OpenAI Leads $50M Raise for AI Video Editor Descript

Video and audio editing software startup Descript has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by OpenAI Startup Fund. Descript’s platform for editing, including transcription content matching by drag-and-drop, has been enhanced with several new AI features in tandem with the funding news.

Descript AI

The upgraded platform includes new features that can remove backgrounds to change the setting of a video, as well a new animations and transitions. Descript’s new writer mode incorporates a script editor called Scenes that can connect parts of the writing to visuals like a PowerPoint slide deck. The script can also be used for synthesizing a voiceover with the new Overdub voice cloning tool. The new Descript Storyboard offers multitrack screen recording and access to a free library of stock videos, music, and sound effects. The idea is to extend Descript’s vision of instant editing expertise to a whole new range of capabilities, more than 30 new features in total.

“The stage is set for video to take its place alongside text as something everyone uses to create and communicate — the only things holding it back are the tools,” Descript CEO Andrew Mason said. “With the new Descript, we’ve replaced the drudgery of timeline editing with a tool that’s as familiar as the word processor — so you can make, edit, and share video without breaking your creative flow.”

Descript has a long history in synthetic media, having acquired synthetic voice startup company Lyrebird in 2019 when it raised a $15 million round. The new funding round doubles Descript’s total funding to $100 million. It’s OpenAI’s second investment after AI writing app Mem. The company is looking for more startups using AI to benefit creative and practical industries like healthcare, education, and creative endeavors.

“We started the OpenAI Startup Fund to accelerate the impact companies building on powerful AI will have on the world, and we’re particularly excited about tools that empower people creatively,” said OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap, who also serves as manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund. “It’s clear from using Descript and talking to customers that Descript is breaking down barriers between idea and creation by extending video editing capabilities to an entirely new class of creators.”

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