Leonardo.AI Raises $31 Million to Fuel Generative AI Art Platform
Generative AI-powered art and content creation platform Leonardo.ai has raised $31 million in a pre-seed round from a group of investors, including Blackbird, Side Stage Ventures, Smash Capital, and Samsung Next. Leonardo offers users a streamlined synthetic image creation and editing hub for designing art, characters, environments, and other visual assets produced with generative AI models.
Leonardo acts as a home for building and organizing synthetic images of all sorts. The centralized approach allows users to unify environments, characters, and other types of images into a whole ecosystem. Creators can generate a collection of assets in the same style, repeated as needed, instead of just as a one-off each time. Most recently, Leonardo added a new feature for real-time painting and drawing. The Realtime Canvas feature sends what a user draws on a digital canvas to the AI, transforming sketches into professional-looking designs, photos, and paintings. Leonardo’s web-based platform also offers a way to customize the generative AI models behind the visuals, fine-tuning them to achieve a desired art style. Users have already trained over 470,000 tailored models, according to Leonardo.
“Our mission is to empower creativity — whether you’re a novice who loves art or a professional who creates every day. Leonardo.AI helps fuel both,” Leonardo CEO JJ Fiasson said in a statement. “We’re helping democratize creativity by lowering the barrier to entry, and we’re also accelerating creative productivity for professionals.”
The platform enables multiple users to collaborate on art as well as team up for business projects through a private cloud deployment option for enterprise customers. Customized models or not, Leonardo is among those in the space adopting the idea of indemnity coverage and copyright protections to reassure commercial clients and tailor its enterprise packages to align with brand guidelines.
Since launching just over two months ago, Leonardo has registered more than seven million users, who now produce more than 4.5 million new AI-generated images a day. The company’s Discord alone now counts almost two million members and is purportedly the third largest such community on Discord. Though not dissimilar to other synthetic media communities like Civitai, Leonardo seeks to distinguish itself from other synthetic image platforms like Midjourney by catering to multifaceted content production. Users are applying the platform across gaming, digital advertising, fashion design, and other industries.
” For creators in video production for example, Leonardo.Ai can help storyboard a scene or an entire short film; if you’re a game designer, you can mock up gaming characters in seconds; brands use it to brief ad agencies,” Fiasson said. “Its uses are endless, and ultimately we’re reducing the friction between ideation and creation – something we feel is really powerful. By simplifying exploring new ideas, this helps spark creativity and leads to more captivating creative output.”