Synthesia secures £9 million Series A investment led by FirstMark Capital

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Synthesia announces $12.5M Series A to replace cameras with code and scale their AI video generation platform.

  • Synthesia, the rapidly growing AI video generation platform, secures $12.5 million in Series A funding, making it the largest investment in AI video space to date.
  • The funding round is led by FirstMark Capital, the NY-based early stage fund, and also adds two new angels to the cap table: Christian Bach (CEO, Netlify) and Michael Buckley (VP Communications, Twilio). All existing investors are also participating in the round: LDV Capital, MMC Ventures, Seedcamp, MarK Cuban, Taavet Hinrikus, Martin Varsavsky and TinyVC.
  • The funding will be used to fuel both Synthesia’s rapid enterprise user growth and product development of their AI video generation platform.

LONDON: Synthesia, the AI video company, that has built and operates the world’s first and largest AI video platform, today announced a $12.5M Series A financing round led by Matt Turck from FirstMark Capital with participation from all existing investors. The round is the largest investment to date in the synthetic AI video space. 

Founded in 2017 by technology entrepreneurs Victor Riparbelli, Steffen Tjerrild and world-renowned professors of computer vision Matthias Niessner and Lourdes Agapito, Synthesia is focused on reducing the friction of video creation and making it possible for anyone to create professional-looking videos in minutes, directly from their browser.

“We’ve still only scratched the surface of the video economy. In 10 years we believe most of our digital experiences will be powered by video in some way or form. But to truly realize the video-first internet we need a more scalable and accessible way to make video.” says Victor Riparbelli.

He explains:

“Today, video production is costly, complex and unscalable. It requires studios, actors, cameras and post-production. It’s an incredibly long and multidisciplinary process, rooted in physical space and sensors.”

Four years ago the founders of Synthesia set out to solve this:

“We’re building an application layer that turns code into video, allowing for video content to be programmed with computers rather than recorded with cameras and microphones. Once video production is abstracted away as code it has all the benefits of software: infinite scale, close to zero marginal costs and it can be made accessible to everyone.”

“This is now quickly becoming a reality. We launched our SaaS product, Synthesia STUDIO, just 6 months ago. It’s still in beta and is the world’s first and largest platform for creating AI video. Our text-to-video technology allows businesses to produce professional looking videos in minutes instead of days. We have essentially reduced the entire video production process to a single API call or a few clicks in our web app.”

Synthesia will use the new funding to invest heavily in product and IP development, starting with its personalized video API. Says Victor Riparbelli:

“We have been overwhelmed by the response in the last six months since our beta launch: we now have thousands of users and our customers range from small agencies to Fortune 500 companies. They use Synthesia STUDIO primarily for internal training and corporate communications. But now we are seeing more and more companies starting to use it for external communications, incorporating personalized video into every step of the customer journey through our personalized video API.”

While Synthesia has been in existence for the last four years, and already worked with some of the world’s top celebrities like David Beckham, Lionel Messi and Snoop Dogg, CEO Victor Riparbelli says they are still early in their journey:

“We’re building a foundational technology for the next iteration of the internet. CSS enabled beautiful layouts and graphics. Javascript gave us interactive websites. Smartphones made everything accessible at all times and equipped us with sensors to capture the world around us. ML analyzes and personalizes our digital experiences at scale.” 

He continues:

“Synthetic, programmable media will be weaved into the fabric of every digital experience in the future — from the personalized news we’ll be watching, to our interactive AI teachers and eventually to the Hollywood blockbuster made by your favourite YouTuber from his or her bedroom. This is the future that excites us and that’s what we’re building towards. And in this perspective, we’re still incredibly early on our journey.”

“At FirstMark, we are looking for ambitious founders building iconic companies and we have been particularly active investors in machine learning and AI, which we believe is one of most fundamental trends of our age. We are inspired by what Victor, Steffen and their team have created and cannot wait to help make the dream of fully programmable AI video a reality. I look forward to building together a company for the long term,” said Matt Turck, Partner at FirstMark Capital. Mr. Turck will join Synthesia’s board of directors.

“We are very excited to partner with FirstMark Capital and Matt Turck for our Series A. Matt immediately understood our vision to build a foundational technology and has an amazing track record of commercializing deep tech companies. I look forward to building the premier synthetic media company together,” said Victor Riparbelli, CEO and co-founder of Synthesia.

About Synthesia

Synthesia is the world’s first and largest enterprise AI video generation platform. Instead of filming video content with a camera, Synthesia uses AI software to simulate real videos and real actors – eliminating the need for film crews, studios, actors and cameras. This makes creating videos with real people as easy as writing an email – while reducing the cost and time of producing a video by more than 100x.

Synthesia’s first product STUDIO launched in public beta in the summer of 2020. It is now used by more than 1000 companies, including several Fortune 500 companies. Previously, Synthesia’s technology has enabled award-winning AI media campaigns such as Malaria no more with David Beckham, Lionel Messi Lays campaign and JustEat ads with Snoop Dogg.

Synthesia was founded in London in April 2017 by Victor Riparbelli, Steffen Tjerrild, Matthias Niessner and Lourdes Agapito. Victor Riparbelli and Steffen Tjerrild are long-time technology entrepreneurs, while Matthias Niessner and Lourdes Agapito are among the world’s leading professors in the field of computer vision. Synthesia has 30 employees with offices in London, New York, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Munich and Ljubljana.

Synthesia is funded by FirstMark Capital, LDV Capital, MMC Ventures, Seedcamp, Mark Cuban, Taavet Hinrikus, Martin Varsavsky, TinyVC, Christian Bach and Michael Buckley.

About FirstMark Capital

FirstMark Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City. Our mission is to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are changing the world by solving meaningful problems. We have built a deeply engaged community among the extraordinary teams in our network to spread ideas and opportunities. We are privileged to work alongside the founders of remarkable businesses like Pinterest, Shopify, Riot Games, Airbnb, DraftKings, InVision, Dataiku, JustWorks, Pendo and dozens more. Visit us online at firstmarkcap.com and @firstmarkcap.

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Safiya Marzook

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