Ever wanted to create a video simultaneously in multiple languages and personalised to the viewer but lacked the budget and tech to make it happen? That’s where our latest investment, Synthesia, comes in with their video synthesis technology that enables brands and content creators to seamlessly scale their video production using artificial intelligence to internationalise and personalise video content.
We are thrilled to invest in the UK based startup as part of their $3.1m round led by LDV Capital and early investor Mark Cuban and joined by new investors MMC Ventures, Martin Varsavsky’s VAS Ventures, TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and advertising executive Nigel Morris.
Their cloud-based platform ENACT enables customers to automatically generate personalized and interactive video content for their audiences at an exponentially faster rate and a fraction of the costs.
“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 their first global campaign with malaria survivors speaking through David Beckham to help raise awareness around the Malaria Must Die initiative. The campaign was widely recognized and applauded and has already exceeded 400 million impressions globally. The campaign was a joint collaboration between RG/A, Synthesia and Ridley Scott Associates for Malaria No More.
On the investment our Managing Partner, Carlos Espinal, comments, “We are incredibly excited by what the team at Synthesia is building and the smart use of deep technology to truly empower brands and creators to internationalise and personalise their content. The creative and ad world is developing so fast and yet has been severely lacking when it comes to trusted, reliable technology that enables people to scale their work at a pace that makes sense. The Synthesia team is uniquely placed to make this a reality through their use of computer vision and artificial intelligence.”
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-recognized research projects in the field Deep Video Portraits and Face2Face.
The London based startup came out of stealth in November 2018, airing their first public demo with the BBC, showcasing Synthesia technology by enabling newsreader Matthew Amroliwala to speak three different languages. Their 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.