Li did add that he believed that Lyu and his team “tried their best in each one of these projects, and sought perfection in design and workmanship,” always maintaining “a near-impossible deadline.” His work with Cyber Manufacture Co. stopped around February 2023 when the team decided to focus on Quantum Engine and postpone Li’s “GAMA Launcher,” which “manages and auto-updates GAMA-related games,” and connected a user’s GAMA character or characters from other NFT projects to GAMA’s servers. 

Li also mentioned that from the end of 2022 through to Q1/Q2 2023 was “a tough time” for Cyber Manufacture Co. “financially and market wise.”

Li also asked me to add that GAMA was “never officially terminated,” and that both he and Jesse are “both serious gamers,” and Lyu used to compete in national tournaments in Warcraft 3. He also added that “By the end of 2022 and early 2023, the market clearly indicate[d] GAMA [was] not working out and a pivot [was] necessary. Later, it [became] clear that consumer AI products, and more precisely Rabbit R1 [was] what the market wants. So it is unsurprising that [Lyu] deprioritized GAMA and put full energy into AI, and a new product which the market really wants - that's what a competent founder is expected to do.”

He also added that while many people checked out the game demo for GAMA, “few people regularly or joined the in-game meetups,” that “fewer people cared about the NFT,” and that GAMA “gave people a great initial impression, but had poor retention.”

Li also added that based on conversations with him, Lyu had put “more than 7-figure[s] of personal money into the company.” Li also did not believe that the $6m raised by Cyber Manufacture was specifically raised for GAMA, and on being shown the press release that said the funding would be “used to propel forward the mission and storyline of GAMA and support the team’s upcoming NFT drop,” Li told me that “PR articles are usually written much later afterwards for a purpose,” and that “the reality of the fundraising process is a lot more vague and fluid,” adding that he did not participate in the conversations and did not know for sure. 

I will add that a competent founder is also meant to disclose any changes to the company — especially when effectively abandoning a project. And in the event that Jesse Lyu “loved” GAMA, one would have to ask why he failed to discuss it past this point. Furthermore, in the event the money was not raised to develop GAMA, publicly representing otherwise is extremely concerning. 

Li also added that “$6M is far from enough to build a top-quality game, especially when he only wanted to work with people who are best at what they do. Add another zero, they may have a shot.”

Down The Rabbit Hole

Lyu and Rabbit have categorically failed to address any of the concerns I have. They were given ample time to respond, and chose to do so quickly — less than 12 hours later, despite being given several days — and chose to do so in a way that I deem insufficient given the serious nature of my questions, including the fact that the current status of Rabbit Inc with California’s Secretary of State is “Forfeited” as of April 2, 2024, meaning that the business entity in question has failed to meet its tax requirements

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, “when your business has been suspended or forfeited, it is not in good standing and loses its rights, powers, and privileges to do business in California.” Though I am not a tax attorney or an accountant, nor do I have any insight beyond what’s publicly available, this highly suggests that Rabbit Inc cannot currently do business in the State of California, where it is headquartered. Here is a full printout of the Secretary of State’s website that shows Rabbit’s current status, including its name change from Cyber Manufacture Co. 

Though there is a chance that Rabbit Inc. could have another, unnamed corporate entity, the one I am referring to here has the same CTO (Carol Koh Evans), the same COO (Justin Oren), and documents are signed by “Cheng Lyu,” also known as Jesse Lyu. Again, if there is any mistake in what I’ve written here, I have given Rabbit Inc. the opportunity to address it, and it has chosen not to.

Rabbit’s corporate status, including its “forfeited” status, were part of the questions I sent to the company, and it chose not to respond to them. 

It is remarkable that Lyu and Rabbit Inc. chose not to address the majority of my points, which were clear and direct as to give them the opportunity to substantively address them. I have taken great pains to make sure that they had both ample time and the full ability to respond to this article’s findings, and the statement they have provided was their only response. It’s common for companies to suggest that those reporting are not giving them sufficient room or warning to respond to findings. In this case, Rabbit Inc. voluntarily chose to give a short, generalist statement. 

