AI powered video production startup Synthesia raises $3.1m

April 25, 2019

London-based AI powered video technology startup, Synthesia, has raised $3.1 million to continue its mission of helping brands and content creators scale their video production using AI. 

The company’s clever, and slightly scary, technology recently helped turn David Beckham into a multilingualist able to speak nine different languages in a video campaign aimed at wiping out malaria. 

The financing was led by LDV Capital, early investor Mark Cuban, and joined by new investors  MMC Ventures, Seedcamp, Martin Varsavsky’s VAS Ventures, TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Tiny VC, and advertising executive Nigel Morris. 

Synthesia’s cloud-based platform, ENACT, enables customers to automatically generate personalised and interactive video content for their audiences at an exponentially faster rate and a fraction of the costs.

Tailored video market

“Consumers and employees today expect video-based communication that is tailored to them. For companies it’s difficult to deliver these experiences because the conventional ways of creating video content is a physical process that simply doesn’t scale.” said Victor Riparbelli, co-founder and CEO of Synthesia. 

“Our mission is to make it easier to bring creative ideas to life without the traditional barriers of time, budget and skills. We are excited to collaborate with a great and diverse team of investors to execute on our vision.”

Synthesia recently launched its first global campaign with Malaria survivors speaking through David Beckham to help raise awareness around the Malaria Must Die initiative.

The campaign was widely recognised and applauded and has already exceeded 400 million impressions globally, the firm said. A behind the scenes video explains the process. The campaign was a joint collaboration between RG/A, Synthesia and Ridley Scott Associates for Malaria No More. 

Powerful AI communications technology 

Synthesia technology services empower video production for advertising agencies, marketing campaigns, corporate communications, e-learning and anyone who desires to efficiently internationalise and personalise their video content across product lines, cultures and international languages.

“Video production is exponentially increasing but it is extremely challenging to internationalise and easily personalise advertising, marketing, and e-learning videos across cultures,” said Evan Nisselson, General Partner at LDV Capital. 

“Synthesia is leveraging computer vision and artificial intelligence to revolutionise video production for brands and creators. We are thrilled to partner with Synthesia and its deep technical team as it empowers brands and video creators to more easily internationalise and personalise content around the world.“

Synthesia was founded by a team of researchers and entrepreneurs from UCL, Stanford, TUM and Foundry. Notably Prof Matthias Niessner, one of the co-founders of the company, is behind some of the most well-recognised research projects in the field Deep Video Portraits and Face2Face.

Growing client base

The London based startup came out of stealth in November 2018, airing its first public demo with the BBC, showcasing Synthesia technology by enabling newsreader Matthew Amroliwala speak three different languages. Customers already include global brands such as Accenture, McCann Worldgroup, Dallas Mavericks and Axiata Group. 

To achieve fully photorealistic video synthesis of humans the company has developed unique breakthroughs in computer vision, graphics and deep learning. 

The technical approach is inspired by traditional high-end visual effects but re-imagined using a range of deep learning technologies for an end-to-end automated pipeline.

As early pioneers in the synthetic media landscape the company and its new investors are excited about the possibilities for visual content creation. 

Dramatically reducing production costs, removing the language barrier and enabling entirely new creative possibilities will allow great culture to emerge without the conventional constraints of budget, time and skill.

Synthesia has strong ethical guidelines and has established itself as a trusted company in the space. Ensuring that all content created is consensual and that actors are in control of their likeness is a key priority for the company.

The company is actively working with governments and media organisations to create public awareness and develop technological security mechanisms to ensure that society gets to harness the benefits and reduce potential negative effects from synthetic media technologies.