London-based Synthesia develops technology that allows brands and content creators to internationalise and personalise their videos, and to scale their video production using AI.
Founded in 2017, the startup has just raised €2.8 million in a round led by LDV Capital, early investor Mark Cuban, as well as new investors MMC Ventures, Seedcamp, 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 cost than existing technologies.
Synthesia enhances video production for advertising agencies, marketing campaigns, corporate communications, e-learning, and anyone else who desires to efficiently internationalise and personalise their video content across product lines, cultures, and international languages.
“Consumers and employees today expect video-based communication that is tailored to them,” said Victor Riparbelli, co-founder and CEO of Synthesia. “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. 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.”
The startup came out of stealth in November 2018, airing their first public demo with the BBC, showcasing its technology by enabling newsreader Matthew Amroliwala to speak three different languages. Synthesia’s customers already include global brands such as Accenture, McCann Worldgroup, Dallas Mavericks, and Axiata Group.
“Video production is exponentially increasing, but it is extremely challenging to internationalise and easily personalise advertising, marketing, and e-learning videos across cultures,” added 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 their deep technical team as they empower brands and video creators to more easily internationalise and personalise content around the world.“
Synthesia recently launched its first global campaign with Malaria survivors speaking through David Beckham to help raise awareness for the Malaria Must Die initiative. The campaign was widely recognised and applauded, and has already exceeded 400 million impressions globally, with a behind the scenes video explaining the process.
Synthesia was founded by a team of researchers and entrepreneurs from UCL, Stanford, TUM and Foundry. Notably Dr. 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.
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 language barriers, and enabling entirely new creative possibilities will allow great cultural possibilities without the conventional constraints of budgets, time and skill.
Synthesia has adopted 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.