A common refrain from companies that face thorough reporting is to deem those doing so “haters” or “trolls.” I have made a great deal of effort to make sure that my research is thorough, my statements are not allegations, and that Rabbit was given a fair chance to respond with a complete understanding of what I had found and what my concerns were. 

The fact it has chosen to respond in this manner is deeply concerning, as are the things I’ve discussed in this newsletter.

It is extremely concerning that Lyu failed to disclose the existence of GAMA in any interviews, and that the entity that was funded to create GAMA — that received $6 million in venture capital funding — appeared to become Rabbit Inc without warning to GAMA customers or any real explanation. The October 4, 2023 post changing Cyber Manufacture’s name to Rabbit, posted the same day as its $20 million funding announcement, makes no mention of GAMA of any kind. If this is a pivot, why doesn’t Jesse Lyu discuss it? Stewart Butterfield famously pivoted twice — once to create Flickr, and once again to create Slack — and I don’t know why Lyu doesn’t seem to want to discuss GAMA further. 

It is extremely concerning that GAMA’s Twitter account has been deleted, and equally so that Lyu himself appears to be downplaying his role on a company that he ran, talked about for hours, and made multiple extremely detailed and verbose promises about, including the development of a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG, a “metaverse” powered by artificial intelligence, a comic book series and, according to Oregon Blockchain Group’s Q2 Fund 2022 update, a rocket that would cost $3.5 million to $3.7 million to launch a GAMA satellite into space

It is concerning that the CEO of a company that raised $30 million (in two rounds) to make an AI-powered device was, as it announced a new round of funding for a totally different product, still representing the existence of a 3D open world game using NFTs, and even more concerning that Lyu does not mention GAMA or anything associated with GAMA on his LinkedIn. Lyu made repeated gratuitous statements about GAMA, and represented himself as both the company’s spokesperson and CEO and then took the exact same corporate entity and put its resources into another project, seemingly abandoning GAMA and its customers. 

This was anything other than a “fun little project.” Lyu claimed on a Discord post from May 3 2024 that he never “hid” any project that he had worked on, and that GAMA “never released token/coins and NFT is a free trading market,” an obfuscation of the fact that GAMA did release NFTs, and had plans to release a cryptocurrency token, as evidenced by Lyu in his own AMAs (and mentioned by Dan Ferris, who worked on both GAMA and Rabbit, in this writeup of a February 27, 2022 AMA). 

Lyu claims his “main work with GAMA” was to “develop a Unreal Engine Game” that he successfully delivered, yet users tell me that GAMA’s GSS metaverse is a reskin of an Unreal starter game called Lyra, as evidenced by GSS’s Github including folders that say “LyraEditor” and “LyraGame,” a starter project that demonstrates best practices in Unreal Engine 5. Users also have to personally host GSS to use it. GAMA does not have any servers, nor does GAMA offer any service of any kind.

I take great umbrage with businesses that do not fulfill their obligations to their customers. GAMA appears to be abandoned — its Twitter channels deleted, its existence partially scrubbed from the internet, multiple AMAs deleted (including another Clubhouse link I found on the Discord). One customer on the Discord lamented the difficulty of running the open sourced version of GAMA’s “metaverse,” the company’s promises of “space based cube sat mining,” and the lack of response from the team. On January 10, 2024, when Lyu debuted the Rabbit R1, one user said “I guess this is what they have been working on,” asking if GAMA users benefitted at all. 

Six days later, Emily Shepherd — who has meticulously researched this company — responded that Jesse had confirmed in the Rabbit discord that “rabbit has nothing todo (sic) with any crypto/web3 and never will,” a statement that I believe I have successfully refuted, unless he is referring to the Rabbit R1. One user added that he spent “significant amount[s] of funds to develop 3D assets that would one day live in the GSS,” GAMA’s metaverse.

