London-based AI startup Synthesia has today raised a $90m Series C round led by Accel, valuing the company at $1bn and making it Europe’s third unicorn of 2023.
Synthesia uses generative AI models to let users automatically create videos for company training, internal comms and marketing purposes. The company says that the software — which can generate “talking head” videos in more than 120 languages — is already being used by 50k companies including Amazon, Ocado and Johnson & Johnson.
Founded in 2017, Synthesia is a good example of a startup that’s been building products — and a customer base — with generative AI technology since before ChatGPT triggered a new wave of VC hype around the sector late last year.
Founder and CEO Victor Riparbelli said that the company wasn’t “actively looking for new investment”, but that Accel and coinvestor NVentures (NVIDIA’s venture capital arm) “shared its vision” for transforming video production.
Getting proactive offers from leading investors like these puts Synthesia in a similar camp to Stockholm-based Sana Labs, which recently raised $28m in a round led by NEA — showing that there’s big appetite out there for more established companies working with generative models.
And, while Synthesia has already made inroads into B2B video production for training and HR, the company also says it’s looking to move into Hollywood films.
Whether or not audiences will have an appetite for AI-generated avatars in their favourite movies is yet to be seen, but Synthesia’s latest funding injection firmly puts it near the front of the pack of Europe’s leading GenAI startups.