‘South Park’ Creators Raise $20M for Synthetic Media Startup Deep Voodoo
Synthetic media for video startup Deep Voodoo has raised $20 million in an investment led by Connect Ventures. “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone formed Deep Voodoo to develop and produce deepfake visuals for videos, including the many faces artist Kendrick Lamar takes on in his video for “The Heart Part 5.”
Deep Voodoo had created synthetic media tools for face-swapping and other deepfake effects for videos since early 2020. Stone and Parker had begun exploring the technology for a planned film that the COVID-19 pandemic ended up suspending. The duo decided to start further fleshing out the synthetic media technology instead. Since then they’ve employed Deep Voodoo’s technology for their own “Sassy Justice” web series to digitally recreate and parody public figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump. Lamar’s music video with the tech dbuted earlier this year.
“We stumbled upon this amazing technology and ended up recruiting the best deepfake artists in the world,” Matt Stone said. “We are psyched to share their brilliance with the Hollywood creative community.”
The money from Connect Ventures, a partnership between venture capital giant New Enterprise Associates and major entertainment agency Creative Artists Agency, will fuel Deep Voodoo’s ongoing projects and further tech development. Parker and Stone’s company Park County has been the sole funding source for Deep Voodoo until now.
“Deep Voodoo has established itself as a leading synthetic media technology platform that has already impacted traditional entertainment. Deep Voodoo uses artificial intelligence to support productions in innovative ways that are faster and more cost-effective than traditional VFX technology,” Connect Ventures head of consumer investment Michael Blank said. “Connect Ventures is thrilled to lead the investment in Deep Voodoo, providing unique access to CAA and NEA’s resources and relationships.”