It’s all so deeply troubling.

It is also relevant and necessary to inform those that have written about, purchased or have considered purchasing a Rabbit R1 that the company associated with the Rabbit R1 has fairly recently changed its entire company’s mission, and appears to have abandoned its previous mission, one it raised $6m to complete.

At the very least, Jesse Lyu should comprehensively explain what has happened here and be honest and forthright with his explanations. Based on what I have found and detailed in his newsletter, Rabbit appears to be the same company as Cyber Manufacture, and Cyber Manufacture was an NFT company that owns a creative studio that was allegedly planning to release an NFT-powered metaverse computer game. 

I should also add that every link I have put in this newsletter has been backed up in its entirety, and any links that stop functioning will be replaced with backup copies. 

I want to know what happened with GAMA. I want to know what happened to the $6m that went into GAMA, what the team was that worked on GAMA, and how much of that team works with Rabbit. I want to know when the Rabbit R1 was conceived, and I want to know whether funds raised for GAMA were used to build the R1, and how long Lyu and his team worked on the R1 while representing that they were working on GAMA. I want to know how a company incubated in Jesse’s house was not relevant when Jesse has discussed his history. 

I also want Lyu to apologize to anyone who invested in GAMA, and the multiple people he has attempted to gaslight by suggesting he had no relationship with the company. 

Yet the statement provided from Rabbit Inc. suggests that the company intends to ignore this situation — to hide from what Rabbit Inc. used to be, to obfuscate and hand-wave in the face of a situation that looks as if Rabbit Inc. walked away from those who invested their time and money in the GAMA NFT project. When given the chance to explain this situation — to tell us what happened, to clear up things for the people that invested in GAMA — Jesse Lyu and Rabbit Inc. have deliberately chosen not to respond.

The problem here is not that Rabbit Inc. used to be an NFT company, or that Jesse Lyu was its CEO, or that any of the GAMA team is or was part of making the Rabbit R1. Companies pivot. It happens.  

When they do so they communicate how they’re doing so to their users, and do so with transparency.

The problem is that it appears that GAMA holders, and anyone who took significant interest in GAMA and the things that Lyu promised — a comic, a television show, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, a physical store to educate people on Web3 and NFTs, a rocket ship with a satellite — were left in the lurch. Less than a year before the Rabbit R1 launched, Lyu was discussing integrating AI into a completely different product, and people believed that he was sincerely focused on creating all the things he’d promised to in GAMA and the Gamaverse. 

Lyu has framed his time at GAMA as a project, using language that suggests an arms-reach approach to a company he ran and made numerous gratuitous promises in the name of. The reality is that Jesse Lyu was the CEO of GAMA, invested, based on statements from Aaron Li, “7 figures” of his own money, and then after September 2023 (a month before Rabbit announced its first $20 million fundraising) effectively stopped talking about it, and acted from then on as if GAMA never existed in interviews with the press. 

One other completely unrelated part of the story that I have been unable to dig into sufficiently is RCT Studio, a company that raised $10 million in 2019 according to a Form D filing (signed by Lyu), with Lyu named as CEO according to a 2020 piece from the Los Angeles Business Journal.

RCT, Studio which claimed to provide “AI solutions to the game industry and building the true Metaverse with AI generated content,” was part of Y Combinator before raising its round, and as recently as March 26, 2020 put out a press release naming Lyu as its CEO, with the company claiming to use “open up almost infinite narrative alternatives and story structures while deciphering the meaning of words to transform them into 3D rendered animations,” powered by something called the “Morpheus engine” - another presumed reference to The Matrix films. In a further $10m funding announcement from 2021, RCT Studio (now called rct AI ) would refer to Yuheng Chen (who worked at Raven Tech, one of Lyu’s previous companies) as its CEO.

