‘Pictures-to-Video’ Synthetic Media Startup D-ID Raises $25M
AI-powered media developer D-ID has raised $25 million in a Series B round led by Macquarie Capital. The Israeli startup is best known for transforming photographs into moving, speaking videos and avatars with machine learning and AI with projects like Deep Nostalgia and LiveStory. The new funding will further those projects, as well as new metaverse ventures and a video greeting mobile app called Wishful.
D-ID’s best-known projects, Deep Nostalgia and its lip-syncing cousin LiveStory, were developed with genealogy service MyHeritage for its mobile app. Deep Nostalgia has created more than 100 million animations, according to the company. D-ID’s portfolio is far broader, however. D-ID’s tech has produced personalized movie promotions for Warner Bros., advertisements for festivals, and even awareness campaigns around domestic violence. The five-year-old startup has raised $48 million in investment since it launched as a facial scrambling tool. It plans to scale its business effort along with its research and development.
“Over the past year we have witnessed the skyrocketing success of our technology across so many applications and industries, with the power to generate so much good,” D-ID CEO Gil Perry said. “We are incredibly grateful for this new round of funding and strong partnership with Macquarie, which will enable us to scale up our business and our technology to the next level. We’re excited for what the future holds.”
One of D-ID’s plans for its new funding revolves around the digital worlds of the metaverse. The startup is beginning experiments with metaverse virtual beings in a partnership with AI and VR platform The Glimpse Group. The metaverse may not be the main driver of the new investment, but it will certainly help D-ID compete in the mushrooming market of virtual beings. There’s a firehose of funding for startups with an angle on the technology, most recently with Inworld raising $10 million. Virtual being developers of all stripes are seeing investment flow their way this year. Neosapience raised $21.5 million last month, while Soul Machines raised $70 million in February. Whichever set of developers for virtual beings or synthetic media can carve a place on metaverse platforms like Baidu’s XiRang, Nvidia’s Omniverse, or Korean video game giant Krafton’s new project will likely reap long-term rewards.