One might assume that perhaps Lyu moved on from rct AI (which is also not on his LinkedIn), something that happens all the time, but it isn’t clear when that exactly happened. An article from April 17, 2019 has Lyu explaining how RCT is “leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence in its quest for a movie experience that is both interactive and immersive.” Interestingly, Lyu — who was described as the founder of the company — ends the piece by asking if the writer had watched the movie Ready Player One, claiming that this was “exactly what RCT was building,” much like Lyu would claim he was building “the next level ready player one metaverse experience” in GAMA on a Clubhouse session from December 1, 2021.

Yuehng Chen — CEO of rct AI since April 2021 — states on his LinkedIn that rct AI is “building Metaverse with AI on the Blockchain,” a similar proposition to that offered by GAMA. rct AI would then raise $10 million for a new “AI-powered AAA Web3 game” in late 2022 called “Delysium that it claims was incubated inside of the company.

While this entity seems to no longer have any relation to Lyu despite his involvement, it is interesting — and confusing — that Lyu was CEO of a completely different company that said it would do very similar things to GAMA using Web3 and AI. It is also interesting that Lyu was CEO of this company when it raised $10 million, and unclear what happened that made him move on to found GAMA. Lyu is not mentioned on rct AI’s Y Combinator page, despite his participation in Y Combinator in 2018 as part of rct AI, and his role (per the coverage highlighted above) as its founder.

Hopping Off

I realize I have written a great deal here and linked to a great many things. Jesse Lyu has an extremely convoluted history, one where he repeats numerous buzzwords about Web3, the metaverse and artificial intelligence. To my count, since 2019 Lyu has raised $46 million in funding for three different enterprises across two companies — $6 million for Cyber Manufacture, $10 million for rct, and $30 million for Rabbit Inc. Yet in interviews, Lyu tells a very different story. 

After selling Raven Tech to Baidu (when he went by Cheng Lu, or Lu Cheng, and served as the company’s CEO), he moved back to the Bay Area in 2018, then, at an unspecified time, got a call from Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI. In 2020, presumably later in their relationship, Altman allegedly showed Lyu an early version of GPT-3, at which point, to quote Input’s Raymond Wong, “Raven became Rabbit.” I have reached out to Mr. Altman for comment. 

Lyu has, at the very least, gratuitously obfuscated his history as a founder, and allowed numerous conflicting stories to get published in multiple news outlets. When asked to clarify things, Lyu has provided boilerplate statements. From what I can tell, he went from founding rct.ai and going through yCombinator in 2018, where he was until sometime in 2021, when he would go on to found Cyber Manufacture and announcing GAMA, to announcing Rabbit Inc. in 2023, to launching the Rabbit R1 in 2024. 

Lyu — and, for that matter, Rabbit/Cyber Manufacture Co. — has failed to be transparent with its customers, the press, and the public writ large. And yet he demands an unbelievable amount of faith from users of the Rabbit R1, who must provide their usernames and passwords for any service they wish to connect to the device by remotely connecting into a virtual machine and typing them

And all of this is deeply relevant at a time when Rabbit’s R1 device has launched without several key features, such as “Teach Mode” and a stable, reliable version of its alleged “Large Action Model.” 

It’s also relevant for customers — potential and otherwise — to know that Lyu has, in fairly recent history, switched the entire direction of an NFT-driven Metaverse company to focus on an AI-powered hardware device. While Aaron Li mentioned to me that the difficulties of “the market” soured Lyu on GAMA’s hopes, one must ask - what happens if “the market” sours on artificial intelligence, or the Rabbit R1? 

I believe that those who invested their time — and in some cases their money — into GAMA’s NFTs and its associated properties are owed more of an explanation than has been provided by Rabbit Inc. and Jesse Lyu, and it’s my hope to update this piece once they do the right thing, and thoroughly explain what happened. 

I also believe that Jesse Lyu owes reporters he has talked to and users that have paid him money thorough explanations as to what happened to his previous ventures, what happened to the funds raised by said ventures, and why he has so thoroughly sought to obfuscate their existence.


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